What it’s Like to Have a CT Scan | Cancer Research UK


A CT scan helps your doctor make a diagnosis,
decide about what treatment you need or find out if your treatment is working.
This type of scan takes a series of x rays and uses a computer to put them together.
Before your scan you may need to drink either half a litre of water or a type of dye called
a contrast medium. This helps to make the scan clearer.
Before most scans you have a small tube put into your vein which connects to a drip containing
the dye. Again, this helps to show up the inside of
your body more clearly on the scan. During the scan the bed moves in and out of
the scanner. You may find it a bit noisy.
As the drip goes in you’ll probably get a metallic taste in your mouth, feel warm
and you might think you are passing water, you’re not.
These feelings pass quickly. The radiographer controls the scan from a
separate room. The CT machine takes pictures of your body
from different angles and builds up a series of cross sections.
This creates a very detailed picture of the part of your body being scanned. Most scans
take just a few minutes. The whole thing takes about 90 minutes and
you usually get the results within a couple of weeks.

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