Private CT Scan

Computed tomography (CT) scan is sometimes referred to as a CAT scan and shows detailed 2D and 3D images of your organs, blood vessels and bones.

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London Bridge Hospital CT scan

What is a CT scan?

A CT scanner is a ring-shaped machine filled with X-ray tubes. CT scans use X-rays to take detailed 2D and 3D images of inside your body. As you lie on a bed that passes through the middle of the scanner, it rotates and takes X-rays of your body. These are fed to a computer which creates 2D images (also known as slices). The 2D images can be stacked to create 3D images for your consultant to analyse.

From the CT scan a doctor can diagnose and monitor many conditions including cancerstrokes and fractures, and they're used to investigate a wide range of symptoms.

We invest in the latest CT scanning equipment which means we're able to carry out specialist CT scan procedures using the most technologically advanced and low radiation dose scanners available.

What does a CT scan show?

CT scans show detailed images of the many structures that make up our body. This includes images of bones, blood vessels and our internal organs.

A CT scan can detect a significant and abnormal injury to the body, even in its early stages. CT scans are especially helpful for investigating orthopaedic injuries. This is due to its advanced capabilities such as detecting tears in bone tissue that an X-ray would be unable to identify. It is also used as part of cardiac diagnostics and virtual colonoscopy for gastrointestinal problems.

The detailed imaging a CT scan provides imaging for orthopaedic conditions including spinal injuries. This is because it’s able to provide far detailed more information about the vertebrae and other spinal structures than a normal X-ray can.

Our weight-bearing CT scanner for lower limb at Elstree Outpatients & Diagnostic Centre, and our weight-bearing CT scanner for foot, ankle and knee at HCA UK at The Shard, allow for highly advanced evaluations of dynamic bone deformities. Showing far improved visualisation of the joint than conventional weight bearing X-ray, the weight-bearing CT scanner ensures our specialists give patients a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan possible. 

The role of the CT scanner in health screening is particularly prevalent in bowel cancer screening and lung cancer screening. Screening is a key area for diagnosing conditions early.

Read Chris's story about diagnosing pancreatic cancer early.

Other benefits of the CT scan

CT scans are also helpful for identifying and investigating the size and location of a cancerous tumour. From here a consultant may then carry out a biopsy, taking some sample tissue of the tumorous area to then confirm or rule out a cancer diagnosis. Additionally, Interventional radiology uses CT scanners for image guided treatments such as back injections.

CT scan images of orthopaedic conditions or trauma, tumours and other injuries help our specialists decide what type of treatment may be required. This includes what the best surgical option is, and in cancer cases whether radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy treatment is required and to what extent.

Low-dose CT scans are available for services such as lung screening, where a low-dose CT scan of the thorax (chest) is performed.

How long does a CT scan take?

A private CT scan at HCA UK normally takes between 10-20 minutes. We can arrange for your CT scan within 48 hours, and often on the same day as your initial appointment with your consultant.

One of our specialist radiologists will report your results back to your consultant, who will then contact you to discuss your results.

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Our imaging specialists at HCA UK

CT scans can be completed as part of diagnosis and monitoring, or can be a part of a procedure during an operation. On the day of your imaging our radiography team will prepare you and explain what you need to do and what will happen during your scan.

Our consultant radiologists work together with our consultant physicians and surgeons to ensure the accuracy and results of your scan.

What to expect during a CT appointment

Upon arrival you will be registered. A radiographer will go through a CT safety questionnaire and explain the procedure, giving you the chance to ask any questions. You may be asked to drink water prior to having your scan. Depending upon which area you are having scanned, you may be required to change into a gown. Secure facilities will be provided for your belongings during the procedure.

You may be given a dye called contrast to help improve the image quality and increase the amount of detail seen on the scan. The injection may give you a warm feeling around your body and a metallic taste in your mouth.
If you have had a contrast injection, we will advise that you remain in the department for 20 minutes after your examination to ensure that you are feeling ok; after which you can continue with the rest of your day including eating and drinking normally.
Our radiologist will generate a report for your consultant within 48 hours. If a follow up appointment is not already arranged, you will need to contact your consultant to make an appointment to discuss your results.

How much does a private CT scan cost?

The cost of CT scans vary according to what part of the body or health concern is being investigated.

To find out more about our CT scan costs, please call 020 3993 7591

Self-referral private CT scans at HCA UK

Before we can confirm your CT scan, we firstly require a referral letter or an imaging request form from your Doctor. 

When you book an appointment to see an HCA UK consultant, if a CT scan is required this will often be arranged for the same day as your initial appointment.

Book a private CT scan

We offer CT scans at our locations in London and Manchester. Call us or click below to request a day, time and place that best suits you.

Call 020 3993 7591

Our locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.