What to Expect During a CT Scan

A computed tomography (CT) scan uses special X-ray equipment to make cross-sectional pictures of your body.

Before Your CT Scan

If you are having an intravenous (IV) contrast, you will be given specific food and drink instructions before your exam. If you are having an IV contrast, please bring a list of your current medications including the dosage to your exam. You may need to stop certain medications before the test.

If you are having an oral contrast, you must drink your oral contrast liquid 13 hours and one hour prior to your exam. Otherwise, no food or drink other than water for four hours before your exam. Please pick up your oral contrast no later than 9 p.m. the day before your test. You will need to bring your written physician order.

Please complete any necesssary blood work before your CT scan. Creatinine is required within 30 days for patients over the age of 60 and within 90 days for diabetic patients under the age of 60.

Please arrive 15 minutes before your test and go to the main lobby desk. If your appointment is after 5 p.m. during the week or on Saturday or Sunday, please go to Emergency Room registration. Make sure to bring your written physician order, insurance card and photo ID. Wear comfortable clothes without zippers or metallic buttons.

Tell your technologist if you have allergies, kidney problems, take diabetes medicine, are or may be pregnant or ate or drank anything before your test.

During Your CT Scan

If you are having an IV contrast, you will be given your contrast through an IV line or injection. You then lie on a table that will slide into the CT scanner. You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds throughout the test. You should relax and remain as still as possible.

After Your CT Scan

You will be able to resume your normal diet and actitivies immediately. The contrast liquid will pass naturally through your body. Contact your doctor for test results.