Normal CT of the
abdomen.

CT of the abdomen,
demonstrating
multiple areas
of abnormality
throughout the liver.
These are metastatic
tumors from a colon
cancer.

Normal CT of the
abdomen showing
the liver on the left
side of the image,
the kidneys on the
bottom of the image,
and the pancreas
and gall bladder
near the top of
the image. The
stomach contains the
liquid contrast
drink (bright white).
 

What to Expect During a CT of the Abdomen

The exact procedure you will follow may be different than the information below, but this is a general description of the exam.

You will not be able to eat or drink anything two hours prior to your exam. Shortly before your exam, you will be asked to drink a liquid contrast material. You must wait 30 minutes to one hour for the contrast to enter your bowels prior to having your scan. If you prefer, you can pick up your oral contrast material from the radiology department the day prior to your exam. Be sure to get specific instructions from CT personnel.

A CT technologist will position you on the exam table. For most exams, a needle will be placed in a vein of the arm or hand to allow iodine contrast to be injected during the scan. This allows your doctor to better see the arteries, veins, and organs in your abdomen and pelvis.

As the exam begins, you will be asked to take several deep breaths and to then hold your breath for a short period of time while the scan is made. You will feel the exam table move as the scan progresses. During the scan, you will hear a "whirring" sound as the x-ray tube rotates around you. If iodine contrast is used, you will feel a warm sensation during the injection. This is a normal response to the contrast injection.

Typically, the exam will take 15 to 30 minutes.
 

What to Expect During a CT of the Brain

What to Expect During a CT of the Chest

When Your Child Needs a CT Scan

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