CT Scan - FAQs Q: I have a pacemaker. Is it ok for me to have a CT? Yes, it is safe to have a CT. CT uses radiation, not magnets and will not be harmful to the pacemaker. Q: Do I need to remove metal for the scan? A: We will have you remove any metal that is in the area that we are looking at for the scan. You will not have to remove metal outside of the area that we are scanning. Q: Is there any preparation for my CT? A: Certain exams will require preparation. We may have you fast for the scan, obtain blood work prior to the scan, or drink barium before. Q: I am diabetic. Is it ok for me to have IV contrast for my CT? A: If you are taking metformin or a form of metformin we will have you stop the metformin after the scan for 48 hours and have you get a blood test that tests your kidney function. The provider who ordered the scan will get the blood test results and determine if you may start your metformin again. This is for IV contrast exams only. Q: I am claustrophobic and can’t do MRIs. Will I have a problem with a CT scan? A: Most people who are not able to do MRIs find that they do fine with CT scans. The CT machine is more of a donut shape than a tunnel like MRI. The scans are a lot faster and the machine is more open. If you have any concerns, feel free to call us at 366-1285 to make arrangements to stop by and see the machine before your scan. Q: I had a reaction to CT IV contrast in the past. Can I still have a CT with contrast? A: We do pre-medicate patients who have had minor allergic reactions to the IV contrast or iodine. It is a 12-hour preparation with Prednisone and Benadryl. Please contact the provider ordering the CT scan to see if this is an option. Q: I only have one kidney. Can I still have IV contrast? A: We will test your kidney function to determine if you are able to have IV contrast. The provider ordering the exam will make the final decision on if IV contrast is given or not. Q: Will I need a driver after having IV contrast? A: No, you will not need a driver after receiving IV contrast. You are able to do everything you normally would after. If you were pre-medicated for the scan due to an allergy to the CT contrast, you will need a driver before and after. Q: I am supposed to fast for my CT exam. What does this mean? A: We ask that you fast at least 6 hours prior to your CT scan. This includes water. You may take your medication with little sips of water. Q: Why do I need to drink barium (Readicat) before my CT scan? A: The barium is used to coat the inside of your stomach and intestines which allows them to be seen more clearly on a CT scan. The barium should be taken 90 min prior to your scan to allow time for the barium to make its way through all of your bowels. It is a good idea to increase your fluid intake after an imaging exam involving a barium-based contrast material to help remove the contrast material from your body. Barium-sulfate contrast materials are expelled from the body with feces. You can expect bowel movements to be white for a few days. Some patients may experience changes in their normal bowel movement patterns for the first 12 to 24 hours. Q: Why do I need IV contrast for my CT? A: IV contrast is an iodine based contrast that is injected through a vein. It is typically used to enhance: internal organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, adrenal glands, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, uterus, and bladder arteries and veins of the body, including vessels in the brain, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis and legs soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, fat and skin brain When an iodine-based contrast material is injected into your bloodstream, you may have a warm, flushed sensation and a metallic taste in your mouth that lasts for a few minutes. It is a good idea to increase your fluid intake (5-6 glasses of water) after an imaging exam involving an iodine-based contrast material to help remove the contrast material from your body. You will not notice any changes in your urine with the iodine-based contrast material.