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CT Scan (cont.)

CT Scan Preparation

If a patient is going to have a contrast injection, he or she should not have anything to eat or drink for a few hours before the CT scan because the injection may cause stomach upset. To receive the contrast injection, an IV is inserted into the arm just prior to the scan. The contrast then enters the body through the IV.

Prior to most CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis, it is important to drink an oral contrast agent that contains dilute barium. This contrast agent helps the radiologist identify the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small and large bowel), detect abnormalities of these organs, and to separate these structures from other structures within the abdomen. The patient will be asked to drink slightly less than a quart spread out over 1.5 to 2 hours.

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