CT Scan (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
During the Procedure
Most CT scans are conducted as an outpatient procedure. Since they do not require hospitalization, the patient has the test and then goes home.
After the Procedure
If the patient received a contrast injection, the IV is removed from the arm before going home. There should be no ill effects from the scan or the contrast injection. In the rare circumstance that the patient received sedation, they will be sent home once they are awake and alert. However, someone will have to drive the patient home.
The CT scan is interpreted by a radiologist, a medical doctor trained to interpret various X-ray studies. The results are forwarded to the doctor. How soon the doctor receives the report depends on the imaging center where the study is performed.
A CT scan of the neck.
When to Seek Medical Care
The reaction to the contrast is almost always immediate, so it is very rare to have a reaction after the patient leaves the facility. However, if a patient thinks they are having a delayed reaction to the contrast, they should call the facility where they had the exam.
Symptoms include itching and difficulty breathing or swallowing. If contrast leaked under the skin, the patient should look for increased redness, swelling, or pain. Patients will often be asked to come back the next day so their skin can be checked. There are no side effects of the exam itself, but patients who have multiple CT scans should discuss the radiation exposure with their physician.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017
Lawrence M. Davis, MD
Must Read Articles Related to CT Scan
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about CT Scan (CAT Scan, Computerized Axial Tomography):
CT Scan - Experience
Please describe your experience with CT Scan.
CT Scan - Helped With Your Diagnosis
Please describe how a CT Scan has helped in your diagnosis.
CT Scan - Why Performed
Why was your CT scan performed?
CT Scan - Preparation
What did you do to prepare for your CT Scan?
CT Scan - Complications
Did you experience any complications after your CT Scan?