Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed tomography (CT) is a non-invasive medical test that helps diagnose and treat medical conditions. CT combines x-rays, an array of detectors that rotate around the body, and sophisticated computers to produce detailed cross-sectional images.

At South Coast Radiology we have the latest generation of multi-slice CT scanners, which resolve very high detail and allow reconstruction of 3-dimensional images. CT scans of organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide improved clarity and reveal more information than x-rays.

CT examinations are performed at the following South Coast Radiology locations:

  • John Flynn Hospital
  • Oxenford
  • Pindara Private Hospital
  • Palm Beach
  • Robina
  • Runaway Bay
  • Southport
  • The Women’s Imaging Centre, Southport
  • Tweed Heads
  • Varsity Lakes


Before a CT

The CT radiographer will ask if the patient is pregnant or might be pregnant, before the scan. In most cases x-rays should be avoided during pregnancy, but as their doctor you should weigh-up the risks and benefits. See our patient safety advice for further information about pregnancy and x-rays.

Approximately 70% of patients having a CT scan need an injection of contrast media (or dye), usually through an arm vein. Because the contrast media is opaque on x-ray it shows the blood flow in organs and soft tissues, and can provide further information about the problem area. However, some people might be allergic to the contrast media.

Please note this information on the request if your patient:

  • Has asthma
  • Is allergic to seafood of shellfish
  • Has had a previous allergic reaction to contrast media
  • Is taking medication for Type 2 Diabetes


During a CT

CT scans are generally painless, relatively fast and straightforward. The examination time varies, but averages around 15 minutes. Recent technology advancements now enable multi-slice CT scanners to obtain multiple cross-sectional slices during a single rotation. The resultant thinner slices show better detail and take less time.

All South Coast Radiology radiographers have the necessary qualifications and experience to ensure the best patient care and high-quality x-rays. All of our radiographers are accredited and licensed by Queensland Health and the Australian Institute of Radiography.


After a CT

One of our radiologists will interpret the scan and provide the referring doctor with a comprehensive report about the findings. We will advise the patient to return to the referrer to discuss scan results. Processing and reporting of the scan could take up to two hours.

If you are a registered referrer you can access your patient’s digital x-rays, scans and reports through our secure online archival system, or view the films we provide. For more information about registering to access patient images visit the Access Medinexus Portal section.

Any hardcopy images and report can generally be delivered to the referrer, by lunchtime on the next working day. If the patient needs to be reviewed on the day of the scan, the patient can wait for the CT images and we will fax or email the results.

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