A CT scan can be performed of any part of the body that your doctor needs to see in order to help diagnose a problem, to better define a known problem, or to monitor for changes.
Depending on your clinical history, it may be recommended that you have an injection of IV contrast.
You will lie feet-first on your back with your arms above your head. Your legs and abdomen will pass through the scanner.
Before your Scan
When making the appointment, you will be told not to eat anything for 2 hours before the procedure. You are encouraged to drink clear fluids, such as 600-750mls of water one hour before the appointment time. Although it is not essential to hold the fluid in your bladder, it is preferable if you are able to hold off going to the toilet to empty your bladder (urine) until the scan is complete.
Before the scan, you may be asked to change into an examination gown for your comfort, and to ensure clothing does not affect the images and diagnostic quality of the scan. You may also be asked to remove jewellery, eye-glasses and any metal objects that might interfere with the images.
30 – 60 minutes.
Risks / Side effects
As part of the CT, you may need to have an injection of a IV contrast . This medication is administered intravenously (injection into vein) through a needle. When the injection goes in you may have a warm feeling in the face, neck or pelvis. This usually lasts for a brief period then disappears. These feelings are normal and not an allergic reaction.
Occasionally (<1%), mild allergic reactions such as a rash, hives or sneezing can occur. These usually develop at the time of scanning, do not require treatment and settle rapidly. Sometimes a mild reaction such as a skin rash may occur from 1 hour to 1 week after injection.
Less commonly (<1 in 100,000 patients), more severe reactions can occur including asthma or shock. Severe, life threatening reactions up to and including death have occurred but are extremely rare. In the event of a reaction, we have equipment and trained staff available to begin immediate treatment.
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