Computed Tomography (CT) is a painless diagnostic test, which relies on x-ray technology. Also known as the CAT scan, it is often one of the most relied tests for diagnosing cancer, infections, and traumatic injuries. Doctors may recommend the test for various health concerns, as it allows them to capture wafer-thin images of the body for accurate diagnosis. If you have been recommended by your doctor to get a test done, you can consider finding one of reliable local CT scan services and get an appointment. Here’s what you need to know about getting a CT scan done.
Before the CT scan
Make sure that you reach for your CT scan on time. It is always best to wear loose and comfortable clothes and avoid jewelry if you can. Other items on the body, such as bras, piercings, and hearing aid must be removed too. There are different types of CT scans, and for some studies, it may be necessary to avoid food for a specified period, usually for a few hours. You can ask the referring physician for details.
Depending on the type of CT study recommended, oral contrast or IV contrast can be used for better images. If oral contrast is required, the patient will be asked to drink a liquid, such as Volumen, which will help in highlighting the digestive tract. Note that if you are pregnant or suspect the same, do let the physician know.
During the CT scan
The technologist performing the CT scan may ask a few questions related to the medical history of the patient. For instance, if the patient has a history of allergic reaction to contrast, it must be mentioned. Patients, or their immediate family members, can ask the technologist about the procedure and other details. In case IV contrast is required, an IV will be administered before the CT scan is done. The patient will lie on a table that will pass back and forth in the machine. There’s a device inside the machine, which will emit X-rays that will help in capturing the images of the body. This is a completely pain-free diagnostic test.
After the CT scan
There are no restrictions following a CT scan, and patients can go ahead and resume all their regular activities. If contrast material was administered, the technologist may ask the patient to increase their intake of fluids. The results of a CT scan are usually delivered within 48 hours.