beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Exams and Procedures for CT

Before the exam

Please do not eat solid foods for at least three hours before your test. You may, however drink clear liquids during this time as well as take your usual medications.

You are scheduled to arrive one to one and a half hours before your scan to allow time for preparation. Please consult the specific exam list below for more details.

During the Exam

You will be asked to lie on an x-ray table once you enter the CT room. This table will move in and out of the CT scanner (a large donut-shaped machine that is open on both ends) while acquiring images of your body. You will be required to lie very still during the scan and may also be asked to follow some specific breathing instructions.

After the Exam

You may resume your normal daily routine after your exam. If you were given IV contrast for your exam, be sure to increase your fluid intake to help clear the material from your system.

Getting Your Results

The exam images will first be viewed by a radiologist, a physician specializing in analyzing these exams. Our radiologists will review the results of your CT scan with your doctor who will then explain them to you. Your doctor should have access to your exam results within 24 hours.

Types of exams