A CT scan, also called computerized tomography, is a type of X-ray exam that combines x-rays with powerful computers to create images of the inside of your body in cross section. Often compared to slices in a loaf of bread, the cross-sectional scan images show bones and soft tissue with greater clarity than regular x-rays. If ovarian cancer is suspected, a dye or contrast medium may be used to highlight the spread of cancer.

What to Expect
Before the exam
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure.
  • You'll be asked to remove your jewelry, hearing aids and eyeglasses. Objects with metal may affect the CT images.
  • If a contrast material or dye is used in your exam, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours beforehand.
  • You'll be asked about medications, allergies, recent illnesses and your medical history as some conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect.
  • If you are claustrophobic or staying still for a length of time will cause you pain, talk to your doctor in advance about a mild sedative.
During the exam
Most CT exams are painless, fast and easy. The CT scanner is a box-like machine with a short tunnel in the center and a narrow examination table that slides into and out of this tunnel. The scanners and detectors form a ring that will rotate around you. The technologist will operate the scanner and monitor your examination from a separate windowed room, but you'll be in two-way communication with the technologist the entire time.
  • The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT examination table so that you can be examined.
  • If used, the contrast material will be injected through an IV or given orally.
  • Next, the correct starting position will be set for the scans.
  • The table will move through the tunnel very slowly as the scanning takes place.
  • You will hear buzzing, clicking and whirring sounds as the CT scanner revolves around you.
  • The scan takes anywhere from five to 30 minutes.
Test results
Your primary care or oncologist will receive a copy of the images and test report and will discuss the results with you.