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How to Prepare for a CT Scan

Some CT exams may require the use of a contrast material to enhance the visibility of certain tissues and blood vessels. If an oral contrast material is required, you will need to pick up the contrast material from your physician’s office or AMI prior to your appointment day. You will receive instructions on the amount and the times you will need to drink the contrast material. A small percentage of patients will have an allergic reaction to iodinated contrast. Patients should alert their healthcare provider if they have had an allergic reaction to contrast in the past.

Depending on the type of CT exam, you may not be able to eat solid foods prior to the exam. You will be allowed to take your daily medicines with a small amount of water. Please follow up with your healthcare provider regarding specific instructions.

The following tests do not require any preparation:

  • Extremities
  • Head Without Contrast
  • CT Sinus
  • Spines: Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar
  • Kidney Stones

The following tests require preparation:
Abdomen and Pelvis

  • Do not eat solid foods 4 hours prior to test
  • Pick up "Readi-CAT 2" prep at any of our locations
  • Instructions for taking "Readi-CAT 2":
    • Drink 1 full bottle of "Readi-CAT 2" slowly and completely 3 hours before appointment.
    • Drink 2nd full bottle of "Readi-CAT 2" slowly and completely 1 hour before appointment.

Chest and Abdomen

  • Do not eat solid foods 4 hours prior to test
  • Pick up "Readi-CAT 2" prep at any of our locations
  • Instructions for taking "Readi-CAT 2":
    • Drink 1 full bottle of "Readi-CAT 2" slowly and completely 3 hours before appointment
    • Drink 2nd full bottle of "Readi-CAT 2" slowly and completely 1 hour before appointment

Chest, Abdomen, and Pelvis

  • Do not eat solid foods 4 hours prior to test
  • Pick up "Readi-CAT 2" prep at any of our locations
  • Instructions for taking "Readi-CAT 2":
    • Drink 1 full bottle of "Readi-CAT 2" slowly and completely 3 hours before appointment
    • Drink 2nd full bottle of "Readi-CAT 2" slowly and completely 1 hour before appointment

Chest Only

  • No solid food 4 hours before exam
  • Drink 16 ounces of water one hour prior to exam. Patient may void


Head With and Without Contrast

  • No solid food 4 hours before exam
  • Drink 16 ounces of water one hour prior to exam

Urology

  • No solid food 4 hours before exam
  • Drink 16 ounces of water one hour prior to exam. Patient may void

Neck

  • No solid food 4 hours before exam
  • Drink 16 ounces of water one hour prior to exam

Virtual Colonoscopy

  • Please contact a CT technologist for instructions - 609-652-7349

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