• Has anyone had to have a CT Scan before?

    Asked by slhwtx on Monday, April 9, 2012

    Has anyone had to have a CT Scan before?

    I am concerned about having to drink this contrast dye as I have not had to before and don't know what to expect from it all. Any info would be great!

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • danellsar's Avatar

      My husband has had many CT's. It's a big xray machine. You lie on the table and they scan you. He had one done last week. The contrast dye isn't too bad, just a clear liquid that you drink. Sometimes they flavor it.

      I think in the grand scheme of things, not too bad, non invasive, and not painful, so don't stress too much.

      over 4 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I just had one last Friday. I was told "nothing by mouth" 6 hours prior to the test. I was given two bottles of barium sulfate to drink - one bottle to drink 2 hours prior to the exam and the other bottle to drink 1 hour prior to the exam. It tasted okay enough that I didn't have any trouble drinking both bottles. Mine looked and tasted something like a vanilla milkshake but not nearly as good as one. During the test, I laid down on my back. The machine gently elevated me and moved me in and out of the machine that did the scan. I just relaxed, tried to stay as still as possible, and held my breath when technician told me to while doing the scan. The scan did not last very long - maybe 5 minutes. The barium sulfate did make my stomach very slightly upset and I tasted it again when I burped several times - but it wasn't that bad.

      over 4 years ago
    • slhwtx's Avatar

      Thank you both for the info. That helps. I do have to drink that Barium sulfate stuff too. Good to know it isn't horrible. :)

      over 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Cat scan is your friend, don't fear it, it is one of the best tools the dr.s have to see what is wrong with you, how far cancer has spread, or if it has spread at all. It is easy to do, I have had at least 20 over the last 24 years. A pet scan is similar, but instead of drinking something you are given a shot, the shot circulates through your body and makes spots that could be cancer show up in a red color on the scan. This is a great tool that is more recent, it wasn't around when I first started having treatments. Don't worry about the scan it is easy, just a big machine, and it will be cold in the room so wear something with long sleeves, they will give you a warm blanket to put over you if your cold too. Good luck with it.

      over 4 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar

      The barium Sulfate may make you constipated they tell me but I get a very short diarrhea episode - nothing horrible - I prefer the Mocca flavor. They may also do an injected contrast. You may feel warm from it but absolutely no problem and the pictures are suitable for framing (ha ha)

      over 4 years ago
    • Chris' Avatar

      Yes CT scans are your friend... The white milky liquid tastes terrible - make sure to keep it cold - goes down a little better and then the orange juices stuff tastes okay :) I had to drink 1 bottle the night before and another 2 hours prior to the test. Once I was checked in for the test and IV in - they gave me a cup of the orange juice stuff.

      The CT scan is easy - not scary at all - just be prepared - when they shot the additional dye in through IV - it feels like you have wet your pants - but you have not LOL

      over 4 years ago
    • Indyeastside's Avatar

      Been a while ago, but its no big deal. No metal like rings or watches due to magnetism. Really just lay there while it works.

      over 4 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      I had the vanilla and it wasn't too bad. Just remember to drink it cold because it makes it easier to drink. I was also offered berry flavored but not crazy about that flavor. It really wasn't that bad so don't stress yourself over drinking this. The CT scan was over pretty quick. It is easy to stress about something you've never been through but please don't stress about drinking the barium sulfate or even the scan. Good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      Each hospital has their own regimen. I've had CTs at a couple and they were different. At one they put a clear liquid dye into water and made me drink it. There was no taste. Another i had berry smoothie barium sulfate.. chalky but not terrible. Also, there could be an IV contrast dye injected into an IV. With that there is a flush of heat throughout the body (tongue, hert) some people panic, but its nothing. Some people feel like they peed themselves. But they didn't.

      If its a PET CT scan, you could havethe barium plus be injected ith radioactive sugar. Doesn't hurt or anyyhing, then you rest quietly for about an hour... CT can take 5-15 minutes, PET CT can take up to 2 hours.

      Afterwards, pay close attention to chanes in skin or breathing. after severL CT scans i had an allergic reaction to the dye. My skin looked and felt sunburnt. I ended up in the ER getting prednisone, bendryl etc.and have to premedicate for contrast dye now.

      No worries, you should be fine.

      over 4 years ago
    • judalou's Avatar

      The best advice I got about the contrast dye drink is to "refrigerate" it the night before or longer. Had banana myself. The coldness helps.

      over 4 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar

      I have had about four ct scans. My first which gave me the result of Stage IIIc ovarian cancer was in the morning. Later that day my family insisted I go to the ER because I was barely able to move around and I was given a second ct scan. It turned our my heart went out of rhythm.

      A suggestion I got from my cousin was to gulp down half the bottle and then the other half in fifteen minutes. That worked for me.

      The test itself is not a big deal.

      over 4 years ago
    • Karen's Avatar

      I have had about 3 CT scans, the flavored contrast, makes me nausea, my doc gave me a RX for zofran, and I feel fine, it makes me a little sleepy for a couple of hours afterwards, but I do not throw up.

      over 4 years ago
    • RuthAnne's Avatar

      CTs are no problem. You're in and out of the machine in about a minute. No problem with the barium. Berry flavor is also fine. The only intestinal thing I had afterward was a light-colored stool.

      over 4 years ago
    • susie81610's Avatar

      Whenever I have to have the test with barium it constipates me so be careful with that. I always come home after test and drink milk of magnesium just to make sure it works its way out if not it turns into a big clump of chalk and very uncomfortable to try and get out. This was suggested by U of M everytime I had one there they would give it to me right after the test at the hospt.
      As for flavor and taste not bad at all. I gag on alot of stuff like that and I can down the barium so know its not bad.
      Also wear comfortable clothes but make sure you have no metal on anything I don't even wear a bra that way you don't have to change or take anything on or off.
      Good Luck to you its one of the easiest test you will ever have done. :)

      over 4 years ago
    • Jeana1975's Avatar

      I had my first CT Scan on the 3rd of August, and it found my Ovarian Tumor. You will get an IV for a very important reason. You have to drink something called Barium Fluid, it's a special kind of dye that is activated during your CT Scan (a special agent is injected through the IV and it reacts with the dye to light you up on the inside, proverbially speaking, for the CT Scan), and it makes you kind of feel like you're wetting your panties, but you're not! For me, it was a bit intimidating. I was sucked in and spit out of a donut shaped contraption that had the GE label on it, and all the while I thought of that GE Commercial, where the employees who build the CT Machines at GE got to meet Cancer Survivors who's lives were changed by those very CT Scanning machines. It doesn't hurt, and your Tech will do all they can to make you comfortable. I got a triangular shaped pillow under my legs which felt great on my back. Also, if your Tech is as good as mine was, they'll flavor the Barium Fluid with Tang...so it just tastes like watered down Tang :D I know by now you've had your CT Scan, and know all this (at least I hope). I really hope all went well for you :)

      about 4 years ago
    • nehdez's Avatar

      Hi, yes I had it done and had to drink the beverage that was just like a powerade or gatorade.. I normally don't drink those either so it was a taste I didn't enjoyed, but it wasn't horrible, either. Just make sure it's cold and drink it quickly so as not have to linger over the taste. All in all the whole experience wasn't as bad as I expected! Norma

      about 4 years ago
    • babydoll362's Avatar

      I had a CT Scan done at OHSU yesterday after drinking a litter of Water with thier stuff for the dye. Before I was warm,BUT yesterday I felt I was on Fire,Literaly on Fire. I asked why she said six months ago they changed the Dye to more intense is that true.

      almost 4 years ago
    • babydoll362's Avatar

      Yesterday I went to OHSU had a CT scan drank a litter of water for the Dye they shoot in my IV. Before I got warm,Yesterday I felt I was on Fire,Literally on Fire. I asked why,nurse said six months ago they changed the amount of Dye to more.Is this true.

      almost 4 years ago

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