A CT (computerised tomography) scan uses x-ray beams to take many pictures of the inside of your body and then compiles them into one detailed, cross-sectional picture.
A CT scan of the urinary system may be called a CT urogram, CT IVP (intravenous pyelogram) or a triple-phase abdomen and pelvis CT – these are different names for the same test. A CT scan of other parts of your body may be used to see whether the cancer has spread.
CT scans are usually done at a hospital or a radiology clinic. Your doctor will give you instructions about eating and drinking before the scan. As part of the procedure, a dye (the contrast) will be injected into a vein to make the pictures clearer. The dye travels through your bloodstream to the kidneys, ureters and bladder, and helps show up abnormal areas. You will then lie on an examination table that moves in and out of the scanner, which is large and round like a doughnut.
The scan is usually done three times: once before the dye is injected, once immediately afterwards, and then again a bit later.
The dye may make you feel flushed and cause some discomfort in the abdomen. Symptoms should ease quickly, but tell the doctor if you feel unwell.
The whole procedure takes 30–45 minutes.
|Before having scans, tell the doctor if you have any allergies or have had a reaction to contrast during previous scans. You should also let them know if you have diabetes or kidney disease or are pregnant.|
Prof Dickon Hayne, UWA Medical School, The University of Western Australia, and Head, Urology, South Metropolitan Health Service, WA; BEAT Bladder Cancer Australia; Dr Anne Capp, Senior Staff Specialist, Radiation Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Marc Diocera, Genitourinary Nurse Consultant, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Peter Heathcote, Senior Urologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, and Adjunct Professor, Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, QLD; Melissa Le Mesurier, Consumer; Dr James Lynam, Medical Oncologist Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle and The University of Newcastle, NSW; John McDonald, Consumer; Michael Twycross, Consumer; Rosemary Watson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria.
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