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CT Scan Unit

HNDL’s Imaging Department offers patients the most advanced scanner technology available, providing images of exceptional quality and lowest possible radiation dose.  Higher quality images mean more information for your physician to diagnose and plan the treatment for your medical condition.  Lower dose means increased safety for you.


Preparing for your exam  

What should I eat or drink?

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours beforehand, especially if a contrast material is going to be used in your exam. You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. Also inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions, such as a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, or thyroid problems.  Any of these conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect.

What if I am allergic to IV contrast material?

If you think you may be allergic to IV contrast material or have experienced a prior reaction to IV contrast material, please notify your referring physician prior to scheduling your CT scan appointment.  If you have a known allergy to contrast material, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. 

What should I bring to my appointment?

In order for us to perform your test, you will need to bring your prescription, insurance card, and any related insurance forms or pre-approvals. 

When should I arrive for my appointment?

When you schedule your appointment, our scheduling associate will let you know how soon before your appointment time you should arrive.  Depending on the exact type of exam, this may be 30-60 minutes before your scheduled appointment.  This will allow time for registration and to complete all necessary paperwork, forms, and questionnaires.

If you are having a CT scan of your abdomen or pelvis, you will need to arrive 1 hour before your appointment. You will be asked to drink oral content material (either barium, iodine, or water) and to wait for one hour before the examination, which gives the oral contrast enough time to coat your stomach and small intestine.   In some medical conditions and types of study, you may be asked to drink one bottle of barium sulfate at bedtime the night before the study.


 Will I have to drink something for my scan and why?

Some abdominal CT scans require the administration of water or oral contrast material to allow the radiologist to evaluate your bowel and also to separate bowel from other important structures.  Oral contrast materials may be made with barium or iodine.  Barium-based contrast material is a thick white flavored drink similar to a milk shake.  Iodine-based contrast material is a concentrate mixed with water or juice.  For optimal imaging, approximately one liter of oral contrast material should be consumed during the hour prior to your scan.

 What if I might be pregnant?

Women should always inform their physician and the CT technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.


 Will I need an IV (Intravenous) for CT scan?

Your physician and the radiologist will determine if IV contrast material will be needed for your CT scan.  IV contrast material containing iodine is used to highlight organs and blood vessels that are otherwise difficult to visualize.  If IV contrast material is required for your CT scan, a small IV will be placed in your arm or hand prior to the CT scan.


During your CT scan

Our CT technologist will take you into the CT scanner room.  Here, you will be positioned on the table which will move into the gantry or donut of the CT scanner.   At this point, the CT technologist will exit the room.  Through an intercom system, you and the technologist will always be able to speak with one another. 


 After your CT scan

Once your scan is completed, you may resume your regular diet and activities.  We recommend that you drink plenty of non-alcoholic, decaffeinated fluids, such as water or juice, to help your body flush out any IV or oral contrast material.


How will I know the results of my CT scan?

After your CT scan, our radiologist will read the images and dictate a report that will be delivered for you in 24 hours from your appointment.