Highly Accurate CT Scans

Our precise 16, 32 and 64 multi-slice computed tomography testing provides a clear picture of your health.

What is CT Scanning?

Computerized Tomography (also known as CT or CAT scan) combines a series of x-ray views taken from many different angles to create cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues inside your body. CT scans can be used to:

  • Detect a tumor and see whether it has spread
  • Guide a biopsy
  • Check for bleeding in the brain
  • Help plan radiation therapy or surgery
  • Diagnose kidney stones
  • Assess damage to internal organs, bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons and joints
  • Diagnose problems with blood vessels
  • Check for intestinal tract issues such as appendicitis or colon cancer

What Are the Advantages of CT Scans Over Standard X-Rays?

Images from CT scans can provide much more information than plain x-rays because they can be combined to create 3D images. The more slices, the more accurate the image. Geisinger Holy Spirit offers highly accurate 16, 32 and 64 multi-slice scanning.

What Happens During a CT Scan?

During a CT scan, you will lie on a narrow table where an x-ray beam will rotate around you through a round mechanism called a gantry, capturing specific images requested by your physician. The procedure does not last long and is virtually painless.

How to Prepare for a CT Scan

Depending upon the type of exam, your doctor may recommend you receive a special dye called a contrast material before your CT scan. If receiving IV contrast, you will be requested to stop eating or drinking four hours prior to the exam. The contrast material helps highlight the areas of your body being examined. It blocks x-rays and appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines or other structures.

How Does Contrast Material Enter Your Body?

Contrast material can enter your body in a variety of ways:

  • Oral. If your esophagus or stomach is being scanned, you may need to swallow a liquid that contains contrast material. This drink may taste unpleasant.
  • Injection. Contrast agents can be injected through a vein in your arm to help view your gallbladder, urinary tract, liver or blood vessels. You may experience a feeling of warmth or a metallic taste during the injection.
  • Rectal. A contrast material may be inserted in your rectum to help visualize your intestines. This procedure can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

Reactions to Contrast Material

Although rare, the contrast material can cause medical problems or allergic reactions. Most reactions are mild and result in a rash or itchiness. In rare instances, an allergic reaction can be serious and potentially life-threatening. Tell your doctor if you’ve ever had a reaction to contrast material. Medications are available to assist with reactions to the contrast material and, if needed, your doctor will pre-medicate you prior to the exam.

Benefits and Risks of CT Scans

Although a CT scan briefly exposes you to more radiation than you would receive during a regular x-ray, this radiation from imaging tests has a very small potential to increase your risk of cancer.

CT scans have many benefits that may outweigh potential risks. Doctors use the lowest dose of radiation whenever possible. Newer machines and techniques may expose you to less radiation. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of your CT scan.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant. Another type of exam may be recommended, such as ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), to avoid the risk of exposing your fetus to the radiation.

Convenient Locations and Hours

For an appointment, call 717-972-4900.


Holy Spirit Camp Hill Center, 875 Poplar Church Road
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.

The Ortenzio Heart Center at Holy Spirit, 503 N. 21st Street
(MRI and Nuclear Cardiology are located on the ground floor – at the 21st Street entrance)
Hours: (MRI available) Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.


Holy Spirit Carlisle Center, 1211 Forge Road
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Holy Spirit Progress Center, 20 Capital Drive
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Holy Spirit Mechanicsburg Center, 4665 Trindle Road
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.