Your doctor has requested a computed tomography scan (CT or CAT) of your abdomen and pelvis. CT scans use X-ray technology and advanced computer analysis to create detailed pictures of your body. A CT acan of the abdomen and pelvis can help diagnose problems in the bladder, uterus, prostate, liver or bowels. Cedars-Sinai's S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center has a team of specialists who focus on taking and interpreting CT scans. Our team of expert physicians, nurses and technologists is led by Cindy Kallman, MD, Chief, Body CT.
Before Arriving for Your Exam
Patients who are diabetic and taking Glucophage will need clearance from their referring physician before the exam.
If your exam includes an IV injection of a contrast dye, you will be instructed not to eat or drink anything for three hours before your exam. Not all scans use a contrast dye; in those that do, it is given through an injection or orally. The dye improves the image quality by highlighting certain structures, such as arteries, and making them more visible on the scan. If you are asked to take contrast orally, you will then be asked to wait 90 minutes for the contrast to reach your abdomen/pelvis area.
Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home and wear comfortable clothing.
Although we do not anticipate any delay in your scheduled appointment, we recommend that you bring a book, magazine or music player to help pass any time you may need to wait.
A radiology nurse or technologist will ask you a few questions regarding your medical history.
Please tell the technologist, radiology nurse and/or physician of any allergies you may have.
During Your Exam
While positioning you on the exam table, the technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have.
If you are receiving contrast, it may be given through an injection in your IV.
The dye may cause you to experience a warm sensation all over your body and a metal taste in your mouth. This is normal.
If you experience any itching, sneezing, nasal congestion, scratchy throat or swelling of your face you should notify the technologist immediately.
Most often, you will be asked to lie flat on your back with your arms over your head.
The table you are on will slide into the scanner. The scanner is open at the back and the front, allowing you to see out. The technologist will always be able to see and hear you during your exam.
You will be asked to hold very still and at times to hold your breath.
This procedure usually takes approximately 15-30 minutes.
After Your Exam
There are no restrictions placed on you after this procedure. You may eat and drive as normal.
If you received an injection of contrast dye, you should drink plenty of liquid to help flush it out of your system.
Your study will be read by an imaging physician who specializes in the interpretation of CT scans. The results will be sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.
Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
Below: 3-dimensional CT image of the portal veins (arrows), which supply blood to the liver.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.