How To Prepare For a CT Scan

CT scans without contrast usually do not require special preparation. It is important that you notify us if you are, or think you might be, pregnant. If your CT requires IV or oral contrast, it is important that you let us know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. You may need some lab work done prior to your test to make sure you are able to excrete the contrast material. On some Abdominal and Pelvis CT scans, you may be asked to drink oral contrast material. If your referring physician has ordered this, you will need to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scan to have enough time to drink the contrast before the CT is performed.

What Happens During a CT Scan

During the scan you will be placed in a gown if necessary and asked to lie down on the CT table.  This table will move a short distance every few seconds to position you in the scanner.  The machine will not touch you and the scan should be painless.  It is important that you lie very still to insure good image quality.  If you receive contrast through an IV, it will be given at this time. You may feel a brief flush or a metallic taste in your mouth from the contrast. This will pass. The average time for any CT scan is 5-10 minutes, however the exam could take longer depending on the protocol required.

What Happens After the CT Scan

If you received IV or oral contrast you will be asked to drink lots of liquid to flush out your system.  Your doctor will receive a report from the radiologist within 24 hours.