Preparing for a CT

What to expect during your CAT scan

You may not be required to do any special preparations for a CAT scan, however, this will depend on which part of your body will be scanned. You may be asked to:

  • Not eat for a few hours before the procedure if contrast material is required
  • Change into a hospital gown
  • Remove any metal objects, including jewelry

Inform your technologist if you:

  • May be pregnant
  • Have any allergies including those to contrast material or any substance that contains iodine
  • Have diabetes
  • Have a history of kidney problems
  • Have claustrophobia

Some CT scans require intravenous contrast material to help evaluate areas of the body under examination. Other types of contrast material can be administered orally or through an enema. Unlike a nuclear medicine scan, the contrast materials used for computed tomography are not radioactive.

Lower-dose CT scanning

It is common to have questions about your CT scan and the amount of radiation exposure. Your physicians and the American College of Radiology support the position that the benefits of CT imaging far outweigh the risk of exposure to radiation for clinically indicated exams. Scripps is committed to utilizing the lowest possible dose of radiation to achieve the necessary images during your exam.

Lower-dose CT scans are available at some Scripps imaging locations.