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How to Prepare

Preparation for the CT scan varies depending on the area being examined. Contrast solution (dye) is sometimes required to assist the technologist/radiologist in visualizing required body structures. Contrast solution can be given by mouth, by injection, or sometimes both. If you receive a dye injection during the scan, you may get a warm flushed feeling that will pass in a minute or so. The technologist will be in the next room during the scan, but will watch you closely and be able to talk back and forth with you.

Scans that include the abdomen and/or pelvis may require you to drink two large glasses of liquid dye (oral contrast) about one hour before the scan. The technologist will explain this process when you come to the hospital. You may also have to fast the night before your examination. Instructions for preparation specific to the examination you are booked for will be included in your appointment letter. The doctor that ordered your examination may also give you information about the required preparation.

If you are a diabetic, your insulin or blood sugar pills may need to be adjusted. If you are taking medications called Metformin or Glucophage, these may also have to be adjusted. Please discuss this with your doctor before your appointment. If you are taking any other medications, continue these as usual with a small sip of water. If you could be pregnant or are a nursing mother, please discuss with your doctor before your appointment. Your scan may need to be booked at a later date.


Updated Aug 10, 2016