If you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, or are breastfeeding, please be sure to let your technician know PRIOR to undergoing any radiology procedure.
What is a CT Scan?
CT stands for Computerized Tomography, which refers to the way this exam is performed. In actuality, a CT scan is an X-ray procedure enhanced by a computer. This results in a cross-sectional view (referred to as a “slice”) of a particular part of the body.
During a routine X-ray, dense tissues can block other areas, Aided by the computer, a CT scan is able to put together the different “slices” and clearly show both bone and soft tissue.
How do I prepare for the scan?
Sinus – No preparation necessary.
Brain/ Chest/ Extremities without contrast – No preparation necessary.
Brain/ Chest/ Extremities with contrast – Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the scan. Medications with a sip of water are allowed.
- Abdomen – Drink the oral contrast 1 hour prior to your scan. Medication is allowed.
- Abdomen and Pelvis – Drink the oral contrast 2 hours prior to your scan. Medication is allowed.
What will the exam be like?
The CT scanner consists of a large donut-shaped machine and an X-ray table. You will lie on the table and slowly be moved into the large opening as a series of pictures are taken, You may be given an injection of contrast material (dye) which allows better visibility of specific structures within the body. The technologist will have you in full view at all times and in communication with you through intercom.
Contrast material may be necessary and may be given by mouth or injection or both. In case of an IV contrast injection, you may feel warm and you might notice a slight metallic taste in your mouth. This taste is normal and may last only a minute or two. Let the technologist know immediately if you begin to itch, feel any shortness of breath, or are otherwise uncomfortable in any way.
- Tell your doctor or the technologist if you are pregnant or think you may be.
- Tell your doctor or the technologist if you are breastfeeding.
- Tell your doctor or the technologist if you are allergic to iodine or have any other allergies.