Computed Tomography Abdomen
Computed tomography (CT) is an advanced imaging system that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce comprehensive images of your abdomen. CT scans give a much more detailed picture than regular X-rays and can identify many conditions that may escape detection on other imaging tests.
Your health care practitioner may order an abdomen CT scan to examine one of the following (or, for a more comprehensive exam, a combined abdomen/pelvis CT):
- the small or large bowel
- the liver, pancreas, or spleen
- a cause of pain or swelling
- the kidneys or bladder
- lymph nodes or blood vessels
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?
- Don’t eat or drink for two hours prior to your exam.
- Please arrive one-and-a-half hours prior to your appointment.
- Take all prescribed medications as directed.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?
- You may be asked to change into scrubs.
- You will be asked to drink roughly one glass of Telebrix (an oral contrast solution that helps enhance your images) every 20 minutes over the next 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes you will be taken to the CT scanner and asked to lie on your back on the bed, which will then be adjusted for correct placement.
- If needed, your technologist will then set up an intravenous (IV) line for the contrast solution. Please note that IV contrast is an additional cost of $125.
- Your technologist will leave the room to begin your exam, but you will be in direct communication throughout your procedure.
- Your technologist will take several initial scans, then administer the contrast solution through your IV to enhance your remaining images.
- On a few occasions, you may be asked to hold your breath (for 10-15 seconds) to help obtain specific images.
- At the end of your exam, your technologist will help you off the bed and guide you back to your change room. You are then free to leave.
It is important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to “flush out” the contrast solution. Most of the solution is out of your system within the six hours following your exam, and will be completely eliminated within 24 hours.
WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?
We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
In Calgary, CT exams are provided at our Mayfair Place location as private pay exams and are not covered by Alberta Health Care. Prices are per body area. If additional body areas are scheduled within the same appointment, discounts apply. For example, the abdomen is one body area, while the spine is divided into three body areas. We also offer Health Assessment packages.
We offer a 10% Seniors discount (65+) that can be applied to the total CT exam.
Your health spending account or group medical insurance plan may cover the cost of a private CT that is prescribed by a qualified health care practitioner. You will need to check with your plan administrator for coverage details.
Please note that if contrast is needed, it’s an additional cost of $125.