Preparing for Your CT Scan

How to Prepare for Your CT Scan:

Contrast studies require four hours of fasting prior to the exam. This is a precautionary measure based on possible nausea reaction to the iodine contrast solution commonly used. 

Non-contrast studies have no special dietary requirements. 

If you have undergone a recent barium study, an x-ray study should be requested to determine if you are free of barium. If barium is present in the area of interest, the decision to perform the scan will be at the radiologist's discretion. 

Preparation by Examination Site: 

Abdomen - Preparation: Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before the exam. Patient must drink oral contrast 1 hour before exam 

        Scan Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Pelvis - Preparation: Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before the exam. Patient must drink oral contrast 2 hours before exam.

  Scan Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Chest - Preparation: Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before the exam.

             Scan Time: 15 - 20 minutes.

Head - Preparation: Nothing to eat or drink 3 hours before the exam.

           Scan Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Spine - Preparation: No prep necessary.

            Scan Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Soft Tissue Neck - Preparation: Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before exam.

           Scan Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Extremities - Preparation: No preparation necessary unless soft tissue exam, then nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before exam. 

           Scan Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Facial Bones - Preparation: No prep necessary.

            Scan Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Abscess Drainage - Preparation: Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before exam. 

            Scan Time: 30 - 60 minutes

Biopsies - Preparation: Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before exam.

            Scan Time: 30 - 60 minutes

Cyst Aspiration - Preparation: Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before exam.

           Scan Time: 30 - 60 minutes

NOTE: Any patient taking oral medications should continue to do so as scheduled, regardless of the time for the CT scan.