Exam Preparation, CT Scan/Tomography

A CT scan, also referred to as a scan or computed tomography, uses x-ray equipment to obtain images from different angles. The information is then processed by computer to create cross-sectional images of the soft tissues of the body and organs.

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 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.

Renal colic

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.

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 8 hours before the examination, but you can drink before the examination.

 

Preparation for CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy)

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 (see below).

 

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 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 1C119 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 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.