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Health Services

CT Scan

What is a CT Scan?

A CT or "CAT" scan stands for Computerized (Axial) Tomography. It is a sophisticated type of X-ray that produces images using a computer to show cross-sectional images of the body at different planes. A computer reconstructs these “slices” to produce the actual pictures of your inner structures. Considering that some slices are as thin as 0.5 mm, a CT scan offers much more image detail than a traditional X-ray — which means your physician gets the best information to make the most accurate diagnosis.

What to Expect?

You will be expected to lie on a table and hold very still. Because each CT procedure varies, you may also be expected to drink oral contrast and/or be injected with an intravenous contrast. The procedure normally takes 10-30 minutes depending on the specific procedure. Please consult your physician or our staff if you have any questions regarding what to expect during your procedure.

Please tell us:

• If you have any kidney issues (i.e. transplant, removal, kidney failure, etc…)
• If you are allergic to iodine or other materials
• If you are pregnant
• If you are claustrophobic and feel that you might be unable to lie still for long periods of time
• If you are a diabetic on Glucophage, Blyburide, Metformin, or Blucovance
• Nursing


CAT Scan of Abdomen/Pelvis

• No solid foods after 10:00 pm.
• Liquids and medications can be taken as usual.
• Mix half a bottle of the Omnipaque with 16oz of any liquid* and drink after 10pm. Then mix the other half with 16oz of any liquid* and drink starting 2 hours prior to your appointment time.
(* any liquid besides milk)
Diabetic patients, if you take Metformin (glucophage) and are scheduled for a CAT scan of the abdomen, tell the receptionist. This medication should be stopped two days before and for two days after the CAT scan. Your clinician might order a blood test to check your kidney status, so talk with your clinician before resuming the Metformin.

CAT Scan of Neck, Chest, Liver, or Kidneys

No solid foods 4 hours prior to your exam.
Liquids and medications can be taken.

CAT Scan of Sinus, Head, or Extremity

No preparation is necessary.
If you are scheduled for a neck, chest or abdomen CT, lab work may be required before your exam can be performed. The lab work will check your kidney function and the labs must be done at least 48 hours prior to your exam in order to assure the results are received in adequate time. Lab work cannot be older than 30 days.

Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.