Why do I need to drink contrast?
The oral contrast fills the colon for better visualization on the images.
Why do I need the IV contrast?
The IV contrast enhances all of the vascular structures on the images (i.e. liver, pancreas, kidneys). It will also characterize potential pathology.
Could I have a reaction to the IV contrast?
Yes, but the chances are minimal. It has the same risk for reaction as any medication does, which is why we use contrast screening forms—to flag possible patients who are at risk for having a reaction to the contrast.
Why is a head CT done most frequently without IV?
Most pathology can be detected in the brain without IV contrast. If there is suspicion, contrast may be given or a MRI might be suggested for further evaluation.
How long is this exam going to take?
Depending on the anatomy being scanned, a CT can take from 5 minutes up to 20 minutes.
Is it ok that I took my medication(s) this morning before I came?
Yes. Any type of medication is fine to take the morning of your exam. If you take a certain kind of diabetic medication, you may be asked to withhold for 48 hours after the exam.
What is this test going to show?
A CT scan is a good way to image and evaluate bones, internal organs, the brain and vascular structures within the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis.