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

What is CT Scan of the Abdomen?

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
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

A CT scan is done to study the organs and tissue in the abdomen and to look for signs of:

  • Injury
  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Other diseases

Your doctor may recommend an abdominal CT if you have the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bowel changes
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Urinary difficulties
  • Jaundice (yellow skin)
  • Weight loss
  • Unexplained fever
  • Abdominal injury
  • Fluid build-up in the abdomen

Possible Complications

Sometimes a chemical (called contrast) is used to help improve the pictures. Complications with contrast are rare. If you are planning to have a CT scan with contrast, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Kidney failure

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the test.

A CT scan may not be advised if you are pregnant. Talk to your doctor.

Call Your Doctor

If you are given contrast, call your doctor if any of the following occurs after the test:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Swollen, itchy eyes
  • Tightness of throat
  • Difficulty breathing

In case of emergency, call 911.

 
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