The CT scanner is a large, square-shaped machine with a hole in the center, outfitted with a ring (called a gantry) that has beam opposite matching detectors. A patient lies still on a table that can move up and down, and slide into and out of the center hole. The gantry rapidly rotates around the body in a circular fashion as the patient lie still on a table. In fractions of a seconds, the detectors relay data back to a computer, which assembles the information to create two & three dimensional, cross-sectional images of the body.
You will be given your arrival time and preparation instructions when you register for scan. In most cases you will be asked several questions prior to your CT scan. Be sure to inform your physician or technologist if you have any allergies from medicine or believe you are pregnant.
Depending on the exam ordered by your physician, you may be required to take an oral contrast.
The CT Scanning usually takes 10-20 minutes.
Patients who are having a body scan will be required to change into a hospital gown.
The technologist will assist you onto the examination table. Straps may be used to help maintain the correct position and to hold still during the exam.
During the scanning, you will have to lie very still on scanning table. The table will move slowly through the machine as the actual CT scanning is performed. The technologist will monitor you through a window, communicate with you through an intercom and give you instructions on when to hold your breath.
If a contrast material is used, it will be injected through an intravenous line (IV) into an arm vein during the procedure.
For some test contrast may be given in the rectum (if radiologist recommend).
When the examination is completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist determines that the images are of high enough quality for the radiologist to read.
After your CT scan is completed, you may resume all of your normal activities.
If contrast given, you will be asked to drink 6-8 glass of water after your exam to help quickly flushed contrast from your body and you do not become dehydrated.
If you are on dialysis and you receive IV contrast, you will need to have dialysis within 24 hours of your CT test
A radiologist will analyze the images and prepare reports which you can collect from radiology department after 24 hours.
Depending on the exam, a solution called “contrast” may be administered with an IV. Contrast is a liquid solution that improves visibility of specific areas of the body, such as blood vessels or the digestive tract. When the contrast is injected, it is common to feel warm and flush for one minute. If you have any allergy to iodine, please let your doctor and CT technologist know before having the CT scan.
For CT Scan (plain study) : No preparation.
For CT Scan (with Contrast) : 4-8 hours fasting & lab test Serum Creatinine report.
Lab test serum creatinine checks your kidney function. We need to know your kidneys are working properly before we inject a contrast injection.
For CT Scan Abdomen / Pelvis, patient may be required to drink contrast. This contrast helps to highlight the stomach and intestines on the images.
Previous reactions to IV contrast may require pre-medication prior to CT exam.
If you are taking Glucophage or drugs containing Metformin (Glucophage, Glucovance, Glumetza, ActopPlus Met, Avandemet, Fortamet, Metaglip, Riome, etc). You can take the medicine 12 hours before the examination but don’t take it on a day of the examination and 48 hours after the injection of contrast.
Pregnant woman should not have a CT exam, especially if the woman is in her first trimester (first three-month period of pregnancy). Depending on the condition, there may be other exams available, such as ultrasound, to help diagnose a medical condition. However, in special circumstances we can do with consent of referring physician after taking necessary safety precautions.
Typically, patients are instructed to wait for 48 hours after receiving the CT contrast injection before breast-feeding again.