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How To Prepare A CT Scan

Before the CT scan, tell your doctor if you:

  • Are or might be pregnant
  • Are breast-feeding. You will need to use formula for 1 to 2 days if you are given dye so that you do not pass the dye to your baby. You should throw out any breast milk you collect during this time.
  • Are allergic to any medicines, including iodine dyes.
  • Have a heart condition, such as heart failure
  • Have diabetes or take metformin (Glucophage) for your diabetes.
  • Have had kidney problems.
  • Have asthma.
  • Have had thyroid problems.
  • Have had multiple myeloma.
  • Have had an X-ray test using barium contrast material (such as a barium enema) or have taken a medicine that contains bismuth (such as Pepto-Bismol) in the past 4 days. Barium and bismuth show up on X-ray films and make it hard to see the picture clearly.
  • Become very nervous in small spaces. You need to lie still inside the CT scanner, so you may need a medicine (sedative to help you relax.
  • Arrange for someone to take you home in case you get a medicine to help you relax (sedative) for the test.
  • If you have a CT scan of your belly, you may be asked to not eat any solid foods starting the night before your scan. For a CT scan of the belly, you may drink contrast material. For some CT scans, you may need a laxative or an enema before the test.medical test information form.radiology technologist. The pictures are usually read by a radiologist, who writes the report. Other doctors, such as a family medicine doctor, internist, orsurgeon, also may review a CT scan.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean.

How is a CT Scan Performed?

A CT scan is usually done by a radiology technologist. You may need to take off any jewelry. You will need to take off all or most of your clothes, depending on which area is studied. You may be able to wear your underwear for some scans. You will be given a gown to use during the test.

During the test, you will lie on a table that is attached to the CT scanner, which is a large doughnut-shaped machine.

The table slides into the round opening of the scanner, and the scanner moves around your body. The table will move while the scanner takes pictures. You may hear a click or buzz as the table and scanner move. It is very important to lie still during the test.

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