CT imaging combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-sectional images of the area being studied can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed.
Preparation for your CT will depend on the type of exam. Before your CT scan, please contact us so we can provide specific instructions and review your health and insurance information.
Most exams require no preparation except for the following:
- CT Abdomen/Pelvis: Need to have nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam. Patient is to arrive one hour prior to exam if you are scheduled for CT ABDOMEN and two hours if you are scheduled for CT PELVIC or CT ABDOMEN & PELVIC. A liquid contrast (barium) will be given to you to drink for the procedure. Administration of this contrast agent can improve the visibility of organs and structures otherwise obscured.
- Any CTs with IV contrast need to have nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam.
- Any CTs without contrast consist of no preparation prior to procedure.
- PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO IODINE.
- FEMALE: PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR ARE BREASTFEEDING.
What to Expect
During Your Exam
- You will lie on a cushioned table, and once comfortably positioned, the tabletop will move through a gantry (shaped like a big donut). Multiple, low-dose x-rays are passed through the body at different angles. Images are acquired by detectors that measure the x-rays that pass through your body.
- The computer processes this information to form an image that the radiologist will review and interpret.
- Some CT studies require a contrast material to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. In this instance, you are given an I.V. in your hand or arm. Once the contrast is injected, you may feel a warm, flushed sensation, and experience a metallic taste in your mouth that lasts for about two minutes.
- Depending on the type of exam, your CT scan can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes.