Before Your Appointment
- Please pre-register for your appointment by calling 978-937-6429, Monday-Friday, 7:00am-8:00pm or anytime online at Express Registration.
- An Appointment Reminder with specific instructions for your exam will be mailed to you.
- Please keep the written order from your physician to bring to the exam.
- Obtain copies of any recent films from x-rays or scans performed at other facilities to bring to the exam.
- Be sure to tell your physician if you're allergic to contrast dye or to iodine or shellfish.
- Women who might be pregnant should inform their physicians.
- Report to Radiology at least 24 hours before your exam to pick up contrast material (x-ray dye) and specific instructions.
- If you're unable to pick up the contrast material beforehand, please arrive two hours before your scheduled appointment to allow enough time to drink the contrast.
- In most cases, you will be asked to drink two bottles of contrast material before your exam.
- You may not drink or eat any solid food for 4 hours before your exam. You may consume clear liquids. DO NOT consume any liquids that contain milk or cream.
- Continue taking any prescribed medications. If you are diabetic and take insulin, please contact your physician to ask what amount of insulin should be taken.
- Please wear comfortable clothes. You may be required to remove jewelry and other metal objects before the exam.
During the Procedure
You will be asked to drink the x-ray dye or it may be administered by injection. Drinking the dye causes discomfort in some patients. If the dye is injected, you'll probably feel a brief warm sensation as it enters your bloodstream. The special scanner that will x-ray your body is a large donut-shaped machine. During your exam, you will be asked to lie very still on a table hooked up to the scanner as the table moves in and out of the CT machine. The areas of your body that will be scanned depend on the specific test your physician has ordered. The patient simply lies on a table while a CT scanner x-rays an organ or other body part from various angles and then processes the imaging data in a computer.
After the Procedure
You should be able to resume your regular daily activities after your scan. Consuming extra fluids will help flush the contrast material out of your system.
An Important Note for Patients Taking Glucophage:
Patients with diabetes who are taking Glucophage (metformin) must stop taking this medication after intravenous injection of contrast material (x-ray dye). A blood test to check for kidney function (serum creatinine) should be performed 48 hours after your exam. The results must be checked by your primary care physician before you resume taking Glucophage. You will be given an order for the follow-up blood test at the time of your CT exam.