What To Expect Before Going For A CT Scan?

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CT scan (Computed Tomography Scan) is an imaging technique that uses several rotating X-ray beams to obtain images of internal organs. Compared to X-ray it provides detailed images of the inside of the body. So, it is always recommended over traditional diagnostic methods.

 There are various types of CT scans used to diagnose the problems inside the body such as:

  • NCCT (Non-Contrast Computed tomography) scan
  • HRCT (High-Resolution Computed Tomography) scan
  • CECT (Contrast Enhanced Computed Tomography) scan

In this article, we will cover the mentioned below points: 

  • Different Types of CT scan 
  • Why do you need a CT scan?
  • How is a CT scan done?
  • How to prepare before going for a CT scan?
  • What to do after a CT scan?
  • What are the side effects of a CT scan? 
  • How much time does a CT scan take?

Different Types Of CT Scan

NCCT scan is a non-contrast computed tomography scan. It is also known as a standard CT scan or CT scan plain. In this methodology, to obtain images of the inside of the body, contrast media is not used.

HRCT scan is high resolution computed tomography scan.  In this scanning methodology, special techniques are used to produce high-quality images. It is usually recommended for patients with respiratory system issues for a better diagnosis of the problem.

CECT scan is a contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan. In this methodology, a special contrast dye is used to detect the abnormalities in the blood vessels and obtain detailed images of the body. 

 Why Do You Need A CT Scan?

Compared to other imaging methods such as MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, and PET scan, CT scan is quick.  That’s why doctors choose CT scans over other imaging procedures. The computed tomography methodology is used to find the problems in internal organs as well as body parts such as the Spine, Abdomen, Shoulder, Chest, Heart, Brain, Knee, Heart and musculoskeletal system

Given Below Are Some Reasons Doctors Ask For CT Scan

  • Detect internal injuries and internal bleeding in an emergency case to plan quick treatment to save the life of the injured one.
  • Detect the damage due to heart attack and stroke. 
  • Diagnose the infection, abnormalities, tumors, etc.
  • Evaluate the bones for damages
  • Evaluate the blood vessels to detect any abnormalities.
  • Guided biopsy planning
  • Observe the progression of the disease and the response to the treatment. 

How Is A CT Scan Done?

CT scan (computed tomography scan) is an imaging methodology that is highly recommended to patients with various kinds of abnormalities, diseases, and disorders of internal organs and body parts.  

 Here Is A Step-By-Step Procedure For A CT Scan.

  • Patient will lie on the examination table attached to the CT scanner.
  • CT scanner is a large tunnel-shaped machine having a rotating X-ray beam. The Technologist will slide the patient inside the machine for the scanning procedure.
  • Once the patient slides inside the CT machine, the X-ray beam will rotate around you to capture the images of the specific body part.
  • During the scanning procedure, the technologist will ask you to remain still or motionless because any movement can alter the images.
  • Once the scanning procedure finishes, the technologist will slide the patient out of the scanner.

In the case of a CECT scan, contrast media is given to the patient before the scanning procedure.

How To Prepare Before Going For A CT Scan? 

In the case of a standard CT scan or NCCT scan or CT scan plain, you need to go for any special preparation related to diet and medication. The patient can continue the daily routine. But if the doctor thinks the patient requires any special preparation before going for a CT scan, he may instruct for the same.

But in the case of contrast media, the patient needs to fast for 6 to 8 hours.

Here are some common instructions that patients need to follow before all kinds of CT scans be it an NCCT scan, HRCT scan, or CECT scan.

  • The technologist will provide the hospital gown that the patient needs to wear before going for the scan.
  • The patient needs to remove all types of metallic belongings be it jewellery, spectacles, removable dental work, or hair accessories outside the scan room.

What To Do After A CT Scan?

In the case of NCCT scan, the patient can resume the routine activities and diet after the completion of the procedure.

On the other hand, in the case of a CECT scan, Doctor will give the special instructions according to the situation of the patient

What Are The Side Effects Of A CT Scan? 

There is no doubt, CT scan is safe but poses some risks or side effects. Because CT scan uses x-ray radiation so there is a chance of having the side effects such as allergic reactions.

You may also visit any nearby CT Scan Center to confirm the risk & Side effect of CT Scans.

If the patient is exposed to radiation for long duration, then there is a chance of cancer cell development.

CT scan is not recommended for pregnant female because exposure to radiation can be harmful to the fetus.

 It is harmful to kidney patients because exposure to radiation can damage the kidneys.

How Much Time Does A CT Scan Take?

The whole procedure of CT scan takes around 30-40mins. Whereas the CECT scan takes approximately 60 to 90mins because contrast dye takes a minimum of 1 hour to absorb in the body.


CT scan (Computed Tomography) scan is the best diagnostic tool for diagnosing the health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, brain-related disease, infectious disease, trauma, etc. This scanning methodology is chosen over the x-ray because of its high accuracy in problem detection.  Using X-Ray radiation and a computer system, images of the inside of the body are produced to detect disease and abnormalities. The doctor asks for this procedure to detect the problems and plan the treatment accordingly.

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