News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 05, 2018

Key Patient Preparations for a CT Scan

Patients should be advised to avoid solid foods before procedure, wear comfortable clothing

Key Patient Preparations for a CT Scan

September 5, 2018 — The Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI) in Miami recently released a list of important preparations patients should make before undergoing a computed tomography (CT) scan.

Recommended steps to make the procedure a success include:

1. Do not eat anything solid within three hours of the procedure

Solid food consumed within three hours of a CT scan has the potential to disrupt the exam and fail to provide accurate results. Some tests require the patient to consume a contrast dye that can highlight a specific spot in their bodies, and eating food can disrupt this process. The contrast material may be given by the mouth, injection or an enema.

The contrast dye can be ingested in the following ways:

  • By Mouth If the patient’s esophagus or stomach is being scanned, they may need to drink an unpleasant liquid that has a contrast material;
  • By Injection A contrast agent can be injected through a vein in the arm so that the images of the gallbladder, urinary tract, liver and blood vessels appear more clearly in the exam results; or
  • By Enema In this scenario, a contrast agent would be inserted into the rectum to get a better view of the intestines. This may make patients feel bloated or uncomfortable.

2. Wear Comfortable Clothes

One of the best ways to prepare for a CT scan is to wear loose clothes. Tight clothing can negatively affect the scanning procedure, according to CDI. Furthermore, patients should remove any electronic gadgets before the scan, as electronic fields can disrupt the accuracy of the scan.

For more information:

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