Computed tomography is a method of body imaging in which a thin x-ray beam rotates around the patient. Small detectors measure the amount of x-rays that make it through the patient or particular area of interest. A computer analyzes the data to reconstruct 3- dimensional and cross-sectional images. This enables the physician to identify and locate abnormalities accurately.
If you are pregnant, please discuss with your physician prior to scheduling a CT scan. Please also notify the schedulers when making your appointment, as well as the technician at the imaging center.
- Do not eat for 4 hours prior to the exam.
- Drinking clear liquids only is strongly encouraged the evening before the exam, the morning of the exam and following the exam.
- CT Abdomen and/or Pelvis Studies may require you to drink a bottle of barium prior to arriving for your scan.
- If your scan if at noon or earlier, drink the barium at 10 p.m. the night before.
- If the scan is scheduled after noon, drink barium at 7 a.m. the day of the exam.
- Two additional contrast drinks may be required upon arrival.
- Abdomen and Pelvis exams for kidney stones or CTA: DO NOT DRINK BARIUM. Your doctor may order a rare exception for kidney stones but never for a CTA.
- Medications (when CT scan is with IV contrast):
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS): Discontinue 48 hours prior to exam and resume 48 hours after the exam.
- Glucophage or Metformin: Do not take either medication for 48 hours after your exam.
- Some medications that contain these drugs may not bear their names. If you are a diabetic and take an oral medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist to identify if your medicine contains any of these.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Will it hurt?
- Is this test dangerous?
- When will I know the results?
- How long will it take?
- What should I wear?
- Are there any restrictions after the test?
If you are pregnant or think you might be, please inform the technologist.
Allergies: If you are allergic to x-ray dye, IVP dye or iodine, or think you might be, please inform the receptionist upon arrival and the technologist when you meet.
Non Contrast Studies (any area): If your CT exam is known to be done without the use of IV contrast, there is no prep.
CT with IV or Oral Contrast Prep: If your CT exam is to be performed with IV contrast, see below in addition to General Prep.
No. The risk of harm from radiation and the contrast(if used) is small when compared to the benefits of the test.
Your physician should receive the results in 2-3 working days.
Typically, no more than 30 minutes.
Wear comfortable clothes with non-metal snaps or zippers. Sweat suits are preferred.
No, you may resume your normal activities, and take your medications as prescribed by your physician. However, if you are a diabetic or on anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), read the “Medications” section for further information.