How do I prepare for a CT scan?
When scheduling your appointment, provide us with your email address and we will send you personalized forms with your information already filled in. You will only have to update or add any missing information. If your email address is not provided, you can still save time by downloading the Registration forms and completing them prior to arriving at the office.
You must remove all jewelry and any other metallic objects such as hearing aids, jeans with metal zippers, body piercings and removable dental work. Wearing a sweat suit with no metal may prevent you from having to change into a gown.
Additional prep for CT scan with oral or I.V. contrast
Have nothing to eat 4 hour prior to your exam time. You may drink clear liquids (example: water, ginger ale, apple juice). Keep hydrated before and after your exam.
If you have impaired kidney function, are diabetic or are 70 years of age or older, we will assess your kidney function. It is important to inform us if you are taking the medication hydroxyurea when making your appointment.
If you are receiving oral contrast, please pick up the contrast kit the day before your exam. If you are receiving Omnipaque oral contrast, refer to the Omnipaque oral contrast section below. If you are receiving Redi-CAT oral contrast, please ask your Stockdale Radiology representative for those specific instructions.
Omipaque oral contrast prep for CT scan
Do not take if you have an iodine allergy.
Begin drinking the Omnipaque oral prep 1 hour before your exam.
To prepare the contrast drink:
- Pour the entire contents of the Ominpaque bottle into the 32 oz. cup that was given to you.
- Fill the cup with water up to approximately 1/2 inch from the top of the cup (approximately 30 oz).
- Stir well and drink.
- Discard the cup, contrast bottle and straw after use.
Bring with you to the appointment:
- Prescription from your doctor.
- Current insurance card.
- Authorization number from your insurance carrier.
- Any forms you completed at home.
- Credit card or cash for your insurance co-pay.
- Any abdominal or pelvic studies that you have from another facility. We like to compare the new MRI study with any previous studies to assist in the diagnostic process.
- Picture identification.
Plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
What will I do when I arrive?
Present your prescription, insurance card and completed forms at the front desk. If any additional forms are required, they will be given to you at this time.
Be sure to inform the receptionist and technologist if you:
- Have allergies, specifically to iodine.
- Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
- Have any compromised kidney function or a history of kidney disease.
- Are currently taking any medications.
- Have any metal or a medical device in your body.
- Have diabetes.
- Have asthma.
- Have any studies of the same body area from another facility. We like to compare the new CT study with any previous studies to assist in the diagnostic process.
What happens during the test?
All metal must be removed before your scan including jewelry, dentures, eyeglasses, belt buckles and any clothing with metal zippers or buttons. Metal interferes with the quality and accuracy of the images captured during the CT. You may be asked to change into a gown.
The CT technologist will confirm that you are free of all metal and review your medical history with you.
You will then be brought into the CT room and asked to lie down on the scanning table. The scanning table you are lying on will be moved into the center of the opening and the test will begin. The machine never touches you. Be sure to remain as still as possible to ensure the best possible images. Although the CT technologist cannot stay in the room with you during the scan, he or she will be able to talk to you from outside the room through an intercom.
Once all of the images have been recorded, the scanning table will move out of the CT machine and the technologist will return to assist you off the table.
The CT scan can take from 2 to 10 minutes, depending on the area of the body being scanned.
For CT with I.V. contrast
After reviewing your medical history, the nurse or technologist will place the intravenous needle/catheter into a vein in your arm or hand. Then at a specific time in the exam, contrast will be injected into your I.V. It is normal to feel a warm sensation throughout your body and a metallic taste in your mouth.
When can I expect the results?
Before leaving the office, you will receive a CD with the images from your CT exam.
One of our board certified radiologist interprets your images, compares them to any previous studies and dictates a report which is transcribed, proofread and signed.
The report is then faxed and mailed to your referring doctor within one or two days.
Your doctor will read the report and review the findings with you.
All of your signed reports and images are available to your referring doctor on our physician's web portal.