“How long will my exam take?” This depends on the part of the body being examined and if injectable contrast is being used. In general, exams take from 15 to 45 minutes.
“How do I prepare for a CT exam?” Review the paperwork your Doctor has given you. If your Doctor has ordered an exam with Contrast, you will be asked to stop eating 4 hours prior to your exam. You may have small sips of water if you need to take medications prior to your exam. When you make your appointment with us, the front office will advise you of any additional instructions.
“Why can’t I eat or drink 4 hours before my CT?” This is only if your CT requires IV contrast. The contrast may cause nausea when there is food in your stomach. We want to prevent vomiting.
“What is injectable contrast?” Sometimes your Doctor will order a CT scan “with contrast”. This means a trained CT Technologist will insert a thin, plastic IV catheter into a vein, usually in your arm. The contrast will flow through this catheter into your veins and arteries to highlight them and give the Radiologist a more detailed study. Most patients feel some degree of warmth and get a salty taste in their mouth as the contrast is flowing through their blood vessels. These sensations last for less than a minute.
“Are there any special instructions I need to follow after having a CT exam with contrast?” Yes. The contrast takes 24 to 48 hours to completely filter out of your body. We advise patients to drink lots of water to help this process. If you are a Diabetic taking Glucophage or Metformin, you may take your medication before your exam as usual.
“What if I have had an allergic reaction to injectable contrast during a prior exam?” In this case, please inform your referring Doctor. You must be pre-medicated to help prevent having another reaction. The pre-medication regimen starts the day before your exam, so it is important to speak to your Doctor in a timely manner. You must also be pre-medicated if you have allergies to shellfish or iodine.
“When will my Doctor get the results of my exam?” Your Doctor will get a faxed report within 24 to 48 hours of your exam.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask the CT technologist performing your exam.