Your doctor has requested a computed tomography scan (CT or CAT) of your mastoid bones. CT scans use X-ray technology and advanced computer analysis to create detailed pictures of the body. This cross-sectional scanning method allows the radiologist to look at different levels of the skull bones, specifically the bone ridge behind the ear. A rotating X-ray beam creates images that resemble slices and allow the radiologist to assess the skull bones for injury, infection, fluid levels and abnormalities. Our team of expert physicians, nurses and technologists is led by Barry Pressman, MD, chief, Neuroradiology and Head and Neck Radiology.
Before Arriving for Your Procedure
Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home and wear comfortable clothing. Because this is a scan of the head, anything like dentures, false teeth or implants, earrings or hairpins can interfere with the scan and should be left at home.
If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
Although we do not anticipate any delay in your scheduled appointment, we recommend that you bring a book, a magazine or a music player to help pass any time you may have to wait.
A radiology nurse or technologist will ask you a few questions regarding your medical history.
During Your Procedure
While positioning you on the exam table, the technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have.
If contrast dye is being used, it will be injected through your IV.
During the injection, you may experience a warm sensation all over your body and a metal taste in your mouth. This is normal.
If you experience any itching, sneezing, nasal congestion, scratchy throat or swelling of your face, please notify the technologist immediately.
This procedure is done in two positions. For both positions, the head is positioned in a holder, and you will be asked to lie very still. For the first position, patients lie on their back with arms at the sides.
For the second position, the patient lies on the stomach with the head resting on the chin.
Only the head is covered by the scanner, and the scanner is open at the back and the front, allowing the patient to see out.
This procedure usually takes approximately 30 minutes.
After Your Procedure
There are no restrictions placed on you after this procedure. You may eat and drive as normal.
If you received an injection of contrast dye, you should drink six to eight glasses of water to flush it out of your system.
Your study will be read by an imaging physician who specializes in the interpretation of CT scans. The results will be sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.
Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
To request copies of your pictures on a PC-compatible CD, or of your report, please call 310-423-8000, option 2, or submit an online request.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.