How to Prepare for a CT Scan

When you need a CT scan in New Jersey, turn to ImageCare Centers. We proudly facilitate medical diagnostic imaging including CT scans with your comfort and satisfaction as our top priority.

Here is a little bit of insight into what a CT scan is so you know what to expect. CT stands for computerized tomography. This scan provides cross-sectional images of any part of the body. In certain instances, it may be more conclusive or beneficial than a traditional X-ray because it takes multiple X-rays of a certain area of the body and then combines those images to provide a more detailed and holistic view of what is going on.

There are a number of reasons why your doctor may call for a CT scan. This may be in order to get a closer look at internal organs such as the lungs or kidneys. It may be used to diagnose brain tumors or certain types of cancer. Or it might be used to quickly examine internal injuries due to physical trauma. During the exam you will lie very still on either your stomach, back, or spine while remaining very still.

In order to achieve a successful CT scan evaluation, there are a few things you as the patient are responsible for regarding preparation. All of these will be discussed with you in detail prior to your scan so you have all of the information necessary. Certain aspects of preparation may vary depending on what area of the body is being scanned or if you are having what is called a contrast exam. During a contrast exam, a special dye is used to highlight certain areas of your body. This dye may be administered by ingestion, injection, or enema.

Woman on her back about to enter a CT scan.

Prior to your scan you will need to discuss certain details such as:

  • Letting us know if you are pregnant or could be pregnant
  • Letting us know if you are diabetic
  • Providing a complete list of medications including nonprescription
  • Informing us if you have any allergies
  • Letting us know if you have a pacemaker or cardioverter
  • Letting us know if you are currently being treated for an infection

For your scan you will need to:

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing or you may have to put on a medical gown
  • Remove any jewelry or metallic objects including hairpins

If you are having a Contrast CT Scan:

  • You will need to avoid eating and drinking for at least four hours before your exam
  • You may take any necessary medications prior to your exam with a small amount of clear liquid,
  • If your medication requires food be taken with it, please contact us prior to your exam

CT scans are quick, painless, and accurate at diagnosing or evaluating a condition. Feel confident that ImageCare Centers will provide an experience that is as comfortable and efficient as possible.