Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Head and Face
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.
The chance of a CT scan causing a problem is
- There is a chance of an
allergic reaction to the dye (contrast material).
- If you have
diabetes or take metformin (Glucophage), the dye may
cause problems. Your doctor will tell you when to stop taking metformin and
when to start taking it again after the test so you will not have
- There is a small chance of getting cancer from some types of CT scans.1 The risk is higher in children, young
adults, and people who have many radiation tests. If you are
concerned about this risk, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of a CT scan, and confirm that the test is
A computed tomography (CT) scan uses
X-rays to make detailed pictures of structures inside the body.
results usually are ready for your doctor in 1 to 2 days.
CT scan of the head and face
The brain and blood vessels
and bones of the skull and face are normal in size, shape, and
No foreign objects or growths
No bleeding or collections of
fluid are present.
A growth, such as a tumor, or
bleeding is present in or around the brain. Foreign objects, such as glass or
metal fragments, are present. The bones of the skull or face are broken
(fractured) or look abnormal. Nerves leading to or from the brain are damaged
A collection of fluid is
found, which may mean bleeding in or around the brain.
aneurysm is present.
The openings in the brain
(ventricles) through which
cerebrospinal fluid flows into the spine are enlarged.
An area of the brain shows swelling (edema) or other
changes that may mean a
sinuses are filled with fluid or have a thick