How To Prepare
Before the CT scan, tell your doctor
- Are or might be pregnant.
- Are allergic to any medicines, including iodine
- Have a heart condition, such as
diabetes or take metformin (Glucophage) for your
diabetes. You may have to adjust your medicine for a day before and
after the test.
- Have had kidney
- Have a medical device, such as a pacemaker or an
- Have had
- 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.
Talk to your
doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for
the test, its risks, or how it will be done. To help you understand the
importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A CT scan is usually done by a
radiology technologist. The pictures are usually read
radiologist, who writes the report. Other doctors also may review a CT scan.
may need to take off any jewelry, glasses, and hearing aids. Wear comfortable,
During the test, you will lie on a table
that is attached to the CT scanner.
Straps will hold your head still but your face will not be covered.
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.
During the test, you may
be alone in the scan room. But the technologist will watch you through a
window. You will be able to talk to the technologist through a two-way
The test will take about 30 to 60 minutes. Most of this time is spent getting ready for the scan. The actual scan only takes a few seconds.
How It Feels
The test will not cause pain.
The table you lie on may feel hard, and the room may be cool. It may be hard to
lie still during the test.
Some people feel nervous inside the CT
If a medicine to help you relax (sedative) or
dye (contrast material) is used, an IV is usually put in
your hand or arm. You may feel a quick sting or pinch when the IV is started.
The dye may make you feel warm and flushed and give you a metallic taste in
your mouth. Some people feel sick to their stomach or get a headache. Tell the
technologist or your doctor how you are feeling.