CT Scan of the Temporal Bones

Your doctor has requested a computed tomography scan (CT or CAT) of your temporal bones. The temporal bones are situated at the sides and base of the skull. 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 or slices of the temples or sides of the skull bone using a rotating X-ray beam. The radiologist is able to check each slice for injury or bony abnormalities. Our team of expert physicians, nurses and technologists is led by Barry Pressman, MD, chief of 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.

After Arriving

  • A radiology nurse or technologist will ask you a few questions regarding your medical history.
  • You must inform the technologist, radiology nurse and/or physician of any allergies you may have before your exam.
  • Directions and parking information

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, the head is positioned in a holder, and the patient is asked to lie very still.
  • For the first position, patients lie on their backs with the arms at the sides. For the second position, the patient lies on the stomach with the head resting on the chin.
  • The table you are on will slide into the scanner. Only your head will be covered by the scanner. The scanner is open at the back and the front, allowing you to see out.
  • The technologist will always be able to see and hear you during your exam.
  • After the first set of images are taken, you will be repositioned with on your stomach with your head resting on your chin. A second set of images will be taken.
  • This procedure usually takes approximately 30 minutes.

After Your Procedure

  • There are no restrictions placed on you after this procedure. You may eat or 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.

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, Santa Monica, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.