CT SCAN

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

Computerized Tomography (CT) is an x-ray procedure that creates two and three dimensional images of the body. A CT scan is used to evaluate a wide variety of problems and diseases such as infectious disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease. It also provides detailed images of the bones and joints and is used to help the radiologist with procedures that require CT-guidance, such as: myelograms, arthrograms, biopsies and aspirations.

Wear comfortable clothing, although you may still be given a gown to wear during the scan. Please inform the technologist of any medications you are taking or if you have any allergies, especially to contrast materials or if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant.

The prep prior to your CT depends on the study that is ordered.

  • CT without oral or IV contrast: No Prep
  • CT with oral contrast only:
    • Drink lots of water the day before your test. DO NOT eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam. For abdominal / pelvis, do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to exam. You will be required to drink approximately 900ml ( 2 bottles ) of oral contrast about 90 minutes prior to CT exam.
  • CT with IV contrast:
    • Drink lots of water the day before your test
    • DO NOT eat or drink 4 hours prior to test. For abdominal / pelvis, do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to exam.
    • Take all medications except those that contain Metformin

 

 

Metformin is a medicine that should not be taken on the day of a CT scan, due to the use of iodine contrast material. You may restart your metformin medication 48 hours after your CT has been completed, however contact your Primary Care physician or Nephrologist before resuming to see if lab work is required to evaluate your renal functions.  Drink plenty of fluids, at least six 8oz glasses of water to help flush out your kidneys.

Common medicines that contain metformin include:

  • Glucophage
  • Avandemet
  • Fortamet
  • Glumetza
  • Actoplusmet
  • Janumet
  • Metaglip
  • Riomet
  • PrandiMet
  • Kombiglyze XR

 

During

The CT scanner is shaped like a large doughnut. You will lie on a motorized table that will slide through the opening. While the table moves into the scanner you will hear a buzzing / whirring noise. That noise is the detectors and x-ray tube rotating around you to create an image. You may be asked to hold your breath at certain points throughout the exam to avoid blurring the images. If contrast material is used, it will be injected through an IV line into a vein in your arm during the procedure. You may experience a hot sensation in your body or a metallic taste in your mouth, which is very common.

After

After the exam you can return to your normal activities. If you were given a contrast material, you may receive special instructions like drink plenty of fluids to help your kidneys remove the contrast material from your body.

How long will the scan take?

A CT scan takes about 5 to 15 minutes depending on the area of the body being scanned. Some exams require special preparation with oral contrast and that may take 30 to 90 minutes.

Will it hurt?

No, but you may need to have an IV catheter placed in your arm which may cause discomfort.

Why do I need an oral or IV contrast agent?

Depending on your symptoms and area of the body being scanned, contrast agent may be required to better visualize the area of interest and improve the quality of the scan.

How will the IV contrast affect me?

You may experience a hot sensation in your body, which is very common. However, please inform the physician or technologist if you have ever had a reaction to IV contrast or if you are allergic to seafood. You may require a special prep (medicine) prior to the CT exam.

Should I take my medication?

Take all your regular medications with water except for Metformin. Metformin is a medicine that should not be taken on the day of a CT scan, due to the use of iodine contrast material. You may restart your metformin medication 48 hours after your CT has been completed, however contact your Primary Care physician or Nephrologist before resuming to see if lab work is required to evaluate your renal functions.  Drink plenty of fluids, at least six 8oz glasses of water to help flush out your kidneys.

An aspiration or drainage is a procedure that takes a collection of fluid from in the body. Today’s procedure is performed with the help of ultrasound guidance.

Aspiration: a needle is inserted into the fluid and a sample is collected. This sample is then taken to a lab for testing.

Drainage: a tube is inserted into the collection to drain the fluid until the collection is gone.

These procedures may require an injection of local anesthetic.

Risks of Procedure

The risks and complications with this procedure can include but not limited to the following.

  • Pain and discomfort at the puncture site
  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Nerve damage temporary or permanent, but very rare
  • Damage to surrounding structures such as blood vessel, organs and muscles , requiring further treatment
  • Allergies to injected drugs
  • Death as a result of this procedure is very rare
  • An increase lifetime cancer risk due to the exposure to X-rays (CT and X-ray only)

Patient Education

Computerized Tomography (CT) is an x-ray procedure that creates two and three dimensional images of the body. A CT scan is used to evaluate a wide variety of problems and diseases such as infectious disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease. It also provides detailed images of the bones and joints and is used to help the radiologist with procedures that require CT-guidance, such as: myelograms, arthrograms, biopsies and aspirations.

Wear comfortable clothing, although you may still be given a gown to wear during the scan. Please inform the technologist of any medications you are taking or if you have any allergies, especially to contrast materials or if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant.

The prep prior to your CT depends on the study that is ordered.

  • CT without oral or IV contrast: No Prep
  • CT with oral contrast only:
    • Drink lots of water the day before your test. DO NOT eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam. For abdominal / pelvis, do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to exam. You will be required to drink approximately 900ml ( 2 bottles ) of oral contrast about 90 minutes prior to CT exam.
  • CT with IV contrast:
    • Drink lots of water the day before your test
    • DO NOT eat or drink 4 hours prior to test. For abdominal / pelvis, do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to exam.
    • Take all medications except those that contain Metformin

 

 

Metformin is a medicine that should not be taken on the day of a CT scan, due to the use of iodine contrast material. You may restart your metformin medication 48 hours after your CT has been completed, however contact your Primary Care physician or Nephrologist before resuming to see if lab work is required to evaluate your renal functions.  Drink plenty of fluids, at least six 8oz glasses of water to help flush out your kidneys.

Common medicines that contain metformin include:

  • Glucophage
  • Avandemet
  • Fortamet
  • Glumetza
  • Actoplusmet
  • Janumet
  • Metaglip
  • Riomet
  • PrandiMet
  • Kombiglyze XR

 

During

The CT scanner is shaped like a large doughnut. You will lie on a motorized table that will slide through the opening. While the table moves into the scanner you will hear a buzzing / whirring noise. That noise is the detectors and x-ray tube rotating around you to create an image. You may be asked to hold your breath at certain points throughout the exam to avoid blurring the images. If contrast material is used, it will be injected through an IV line into a vein in your arm during the procedure. You may experience a hot sensation in your body or a metallic taste in your mouth, which is very common.

After

After the exam you can return to your normal activities. If you were given a contrast material, you may receive special instructions like drink plenty of fluids to help your kidneys remove the contrast material from your body.

How long will the scan take?

A CT scan takes about 5 to 15 minutes depending on the area of the body being scanned. Some exams require special preparation with oral contrast and that may take 30 to 90 minutes.

Will it hurt?

No, but you may need to have an IV catheter placed in your arm which may cause discomfort.

Why do I need an oral or IV contrast agent?

Depending on your symptoms and area of the body being scanned, contrast agent may be required to better visualize the area of interest and improve the quality of the scan.

How will the IV contrast affect me?

You may experience a hot sensation in your body, which is very common. However, please inform the physician or technologist if you have ever had a reaction to IV contrast or if you are allergic to seafood. You may require a special prep (medicine) prior to the CT exam.

Should I take my medication?

Take all your regular medications with water except for Metformin. Metformin is a medicine that should not be taken on the day of a CT scan, due to the use of iodine contrast material. You may restart your metformin medication 48 hours after your CT has been completed, however contact your Primary Care physician or Nephrologist before resuming to see if lab work is required to evaluate your renal functions.  Drink plenty of fluids, at least six 8oz glasses of water to help flush out your kidneys.

An aspiration or drainage is a procedure that takes a collection of fluid from in the body. Today’s procedure is performed with the help of ultrasound guidance.

Aspiration: a needle is inserted into the fluid and a sample is collected. This sample is then taken to a lab for testing.

Drainage: a tube is inserted into the collection to drain the fluid until the collection is gone.

These procedures may require an injection of local anesthetic.

Risks of Procedure

The risks and complications with this procedure can include but not limited to the following.

  • Pain and discomfort at the puncture site
  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Nerve damage temporary or permanent, but very rare
  • Damage to surrounding structures such as blood vessel, organs and muscles , requiring further treatment
  • Allergies to injected drugs
  • Death as a result of this procedure is very rare
  • An increase lifetime cancer risk due to the exposure to X-rays (CT and X-ray only)

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