CT Scan of the Abdomen
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
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CT Scan of the Abdomen Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

Definition

A CT scan is a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the body. In this case, images of the abdomen are taken.

CT Scan at Kidneys
CT Scan at Kidneys
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What to Expect

Prior to Test

Your doctor may instruct you to:

  • Avoid eating or drinking anything for four hours before the test if contrast will be used.
  • Remove any metal objects (eg, jewelry, hearing aids, dentures).

Description of the Test

In some cases, contrast is needed. It helps make certain organs and tissue more visible on the images. It is sometimes given by mouth in a drink. Other times, it will be injected into a vein.

You will be positioned on a special moving table. The table will advance slowly through the CT scanner. You will need to be still during the entire test. As the scanner takes pictures, you will hear humming and clicking. To get a clear picture, the technician will ask you to hold your breath at certain points. You will be able to talk to the technician via an intercom.

After Test

If you had contrast, you may be told to drink extra fluid. This will flush the contrast from your body.

How Long Will It Take?

About 10-60 minutes

**Will It Hurt?**

You may feel flushed if you received contrast. You may notice a salty or metallic taste in your mouth. You may also feel nauseous.

Results

The CT images will be sent to a radiologist who will analyze them. Your doctor will receive the results and discuss them with you.

References

RESOURCES:

American Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.org/

Radiological Society of North America
http://www.radiologyinfo.org/

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Association of Radiologists
http://www.car.ca/

Canadian Radiation Protection Association
http://www.crpa-acrp.ca/

References:

CT-scan. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ct-scan/FL00065 . Accessed October 15, 2007.

Rydberg, J, Buckwalter KA, Caldemeyer KS, et al. Multisection CT: scanning techniques and clinical applications. Radiographics. 2000; 20:1787.

Zaret BL. Yale University School of Medicine Patient's Guide to Medical Tests. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin; 1997.

 
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