An elbow CT is an imaging technique used to visualise both the bones and soft tissue structures of the elbow.
You will need to ring the department to enquire about your individual preparation requirements for your planned examination. A CT of the elbow may or may not require the injection of intravenous contrast and this will depend on the reason for you having the scan.
It is important to inform a member of staff as soon as possible if you are pregnant BEFORE the test is performed. The examination may not be appropriate or special considerations or precautions might need to be taken. If you suspect you could be pregnant then a pregnancy test will need to be performed prior to the commencement of the examination.
For safety reasons there cannot be anyone in the room during the scanning of a CT and relatives must wait outside. A staff member will be behind the glass window a short distance away watching the patient at all times during the scan should there be any concerns.
There will paperwork such as a questionnaire and consent form which you will be required to fill in upon arrival to the department. Children under the age of 16 will require consent from a guardian.
All jewellery and metal objects in the area to be scanned will need to be removed as these can cause artefacts and obscure the images.
If you require an interpreter, please inform the booking clerk at the time of booking.
If you require intravenous contrast then a cannula (needle) will need to be inserted in your arm by the nurses upon arrival. The contrast will highlight the blood vessels allowing us to see the blood flow.
If your examination does not require intravenous contrast then a cannula will not be inserted.
You will be asked to lie on the CT examination bed. The CT examination bed will move in and out of the CT scanner multiple times. Once the images are obtained then the examination is complete.
If contrast was required for your examination then the cannula will be removed from your arm prior to leaving the radiology department.
After the Procedure
After having an examination with intravenous contrast then it is important to help flush the contrast out of your body by drinking plenty of fluids for the rest of the day.
If you are currently taking oral hypoglycaemic such as Metformin, Diabex or Janumet for diabetes and have had the injection on contrast then it is advised to stop this medication for 48hrs after your scan. This is to prevent a build up of this medication in your system.
NOTE: this only applies if you have had an injection of contrast. If you are unsure if this applies to you then please bring a list of medications to your appointment so we can advise you.
A specialised doctor will carefully analyse your images and make a report to your referring doctor. If the referring doctor is in the hospital they will be able to access the results on their computer. If you are an out-patient then a disc of images can be made available to you within 5 working days after your CT scan.
Don't forget to bring these along to your appointment