CT Abdomen/Pelvis

A CT scan of the abdomen and pelvic areas (from the lung bases to the bottom of the pelvic bone) is performed to diagnose common problems such as chronic pain, appendicitis, diseases of the stomach, small bowel or colon, diseases of the liver, pancreas, kidneys, bladder or reproductive organs. A CT of the abdomen/pelvis can also evaluate the vascular and bony structures of this area.

How do I prepare for the exam?

No special preparation is needed. You may be asked to remove jewelry, dental devices, and glasses.

If you are allergic to contrast, please notify us when your exam is scheduled. On the day of your exam, the technologist will have you fill out a questionnaire prior to your scan to eliminate the possibility of an allergic reaction.

What can I expect during the exam?

This exam is conducted by a radiologic technologist specially trained in CT.

Upon arrival to the department, if your exam was ordered with oral contrast, you will be required to drink 2 glasses of contrast. This contrast fills your digestive tract to allow the Radiologist to better differentiate the structures of the abdomen and pelvis.

After you finish drinking the contrast, you will wait approximately 60 minutes to give the contrast time to move through your system.

If your exam is ordered with IV contrast, during the wait period, a technologist or RN will start an IV in your arm.

You will lie on your back on the exam table, with your arms above your head. You will be asked to lie very still, sometimes holding your breath (instructions will be given through the machine).

The technologist will ensure the contrast is injected, and you may feel a warm sensation or get a metallic taste in your mouth. You will feel the table move in and out of the machine.

The exam usually lasts about 10 to 15 minutes.

What can I expect after the exam?

Your scan will be read by a radiologist and a written report will be sent to your physician, who will contact you with results.