What is a CT Scanner?
A CT scan is a specific kind of X-ray. The scanner makes cross sectional images of body tissues.
How is the test done?
You may wear your own clothes for the scan as long as there are no metal objects (such as zippers or snaps) near the body part to be scanned. Sometimes a contrast media is used to give more information about your body. If contrast is needed, a nurse will start an IV in a vein, usually in the arm or hand. This involves a small poke using a small IV needle. Once the IV is in place, the needle is removed and a tiny plastic tube stays in the vein during the scan. You will see the large scanning machine with an opening in the middle. You will lie on a padded imaging bed, which moves in and out of the opening smoothly.
The room lights may be dimmed during the scan. It contrast is used; it will be given into the IV during the scan using a power injector. You may experience a warm sensation, a metallic taste in your mouth, or a feeling of needing to urinate as the contrast is given. This is perfectly normal and happens most of the time. The scanner will not touch you. It makes a whirring noise as it scans.
You must hold very still and not talk during the scan. You might be asked to hold your breath, we ask you that you do the best you can and breathe when the machine tells you to.
What should I do before the scan?
You should have nothing to eat or drink at least 4 hours before the scan. If oral contrast is needed, further instruction will be provided by the nurse or x-ray technologist.
What to expect after the test?
After the scan, if IV contrast was administered it will pass through the kidneys and unnoticed in your urine. It’s important to drink extra water after the scan to help pass the contrast. The ordering doctor will contact you with results.
Approximate time of exam is 15 minutes.
Please call (320) 769-4323 Ext 2194 for any questions or concerns regarding your exam.