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A CT Scan is a specialized xray procedure. During a CT Scan, multiple images are taken and compiled into cross sectional (slices) pictures. The resulting images reveal details that are not necessarily visible with traditional xray.
A CT Scan is considered a safe examination. While this type of imaging does use radiation, the diagnostic benefits of the procedure generally outweigh the risks of radiation exposure.
The Scan procedure typically will last anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the type of exam your physician orders.
If you are having a NONCONTRAST CT Scan there is no prep required for the exam. You may eat and drink prior to your scan.
If you are having a CONTRASTED CT Scan you may NOT EAT FOUR hours prior to your scan. You may drink clear liquids and black coffee up until your scan. Please do not have any dairy products the morning of your scan.
A Contrasted CT Scan involves injecting iodinated contrast material into a vein. You may feel a minor sting as the contrast material is injected into your arm. Some patients may experience a flush of warmth and a metallic taste in their mouth. Usually these sensations disappear within a minute or two. You will void the contrast material with your urine. The contrast will not discolor your urine or cause any discomfort during urination. If you have an allergy to IV contrast dye, please inform your care team immediately. It may be necessary to prep you with steroids prior to the procedure.
All medications are fine to take the day of your scan. If you are diabetic and take a certain kind of medication, you may be asked to withhold the medication for 48 hours AFTER your scan. The technologist will inform you of this, if necessary.