Patient Comments: CT Scan - Experience

For someone who has never had a CT scan, please describe what the experience is like.

Comment from: MJ, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I had a CAT scan with contrast and barium on February 11th, 2016. When it was over, I was dizzy and then within about 10 minutes I got severe pain on the right side of my face, nose, jaws and ear. The burning and pain lasted for about 15 minutes and I am still dealing with mouth sores and headache off and on. I cannot seem to find what I was injected with so make sure you know exactly what they are injecting you with and the amount. I also have Hashimoto's thyroid and no one ever asked and no one ever asked me if I had it or not. The burning in my neck on that area is still existent and it's been 13 days. I have never had a reaction before and this is been very concerning to me.

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Comment from: Deb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I had a CT scan today. I drank a big glass of a milkshake like substance that was not bad. I waited 30 minutes and then drank another. I had an IV inserted in my arm. Everything was explained to me as it was done. You will feel like you are going to the bathroom but it's the medicines in the IV. Not a bad experience at all.

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Comment from: Mae, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I have had about five CT scans now since April of 2013. One for diagnosis, one for biopsy, and the others to check progress of my tumors. One cannot eat for four hours beforehand and can have clear liquid up to two hours before. Once you arrive at the hospital, you drink barium (chocolate or berry flavored are my preferred kinds) and wait approximately an hour. When you are called back to the dressing room (wear loose clothing, no metal) I receive a needle and device for dye, sorry, I don"t know what it"s called, in my arm, drink another container of barium and get the CT scan done. You lay on a table that goes in and out of the doughnut (CT) machine, hold your breath and exhale as the machine tells you. After they take a couple of scans, the technician puts the dye in your arm. You may feel flushed and you"ll feel like you are peeing in your pants. You"re not. A couple of more inserts into the machine and you"re done. Drink lots of water afterwards and eat. I usually get diarrhea about two to three hours after the CT scan which gets rid of all the barium. I can usually taste the flavoring for a day or two but that"s all.

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Comment from: arkie, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 22

I had a CT scan on my head about four years ago because of problems with vision in my left eye. I ended up seeing a retina specialist for central serous retinopathy. I'm having an abdominal CT scan tomorrow morning due to chronic stomach pain for over 3 years. I had an appointment with a new gastrointestinal doctor last week. I'm finally getting something done. I have to drink some barium contrast tonight and again in the morning. I have no idea if I'm going to get the iodine stuff via IV or not. There has been no mention of it thus far. I'll post an update in a couple of days.

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Comment from: missdiamond, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 01

I just had a CT scan with contrast. It was the worst experience. I had a headache prior and had to drink 3 cups of this gross drink and then get an IV with iodine. I had the weirdest taste in my mouth, and I felt like I had to use the bathroom. After I came home, I was sick all day with nausea and a headache and I couldn't eat. It was not a fun experience for me.

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CT Scan - Helped With Your Diagnosis Question: Please describe how a CT Scan has helped in your diagnosis.
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