CT of the Abdomen/Pelvis
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A CT scan, or CAT scan, is a common term for computerized tomography, a painless diagnostic imaging test that displays two and three dimensional images of internal structures of the body on a computer screen. This Cat scan uses a narrow beam of X-rays and high-powered computers to generate images of bones and soft-tissues in the body.
Need to Know
Nice to Know
Why is This Exam Done?
Your doctor has requested a computed tomography scan (CT or CAT) of your abdomen and pelvis. CT scans use X-ray technology and advanced computer analysis to create detailed pictures of your body. A CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis can help diagnose problems in the bladder, uterus, prostate, liver or bowels.
This procedure is typically used to help diagnose the cause of abdominal or pelvic pain. It is also used to identify diseases of the internal organs such as:
- •Crohn’s Disease
- •Cancers of the colon, liver, kidneys, pancreas and bladder
- •Kidney and bladder stones
- •Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) and other diseases of the vessels such as blood clots
CT scanning of the abdomen/pelvis is also performed to quickly identify injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys or other internal organs in cases of trauma. It can be a useful tool in surgical planning and to guide biopsies, as well as to assist in properly administering radiation treatment for tumors.
What Will Happen During the Exam?
- While positioning you on the exam table, the technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have.
- If you are receiving contrast, it may be given through an injection in an IV placed in your arm.
- The dye may cause you to experience a warm sensation all over your body and a metal taste in your mouth. This is normal.
- If you experience any itching, sneezing, nasal congestion, scratchy throat or swelling of your face you should notify the technologist immediately.
- Most often, you will be asked to lie flat on your back with your arms over your head.
- The table you are on will slide into the scanner. The scanner is open at the back and the front, allowing you to see out. The technologist will always be able to see and hear you during your exam.
- You will be asked to hold very still and at times to hold your breath.
- This procedure usually takes approximately 15-30 minutes
How Should I Prepare?
- You will have to drink a special contrast agent (E-Z Cat), which you can pick up at any of our offices.
- 1 1/2 hours before your CT scan appointment mix the packet of E-Z Cat Dry with 24 0z (3 cups) of water and shake well. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, shake again, and drink all three cups. You may add powdered flavoring such as Kool-Aid or Crystal Light to make more flavorful if desired. For same day appointments, Jefferson Radiology has premixed oral prep that can be picked up at any of our locations.
- Women should always inform their physician and the CT technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
- Please inform your doctor and our technologist if you have any known allergies to contrast (dye).
Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home and wear comfortable clothing
Please take all the medications that have been prescribed to you by your doctor. Let our staff know what medications you have taken prior to your exam
Food and Drink
You should not eat solid foods for two hours prior to your test. You may, however, drink plenty of clear fluids, such as water and broth. You may also drink black decaffeinated coffee or tea.
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The benefits of CT of the Abdomen/Pelvis:
- Can provide more detailed, accurate results than traditional x-ray
- Can detect problems/disease earlier
- Involves minimal risks
- Painless, noninvasive and accurate
- Fast and simple
- Can be performed if you have an implanted medical device, unlike MRI
- May eliminate the need for exploratory surgery or biopsy
Where Can I Get This Exam?
CT of the abdomen/pelvis is performed at the locations: