A CT coronary angiogram is performed as an outpatient in the imaging department on the lower ground floor of the Benenden Hospital.
You will be sent an appointment letter and preparation sheet which tells you how to prepare and what will happen during the test.
We will ask you to arrive in plenty of time, the stress of being late will increase your heart rate, which makes the scan more difficult.
A CT scanner is shaped like a Polo mint, it is a lot more open than an MRI scanner and even claustrophobic patients tolerate it well.
A radiographer will put a cannula (Small plastic tube) in a vein in your arm. This is so they can give you the x-ray contrast, sometimes called x-ray dye and any other medication which you may require during the scan.
ECG dots will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart rate during the scan. The CT scanner takes the images in time to your heart beat so we aim to have a steady, healthy low heart rate.
If your heart rate is a little fast one of the consultant radiologist will come to speak to you and, if safe to do so, administer a short acting beta blocker which is a medicine to slow the heart rate down.
The scanner scans your heart when the x-ray contrast if filling your coronary arteries.
Once the images have been checked to make sure they are of a good diagnostic quality one of the team will come and move you out of the scanner .
The time in the scan room is normally about 30 minutes.