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A CT scan is an x-ray that makes cross-sectional images. In this case, the images are focused in the abdomen. A CT scan is done to study the organs and vascular system for signs: injury, tumors, or other diseases.
Your doctor may recommend an abdominal CT if you have the following symptoms: pain, bowel changes, blood in your urine or stool, urinary difficulties, jaundice, weight loss, unexplained fever, abdominal injury, or fluid accumulation in the abdomen.
Many conditions can be diagnosed with this test, including:tumors and cysts Spread of cancer from another location (metastases) Aortic aneurysm Gallbladder disease, including gallstones Pancreatitis Abscess Kidney stones Kidney disease Bleeding in the abdomen Liver disease Muscle and bone disorders
Risk Factors for Complications During the Procedure A contrast dye is sometimes used. The dye can lead to the worsening of your renal or kidney function. Previous allergic or anaphylactic response to contrast dye is another complication.
If you are pregnant, your doctor may choose test for you.
What to Expect Prior to Procedure You may be given a contrast dye. If this is the case:Do not eat or drink anything for four hours before your exam.
You will need to wear a hospital gown. You will also need to remove anything containing metal from your head and neck. This includes: jewelry, false teeth, glasses, and hair barrettes.
During the Procedure, if a contrast dye is needed, it will be given in a barium solution drink. Or, it will be injected into a vein. You'll be positioned on a special movable table part-way inside the CT scanner.
Description of the Procedure The table advances you very slowly through the CT scanner. You'll need to be very still during the entire test. As the scanner takes pictures, you'll hear some humming and clicking. The technician will ask you to hold your breath at certain points so that the picture is not blurred by movement. You are able to talk to the technician and/or doctor during the exam. If you are in pain, frightened, or concerned in any way, you can talk with them.
After Procedure If you've received contrast dye, drink extra fluids to more quickly flush it out of your body.How Long Will It Take?It may take 10-60 minutes. The length depends on how much area must be scanned and how much detail is needed.
Will It Hurt? The scan itself will not hurt, although you may feel restless. When you receive an injection of contrast dye, you may feel flushed. You may also notice a salty or metallic taste in your mouth. Some people experience brief nausea as the dye circulates.
Possible Complications Allergic or anaphylactic response to contrast dye
Average Hospital Stay None
Postoperative Care None
Outcome Your doctor should be able to spot any abnormalities in the organs and/or tissues within your abdomen.
Call Your Doctor If Any of the Following Occur You have had contrast dye and notice: Hives Itching Nausea Swollen, itchy eyes, Tightness of throat and/or Difficulty breathing