Computed tomography (CT) scans create cross-sectional images of the body using computers and rotating x-ray machines. These images show blood vessels, organs, soft tissues, and bones in the body, providing more detailed information than basic x-rays. CT scans are a quick, painless, noninvasive way of looking inside the body.

“A CT scan can be used for many purposes, but it’s particularly useful for evaluating injuries and diagnosing diseases.”


A CT scan can be used for many purposes, but it’s particularly useful for evaluating injuries and diagnosing diseases. Dr. Romeo may recommend a CT scan to:

  • Diagnose bone fractures and joint problems
  • Examine tendons, ligaments, muscles, and other soft tissues
  • Evaluate blood vessels or blood clots
  • Check for the presence of infection
  • Gather information to guide procedures
  • Assess internal injuries
  • Monitor ongoing conditions

How a CT scan is performed

A CT scan is a noninvasive test that can be performed quickly. During the scan, you lie on a long narrow table that slides in and out of a tunnel-like machine. This machine rotates around you, sending x-ray beams toward your body from many different angles. These x-ray beams allow the computer to compile a series of images of many thin “slices” of the body. 

To prevent the scanner from capturing blurry images, it’s important to stay as still as possible during the test. The scanner takes up to 30 minutes, depending on the body part. Once the x-rays are taken, the images are sent to a computer where they are stored as electronic data files. The images are reviewed by a radiologist who will then send a report to Dr. Romeo. Afterward, Dr. Romeo will follow up with you to explain the results of the CT scan.

“A CT scan is a noninvasive test that can be performed quickly.”


What’s the difference between a CAT scan and a CT scan?

There is no difference—a CAT scan and a CT scan are both the same test. CAT stands for computerized axial tomography, and CT stands for computerized tomography.

What is contrast material?

In some cases, you may be given a special dye called contrast material before your CT scan. These contrast dyes help certain organs or structures show up better on a CT scan. Contrast can either be taken orally or rectally, or given through an injection. In some rare instances, contrast material may cause medical problems or allergic reactions, most of which are mild. If you have ever had a negative reaction to contrast material, be sure to tell Dr. Romeo and the radiologist before your scan.

What risks are associated with CT scans?

CT scans are very low-risk procedures. Although rare, risks include:

  • Radiation exposure
  • Increased risk of cancer when multiple scans are performed over time
  • Allergic reaction to the contrast material
  • Harm to the kidneys due to the contrast material

All x-rays, including CT scans, emit ionizing radiation. This radiation can affect the tissues of the body, and the more radiation exposure a person has had in their lifetime, the higher their risk of cancer. That being said, the risk is still usually very small, and the benefit of having the scan is almost always greater. Additionally, CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis are generally avoided in pregnant people, as the radiation can affect the developing fetus.

For more information about CT scans, please request an appointment with Dr. Romeo. Call or email our office today to schedule your visit.

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