CT scan

A computed axial tomography scan (CT scan) is an x-ray procedure that combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body.

Show up 30 minutes before your exam to register. If you arrive late, your appointment may be rescheduled.

Avoid carrying any metal objects that may remain in the examination area.

Preparation varies by exam type. Please refer to the specific exam to find the preparation that applies.

Head and spine

Instructions: No preparation is necessary for this examination.

Neck, lungs and thorax

Instructions: You must not eat 4 hours before the examination, but you can drink before the examination. Bring a list of all the medications you are taking.

Abdomen

Instructions: You must not urinate 1 hour before the examination. Bring a list of all the medications you are taking.

Renal colic

Instructions: Empty your bladder before you start drinking one liter (4 cups) of water, one hour before the exam. It is important to try not to urinate once you start drinking.

Adrenal gland

Instructions: You must not eat 4 hours before the examination, but you can drink before the examination. Bring a list of all the medications you are taking.

Hernia

Instructions: You must not eat 4 hours before the examination, but you can drink before the examination. Bring a list of all the medications you are taking.

Pelvis

Instructions: You must not urinate 1 hour before the examination and you must not eat 4 hours before the examination. You can drink before the examination. Bring a list of all the medications you are taking.

CT entography (CTE)

Instructions: You must not eat 4 hours before the examination, but you can drink before the examination. Come to room 1B164, 90 minutes prior to your exam to register and drink a preparation.

The exam lasts 30 minutes. You may experience diarrhea after the procedure.

CT urogram

Instructions: Empty your bladder before starting to drink one litre (4 cups) of water, one hour before the exam. It is important to try not to urinate once you have started drinking.

Register at room 1B164, 30 minutes before your exam. If you arrive late, your appointment may be rescheduled.

The exam lasts 30 minutes.

A cardiac CT scan is an advanced imaging test that evaluates the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle (coronary arteries). These vessels may narrow over time due to a build-up of fat, cholesterol and/or calcium that deposits on the inner lining of the arteries.

Preparation

  • The day before the exam, you will be asked to take medication prescribed by your doctor. These medications will temporarily reduce your heart rate to improve the quality of your exam.
  • Although the cardiac exam lasts about 20 minutes, you may have to stay in the hospital for a few hours because additional medication or doses are sometimes required to slow your heart rate.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated, but avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, energy drinks or soft drinks for 12 hours before your exam.
  • You may eat before the exam.  Make sure the food is caffeine-free (for example, avoid chocolate)
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to x-ray dye (contrast material), discuss it with your doctor; he or she should prescribe preventive medication to reduce your risk of allergic reaction.
  • Viagra, Cialis, Levitra (or equivalents) must be discontinued 48 hours prior to the procedure, as they are not compatible with some of the medications you will receive during the procedure. You may resume taking these medications after the procedure.
  • Please wear loose, comfortable clothing for your examination.
  • Metal objects, jewelry, piercings, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins may affect the quality of the exam and should be left at home or removed before your exam.
  • Please bring a list of your medications, as well as any known allergies.
     

Intervention: When you arrive in the CT scan area, you will be asked to put on a hospital gown.
You will meet with a nurse who will:

  • Performs an electrocardiogram (ECG),
  • Insert an intravenous (IV) line into your arm to inject the contrast material that will make your coronary arteries visible on the images,
  • Will be able to answer your questions about the exam,
  • Provide you with another dose of medication if your heart rate is too high to perform the exam.

You will then meet with a medical imaging technologist who will:

  • Will accompany you to the CT scan room,
  • Give you medication (nitroglycerin spray) to help dilate your coronary arteries,
  • Ask you to lie down on a table with your arms under your head. This table slides into the CT scanner, which looks like a short tunnel.
  • Place electrodes on your chest to record your heart rate.
  • Ask you, during the examination, not to move and to hold your breath briefly. This is to ensure good image quality.
     

Duration of the exam: 3 to 4 hours

Follow-up: Once the examination is complete, you must return to the nurse who will:

  • Will remove the IV,
  • Take your blood pressure,
  • Provide you with further instructions for after the exam.

You may drive after the test.
 

Pico-Salax or Picodan                                                             

CT Colonography is a radiology tool that is used for colorectal polyp detection and colon cancer screening. Please read all instructions on the day that you receive them.

Warning: Please read before starting your bowel preparation: 

The accuracy of your study is mostly dependent on the quality of your bowel preparation.  Therefore, to ensure the highest quality study, it is very important that you strictly follow the directions below.

  • This preparation is only intended for those individuals who DO NOT have kidney disease, renal failure, heart problems such as congestive heart failure or a salt restricted diet.If you are unsure of your medical condition, please consult with your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant or think that you might be do not start this bowel preparation and contact the CT booking department at 613-746-4621 ext. 4627 for further instructions.

Items required

You will need to purchase the following items from a pharmacy at least 10 days prior to your exam.  

  1. Pico-Salax or Picodan (Laxative)
  2. Bisacodyl tablets (Laxative)
  3. EZEM Readi-Cat (Barium Smoothie)
  4. Any sports drink available at your local grocery store (at least 2 liters).

Helpful hints for your bowel preparation

  • Drink your Pico-Salax or Picodan chilled, to make it more palatable. Drinking through a straw or numbing your mouth with an ice cube or popsicle may also help.
  • Effects of your laxative (Pico-Salax or Picodan) will be noticeable usually approximately 1 hour after consumption.  Stay close to a bathroom.  You may experience some abdominal bloating and distention before your bowels start to move.  If you have severe distention or discomfort, stop drinking temporarily or drink each portion at longer intervals until the symptoms disappear.
  • Sucking on hard candy or chewing gum may help remove the taste from your mouth.
  • You may take dimenhydrinate (Gravol) 25-50 mg for nausea as directed or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for headache.
  • To minimize perianal irritation, you may apply a barrier ointment such as zinc ointment, diaper rash ointment or petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
  • You may take your morning medication (except oral hypoglycemic or insulin if you are diabetic, please refer to special instructions for diabetics below) on the morning of your procedure with a small sip of water within 2 hours of your procedure, but avoid taking them at the same time as your laxative.

Items that you may consider purchasing

  1. Popsicle
  2. Hard candy or chewing gum
  3. Gravol 25-50 mg for nausea
  4. Tylenol for headaches
  5. Zinc ointment, diaper rash ointment or petroleum jelly (Vaseline).

Start Preparation

Three days before the exam

DO NOT eat any foods containing seeds or grains such as kiwi, berries, grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, whole grain or multigrain breads, flaxseed, etc…Start a low-fiber/low-residue diet:

 

Recommended

Avoid

Dairy

Any dairy product but limit to 2 cups

 

Vegetables

Cooked preferable over raw

Veg juice without pulp

Vegetables with seeds (cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.) and hulls (corn)

Fruit

Clear juice without pulp

Berries, fruit with seeds (kiwi, grapes, watermelon, etc…)

Breads/grains

White bread, pasta, white rice, potatoes (without skin)

Whole wheat/grains, brown rice, bran, oatmeal, poppy seed or containing nuts

Meat/protein

Red meat, seafood, chicken, eggs

Chunky peanut butter, nuts, seeds, dried beans/peas

Sweets/desserts

 

Nut/coconut containing

Miscellaneous

 

Popcorn, relish, horseradish, pickles

 

The day before your exam

DO NOT eat any solid foods; drink only clear liquids (see below).

Follow directions as described below, even if they are different from the ones indicated on the medication packages:

Breakfast

(approx. 8 a.m.)

  • Clear fluids
  • Take 2 Bisacodyl tablets.

Morning

(from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.)

  • Drink 250 ml (1 cup) of sports drink every hour (if you forget, take as soon as remembered and keep on schedule)

Lunch

(12 p.m.)

  • Clear fluids (as much as desired)
  • Take 1 sachet of Pico-Salax/Picodan as directed.

Afternoon

(1 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

  • Take 250 ml (1 cup) of clear fluids or sports drink every hour.

Dinner

(5 p.m. to 6 p.m.)

  • Clear fluids (as much as desired)
  • Take all of Barium smoothie (EZEM Readi-Cat)
  • Take 2 Bisacodyl tablets.

Evening

(6 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

  • Take 250 ml (1cup) clear fluids or sports drink every hour.
  • At 8:00 p.m., take second sachet of Pico-Salax/Picodan as directed.

Special instructions for diabetic patients

  • If you have diabetes, oral hypoglycemic medication (example, Metformin / Glucophage) can be safely continued but omit your morning dose on the day of your test.
  • If you are on insulin, it is generally recommended to decrease the dosage by half on the day prior to your procedure. 
  • Check your blood sugar frequently while taking your bowel preparation the day before and on the morning of your procedure.
  • Please consult with your doctor if you have any concerns about the above instructions.

Clear liquids may include

  • Water, sports drinks (Gatorade), Kool-Aid, decaffeinated tea or coffee (sugar is OK but no cream/milk/whitener), decaffeinated carbonated drinks (Orange, Sprite, Ginger Ale, 7-Up)
  • Fruit juices without pulp (apple, white grape, strained orange or lemonade but NO tomato, prune juice or juices with pulp)
  • Bouillon or broth (no pieces of meat, vegetables or noodles)
  • Jell-O, popsicles (no fruit or cream added)
  • Hard candy or gum
  • AVOID alcoholic drinks

The day of your exam: before the exam

  • DO NOT take anything by mouth other than your medication with sips of water. 
  • If you have diabetes, omit your morning dose (although be sure to check your blood sugar and adjust as necessary).
  • If you are passing any formed stool, you should not come to the hospital. Call (613) 746-4621 ext. 4627 for further instructions.
  • Present yourself to Hôpital Montfort, Radiology Department Room 1B164 at least 1 hour prior to your examination with a valid health card.
  • Notify the technologist if you are pregnant or think that you might be, if you have any allergies to medications or if you have glaucoma.

The day of your exam: after the exam

  • You will experience some minor cramping after the exam, which should subside within approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
  • It is recommended that you bring a healthy snack to eat after the exam so that you may start to recover as quickly as possible.
  • While there are no contraindications to drive after this exam, you may be more comfortable making alternative arrangements. 

Once the examination is completed, no further action is required. The radiologist will interpret the results, which will be sent to the referring physician and your family physician.

Your results will also be available on the Patient portal.

Additional Notes

Patients with an appointment will receive 
an automated reminder by phone, up to
5 days prior to their appointment. 


This service requires a medical referral from your physician.


Coordinates

Registration: local 1B164, or 1A159, according to your appointment confirmation. 

Please have your Health card ready for the registration.

Email: rendezvousimagerie@montfort.on.ca