How To Prepare for Your CT Scan
The use of CT scans in the diagnosis and treatment of several illnesses and injuries has increased throughout time as the technology has developed. In a CT scan, several images or photos of the inside of the body are produced using specialised X-ray equipment, and they are then joined by a computer to create cross-sectional and three-dimensional representations of the region being investigated. A narrow X-ray beam is focused on a particular area of your body during the scan. A cross-sectional image may be created by taking many photographs from various angles as the X-ray tube travels extremely quickly over this region. Information from the X-ray beam travels from the electronic detector to a computer, where it is analysed and used to create a picture.
- Medication: It’s crucial that you adhere to your usual dosage regimen. Please take all of the drugs that your doctor has recommended for you. Just let our staff know if you’ve taken any drugs before the exam. When you arrive for your visit, kindly bring your list of prescriptions.
- Food and drink: If you are having a CT scan of your belly, pelvis, or any other CT for which IV contrast will be administered, you should avoid solid foods for two hours prior to your test. However, you are still allowed to have a lot of liquids, including water, broth, clear soups, juice, and black decaffeinated coffee or tea. We advise you to consume lots of liquids before to your arrival.
- When to attend: You must arrive two hours before your planned appointment if you are getting a CT scan of your abdominal or pelvic. This is to make sure the barium solution thoroughly covers your gastrointestinal tract and to give you time to consume barium sulphate before the examination. For the CT scan, the barium aids in highlighting certain bodily parts. You should show up 30 minutes early if you are getting a scan of a body area other than your abdomen.
- Kidney function labwork before exam: Many CT scans involve injection of intravenous contrast solution (dye) (dye). Many patients may require up-to-date kidney function tests within 30 days of imaging, including all patients over the age of 60 and certain individuals with additional medical problems that can predispose to renal disease. Patients might need to have blood collected in the radiology department before imaging if lab results are not yet available. This is for your protection since IV contrast poses a higher risk of renal injury in people with considerably reduced kidney function.
Bring a list of any prescription drugs you may be taking.
A CT scan was required by your doctor. With the use of x-rays and occasionally IV contrast material, this test is carried out in a CT scanner. You’ll have to fill out some papers. A consent document for the IV injection of contrast material will be given to you for your signature. The CT team will go over these forms with you and enquire further. Your scan will be carried out to look at certain vascular and/or anatomical structures in your body.
How to Get Ready for Your IV Contrast CT/CTA Scan
- It is crucial to adhere to these guidelines in order for the test to be conducted securely, correctly, and with accurate findings. Please get in touch with your primary care doctor or the doctor who referred you if you have any questions about any of this.
- Do the words “with contrast,” “with and without contrast,” “Inj,” or the letter C appear on your prescription?
- This suggests a contrast injection is necessary for your test. You should drink a lot of water the day before and the day of the exam. Drink a lot of water, but stay away from any other beverages, especially those with caffeine, since they might dehydrate you.
- Please be sure to drink lots of water before and after the exam if you are receiving a contrast injection for a CT or CTA. By doing this, you can make sure that the injection itself won’t hurt and that the contrast material will leave your body as soon as feasible.
In the Examination
- The exam will last anywhere from one to two hours, but this is the average.
- The technician will place you on the examination table and ask you to hold your breath or remain still.
- You will get the chance to question the technologists.
Following the Procedure
- 5 glasses of water should be consumed on average.
- Mothers who are nursing should wait 24 hours before starting again.
- Please alert the staff right once if you have any symptoms like nasal congestion, itchy eyes, hives, rashes, sneezing, restlessness, tremors, discomfort, nausea, or dizziness. The personnel is equipped to deal with these circumstances. Please get in touch with your doctor or get to the closest emergency room if you have any of these symptoms after leaving the department.
What is the purpose of a CT scan?
- Any area of the head or body can have a CT scan. It can provide precise images of bones. Additionally, it provides clear images of soft structures including muscles, organs, big blood arteries, the brain, and nerves that a standard X-ray examination cannot see.
- The brain is the area of the body where CT scans are most frequently conducted in order to diagnose strokes or evaluate severe head injuries.
- A CT scan may also be used to: Find anomalies in the body that are suspected by symptoms or other testing, such as cancers, abscesses, aberrant blood arteries, etc.
- before some forms of surgery, to provide a surgeon with a clear image of a particular portion of your body.
In general, you should take off any jewellery, hair clips, and other metal items from your body. Avoid wearing clothing with metal zips, studs, etc. Depending on the area of your body that will be examined, you might be requested to refrain from eating or drinking for a few hours before to the scan. It may be important to cease taking some medications prior to the operation if you require an injection of contrast, as is detailed below. People who use the diabetic medication metformin may be affected by this. Your doctor should provide you with advice if you’re using this drug.