CT imaging facility in Hammond Indiana

Abdominal CT (short for ‘computed tomography’) scans capture images of your abdomen using computerized X-ray technology — and preparation for this type of medical imaging is vital.

An abdominal CT scan can help your physician make an accurate diagnosis. Intra-abdominal infections (IAI), cysts, abscesses, masses, diverticulitis, appendicitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), internal bleeding, swollen lymph nodes, and other conditions can all be confirmed through an abdominal CT scan.

If your physician has recommended an abdominal CT scan, you may have concerns about what to expect and how to prepare. That’s where we can help. Below, we are going to discuss everything you’ll need to know before your abdominal CT scan at NW Indiana ER & Hospital.

Preparing for the day

Your physician will tell you exactly how to prepare for your abdominal CT scan.

  • Your physician may instruct you not to eat or drink anything — other than water — for at least two to four hours before your scan.
  • You may need to avoid certain medications before your scan to obtain the most accurate diagnosis.
  • Before your scan, you may also have to remove any metal objects (including jewelry, hairpins, hearing aids, dentures, etc.) before your scan.
  •  You may be asked to drink a special liquid called an oral contrast about 60 to 90 minutes before your scan. This liquid contains barium sulfate as a contrast agent that will assist your physician in getting a better image of your abdomen. Alternatively, a contrast dye may be injected into your vein (intravenously). Nurturing mothers should avoid breastfeeding for up to 48 hours after receiving contrast.
  • Your physician must be aware of any medical issues that might make the scan problematic. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, diabetic, or have previously had an allergic response to drinking oral contrast or other dyes.
  • Wear something casual and comfortable to your CT scan. Since you will be lying down on a table during the procedure, you may be asked to change into a patient gown.

What to do during your scan?

When you visit an imaging facility at NW Indiana ER & Hospital for an abdominal CT scan, you will be instructed to lie down on a table in a specific position during the procedure. It is critical that you remain in the same position for the radiographer or radiology technologist to obtain a clear image of your abdomen.

Next, the table will be moved into the CT machine, which has a huge donut-shaped entrance. The machine will capture several cross-sectional images of your abdomen using x-ray beams and electronic x-ray detectors. You may be instructed to hold your breath during the scan to prevent fuzzy images.

The radiographer or radiologic technologist will review the images generated to ensure they are clear enough to provide your physician with the information they need.

Is getting an abdominal CT scan safe?

Many folks are worried about the safety of medical imaging procedures such as MRIs and CT scans. Though CT scans do expose you to a tiny dose of radiation, the advantages far outweigh the risks.

Looking for the Top-Rated Imaging Facility in Hammond, Indiana?

At NW Indiana ER & Hospital, we offer state-of-the-art imaging and lab services to determine the best course of treatment for our patients. As the top-rated imaging facility in Hammond, Indiana, all the imaging tests we perform are reviewed by our qualified team of physicians, radiologists, and technicians to ensure you get your test results back as quickly as possible. If you have any questions regarding your CT scan appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us today at (219) 554-9911.


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