What is a CT Scan?
Computed tomography (CT) uses special x-ray equipment to make cross-sectional pictures of your body. Doctors use CT scans to look for, broken bones, cancers, blood clots, signs of heart disease, or internal bleeding. During a CT scan, you lie still on a table. The table slowly passes through the center of a large X-ray machine. The test is painless and quick.
How do you prepare for a CT exam?
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure. Metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins, may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work. All Patients are given a locker to place all personal items. Women will be asked to remove bras containing metal underwire. You may be asked to remove any piercings, if possible. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for a few hours beforehand (depending on the type of exam), as IV contrast material (if ordered) may be used in your exam.
You should inform your physician of all medications you are taking and if you have any allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, or “dye,” your doctor may prescribe medications (usually a steroid) to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. These medications generally need to be taken 12 hours prior to administration of contrast material. To avoid unnecessary delays, contact your doctor before the exact time of your exam. Also inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions and whether you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems. Any of these conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect.
Women should always inform their physician and the CT technologist if there is any possibility that they may be pregnant.
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