Lung CT Program

What to Expect from CT Lung Screening

If you and your doctor decide you’re a good candidate for CT lung cancer screening and meet the current lung cancer screening guidelines, you’ll be scheduled for an appointment to have a low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the chest at the Emory imaging center nearest you.

Please call 404-686-5864 (LUNG) and a scheduling representative will assist you. A doctor's order is required to schedule. Orders may be faxed to 404-778-6657.

During the scheduling process you will be asked about your smoking history:

  • How many years you have smoked in total.
  • The average amount of cigarettes you have smoked daily.
  • If you are a former smoker; what year you quit.

The day of your low dose CT lung cancer screening, it’s best to wear a comfortable shirt without any metal on it. You’ll be asked to change into a gown if your shirt has metal buttons, metal designs or a zipper. You may also be asked to remove jewelry since they will show up on your images.

During Your Lung CT Screening

The CT scanner is an “open” circular machine. The exam table you’ll be laying on will move in and out of this machine (gantry) while images are captured.

  • Your technologist will position you on the exam table. You’ll need to lie flat on your back with your arms raised beside your head for a short time (usually less than 5 minutes). Once you’re positioned, the technologist will leave the room to operate the CT scanner.
  • Your technologist and the CT staff will be able to see you and communicate with you through an intercom.
  • While the images are being taken, you’ll be asked to follow simple breathing instructions as the exam table travels in and out of the CT scanner. Your breath-hold will be for 10 seconds or less each time the table moves.
  • Once your lung cancer screening exam is completed, the technologist will review the images and return to the room to help you off of the exam table.
    Your images will be read by a radiologist within 48 hours of your scan. Your technologist won’t have any results when your exam is complete.

After The Lung CT Screening

After your exam, you should feel fine and may immediately return to your normal activities.

Your CT lung screening will be evaluated by an Emory Radiologist who specializes in images of the chest and your results will be sent to your doctor. You’ll also receive a letter within 2 weeks that reviews your screening results. If there are any findings that require explanation or follow up; you’ll be contacted personally by a member of our care team. A physician’s order is required for this screening. You’ll need to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss your personal lung cancer risk as well as other health conditions that may exclude you from this exam. If you don’t currently have a care provider; you may meet with one of our team members to determine if CT lung screening is right for you. If you’re having any symptoms that concern you, or you have a history of any type of cancer, it may be necessary for you to have a different type of evaluation (not a screening). Please contact your doctor to discuss these concerns.

For more information on Lung CT please call 404-778-2039 or complete the information request form below.