Preparing For Your CT Scan

Computed tomography, or CT, is a painless exam that combines X-rays with computer scans. It creates detailed pictures of your organs, tissues and bones and provides more detail than X-rays. Your care team may use CT images to help diagnose injuries and diseases in nearly any part of the body, from the head to the feet.

ct-scanBefore the exam
It is important to follow instructions, or we may have to schedule a new appointment.
  • You will receive instructions about preparing for your exam.
  • You may need to remove your jewelry or any clothing with metal on it.
  • You may need to change your diet or stop eating or drinking for several hours.
  • Tell your care team about any medicines you are taking. You may need to stop taking them for a short time.
  • Please follow your care team instructions about when to arrive for your exam.
Talk with your radiology care team before your exam if you:
  • May be pregnant
  • Are allergic to any dyes or have kidney problems
  • Have diabetes
  • Have eaten anything within four hours of your exam
  • Have experienced claustrophobia or anxiety when confined to small spaces
  • Have had a CT on the same part of your body before (We can compare old images to new ones.)
During the exam
You may be asked to change into a gown. You will lie on a table that will slide into a doughnut-shaped hole in the scanner. You will be asked to remain still and may be asked to hold your breath briefly. You may speak with your radiology care team. Your exam may take from five minutes to one hour. Most exams require 15 minutes or less.

Some exams require a contrast substance to enhance the image.
  • You may need to drink it about one hour before the exam.
  • You may receive the contrast by injection through an IV that will be placed prior to the exam. It may make you feel warm or cause a metallic taste. This is normal and will go away soon.
  • You may have an allergic reaction to the IV contrast. We are highly trained and prepared to resolve your allergic reaction.
After the exam
  • You may be asked to stay in the exam area while we review your images. You can go back to normal diet and activities after your exam.
  • However, your care team may ask you to withhold some medicines.
  • If you received a contrast agent, it will pass through your system within 24 hours. Drink plenty of fluids to aid the process.
Your results
Our radiologist will review your exam and report the results to your doctor within 24 to 48 hours. Your doctor will contact you with the results.

If you need a copy of your report or images, contact the Radiology Imaging Center at 913-588-6812.