You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your CT exam. Metal objects can affect the image, so avoid clothing with zippers and snaps. You may be asked to remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids and any removable dental work that could obscure the images. Women should always inform their doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
Please restrict your diet to clear liquids for four hours prior to the exam. Additionally, an oral contrast prep will need to be taken before your exam.
E-Z CAT oral prep:
E-Z M is a premixed barium oral contrast. You will be given two bottles of the E-Z M. The day of the exam you will be asked to drink one bottle an hour and a half prior to the exam. Thirty minutes prior to the exam you will then drink ¾ of the last bottle. Finally, then minutes before the exam begins you will drink the last ¼.
The technologist will position you on the padded table and make you as comfortable as possible. It's very important that you remain still during the CT scan. Even slight movement can result in blurry images and may make it necessary to take more images. However, the table itself will move during the exam to position you for the next image.
The scanning chamber is open at both ends. You will enter the chamber either head-first or feet-first, depending upon the area of your body to be scanned. Claustrophobia is usually not a problem in CT scanning, because the opening in the CT machine is relatively large, and the entire body is never totally within the chamber. Please tell the technologists if you experience any uneasiness, and they will take whatever steps they can to help you feel less anxious.
If your physician has requested it, a contrast solution will be administered through an intravenous injection, similar to what you experience when you have a blood test. You will probably feel a warm flush throughout your body, and you may have a funny taste in your mouth as the solution is injected.
As the scan begins, you'll hear some humming, buzzing or clicking sounds and feel the table move. Do not be alarmed. The noise and table movement are a necessary and normal part of the exam. During the test you may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time. The entire procedure will take approximately 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of exam being performed.