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Explain a CAT scan to me. Explain a CAT scan to me.

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  #1  
Unread 07-23-2004, 10:38 PM
Explain a CAT scan to me.

I had a TAH BSO for growing fibrods june 18, 2004 and they found low grade ESS in my uterus. I will have a CAT scan a few days after my 6 week check up. Can someone please explain to me EXACTLY what I have to look forward to. How soon do I get the results, will they tell me anything will the scan in going on, how do I prepare physically for a CAT scan.

Thanks a millon for your help
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  #2  
Unread 07-24-2004, 02:26 AM
Explain a CAT scan to me.

I had a CAT scan not for your type of thing but shall share what I know. Is similar to an MRI if you know what that is. The difference is CAT scans are better for Tissure and MRI for bones. Anyway took maybe 1/2 hr results were a week later. Sort of depends on what areas they wish to scan etc. It isn't painful so not to worry. I would say is about as bad as an Mamogram. Uncomfortable but not to bad.
  #3  
Unread 07-24-2004, 04:51 AM
Explain a CAT scan to me.

Hi Gillsburg;
I think it all depends on the type of scan your doctor orders. I had 2 CT scans and 2 MRI's.
The 1st CT scan they did was to look at my abdomen and lower body area.
For that one I went in, they had me drink some tang type drink. Not too bad, kind of fizzy. Then they started an IV. I was taken into a room and laid on a narrow table. There is a hoop type machine overhead. The table moves you into the machine and out. It is not confining like an MRI is. It is more open.
The machine will tell you when to hold your breath and then when you can breathe again. (It isn't too long to hold your breath, a few seconds). After a couple of scans they added the dye to my IV and I went in the machine again and repeated the process.
It is rather chilly in there but they will give you a blanket along with a pillow and a leg pillow if so needed. The whole thing was painless (except for the IV, I have a needle phobia).
The 2nd time I had a CT scan was in the hospital after my surgery, they were looking for blod clots in my lungs. Since I already had a IV in they just added the dye and scanned me.
It isn't too bad so try not to worry!
Best wishes to you!
Syb
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  #4  
Unread 07-24-2004, 12:07 PM
Explain a CAT scan to me.

Hi I've had several CT (CAT) scans... each has been different but none have been painful or scary.

There are two kinds of contrast which can be used in the scans, or your DR may order no contrast at all (the easiest). Also, if you are having a CT of your GI tract, you may need to do a bowel prep the day before. This typically is just like the bowel preps we do for a hyst - Fleet Phospho Soda or Go Lytely or similar. If you're having oral contrast, you would then have to drink a special contrast solution right before the scan (typically they have you come early and drink it in the waiting room, but everyone's experience is different). That one, in my experience, was really foul tasting. For me, that was the worst part of the whole thing, and I've only had to do it once - other scans didn't require it.

The IV contrast isn't bad but can feel weird. I didn't mind having the IV put in, but again, everyone is different, and every technician is different in how skilled they are at putting in an IV "painlessly". The weird part is when they start letting the contrast solution into the IV. You are flooded with a strange warm sensation which for many people makes it feel like you've just wet your pants (you haven't). If the technician hadn't warned me about that, I would have been mortified. It doesn't hurt though, and the feeling passes in a few seconds.

As (((Syb))) said, the CT machine is open, not at all confining as an MRI machine can be (unless you're lucky enough to get access to an open MRI). Typically the table you're on can be tilted... my DS and I have each had one where we were actually standing up! But most often you'd be lying down and you'd be slowly moved in and out of this ring with little lights on it, which is where you're being scanned. It is totally painless and is over relatively quickly (for me, MRI's have taken much much longer than CT's). Also, MRI's make a lot of very loud clicking noises where the CT's don't.

The techs aren't supposed to tell you anything about what they see in the scan, but your experience may vary... I did have one case where they let me know they'd found what they were looking for. More likely, they'll just tell you you're done and can get dressed and go home, and they'll send a report to your DR, who will let you know what they saw. If it's something requiring immediate attention, as one of mine was, chances are your DR will call you within a few hours (mine tracked me down at the hairdresser's!). Otherwise, it usually takes a couple of days for your DR to get the full report.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your scan, I hope they find everything is A-OK!

s,
-Linda
  #5  
Unread 07-24-2004, 02:16 PM
Linda Did a Good Job of Explaining

Where I go, there is no bowel prep--just contrast that you drink four cups of over a 90 minute period. Then they use an IV contrast. If you are allergic to iodine or shellfish, be sure to tell the techs and your doctor, as this is an iodine contrast. It feels warm inside you and you may feel like you are urinating--but you are not, so don't worry about that. The machine is very open and it tells you when to breathe or hold your breath. The scan itself is quick. If you drink the 90-minute contrast, do be aware that can cause some minor diarrhea for a couple hours in some people. The CT scan cuts through or slices through views inside the body instead of one larger flat-type film as does an X-ray/ It is more precise. I hope you get yours done with no concerning results and find it as simple as we've descrived. It's one of those "that's all?" situations.
  #6  
Unread 07-24-2004, 09:59 PM
Explain a CAT scan to me.

Wow, I learn more from this site than I do from all of my Doctors! I have had one CAT scan, and another coming up on Friday. My expriecne was very much like Sybies. But the whole thing took hours! I had to drink the 'pink' drink every 20 minutes over what I believe was a couple hour time peried. I also had to have an inema... and after the ones proceeding surgery, I was scared... but it wasn't as bad as the pre-surgery ones. (Of course pre-surgery I had had a huge tumor pressing against all my organs, so there wasn't room for all that fluid, and it had castoroil soap in it!) The CAT one was really ok. I also had an IV.
Where I'm being treated (a very good hospital in Thailand), they take a LOT of time to do tests, and are very thorough... and results come quick, but I never know what is going on before hand.
I hope this is helpful, to prepare you, and I hope your experience is good.
-Sue
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