Preparing For a CT or CAT Scan?

CT Tech work station

Patients are asked to notify their healthcare provider if they are pregnant; have asthma or allergies to medications, contrast dye, iodine or shellfish; or have certain medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, kidney problems or thyroid conditions.


Patients are generally asked to not eat or drink anything for at least four hours prior to the exam. If CT oral contrast is ordered, drink it according to the directions and time provided for the specific CT exam.


Once at PIC, patients will change into a gown and be asked to remove jewelry and watches.  A locker is available to secure clothing and personal items. The technologist will review the procedure and if needed, provide the patient with additional CT oral contrast to drink.  If intravenous contrast is needed, it will be administered at the start of the exam. Patients may experience a warm sensation throughout the body after the contrast injection and a metallic taste in the mouth. These sensations typically disappear in a few minutes.


Occasionally a patient may be allergic to the contrast material. Reactions may include sneezing, hives or difficulty breathing.  Anyone having a reaction will be treated prior to his or her release.

After the procedure, drink plenty of fluids for several hours to assist in flushing out the contrast material.  Normal activity and diet can be resumed.