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Your physician has ordered a CT scan of your brain. This computerized analysis provides a three-dimensional view of multiple levels of brain tissue.
You may be given contrast media intravenously during the CT scan. Since contrast media is filtered through your kidneys, you will need to have a blood test to determine kidney function (creatinine level), before you can be given the contrast media. Your doctor will write the order for this test. Be sure you have a kidney function test within 30 days prior to the CT scan.
When you schedule your CT scan, the person scheduling the scan needs to know:
You will lie resting within the CT scanner, with your head immobilized by straps. The machine will rotate around your head, taking x-ray films from multiple planes. You should lie perfectly still and quiet. Please be assured that a technologist is monitoring you at all times. If contrast media is used, it will be injected into your arm through an IV line. At the time of injection, you may have a momentary feeling of warmth and flushing, a salty taste in your mouth, and possibly some mild nausea. This should pass quickly. The scan itself is painless and should take approximately 30 minutes.
After the scan, you should be able to resume your normal diet and activities. If contrast media was used, drink at least 5 to 6 glasses of water a day for 2 days after the scan. The water helps flush the contrast from your system. If you must limit your fluid intake because of a heart problem or for any other reason, talk with your doctor about how much water you can safely drink.
If you are a diabetic who takes any medication that contains metformin, you must have a blood test to check your kidney function before you can start taking metformin again. Call your doctor for the results of the blood test and for instructions about resuming metformin. This is to prevent kidney damage and a serious reaction called lactic acidosis.
For Questions, call the Radiology Department where you are having the procedure:
To Reschedule or Cancel, call 619-543-3405 as soon as possible.
If you call after hours, please leave your name, Medical Record (MR) number, telephone number and a message. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Computed Tomography DivisionUC San Diego Medical Center200 West Arbor DriveSan Diego, CA 619-543-6893
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