(Closed) Getting a CT and nervous!

posted 4 years ago in Wellness
Post # 2
46670 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

candy11:  First of all, have they told you they are going to use a contrast medium?  CT’s are done with and without.

You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire or asked verbally about any history of allergies/allergic reactions.

The percentage of allergic reactions is rare, but you couldn’t be in a better place than a health care facility should you ever have a reaction.

<h3>Iodine-based Contrast Materials</h3>

Mild reactions include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • headache
  • itching
  • flushing
  • mild skin rash or hives

Moderate reactions include:

  • severe skin rash or hives
  • wheezing
  • abnormal heart rhythms
  • high or low blood pressure
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Severe reactions include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • cardiac arrest
  • swelling of the throat or other parts of the body
  • convulsions
  • profound low blood pressure

A very small percentage of patients may develop a delayed reaction with a rash which can occur hours to days after an imaging exam with an iodine-based contrast material. Most are mild, but severe rashes may require medication after discussion with your physician.


Everyone should always have Benadryl- an antihistamine- at home all the time, but if you don’t , buy some to have on hand  in the remote chance that you have a delayed reaction.

Post # 4
46670 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

candy11:  They probably want to see if the cyst is encapsulated or not. Hopefully your doctor would not have ordered a CT if he didn’t think it would make for a better diagnosis and an easier surgery.

Post # 6
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I have had a ct, with and without contrast, so I recieved the iodine. I was nervous about reactions, but I did not have any. The weirdest part for me was that it made me feel a weird warm sensation, like I peed my pants, apparently that is normal. I also had a metallic taste in my mouth, but that was it. Drink lots of water when you are done to help flush your system. 

Also, my Fiance had a cyst that kept growing on the backside of his ear, his Doctor found it slightly concerning. He had a ct and everything was fine. They drained it and that was it. There is a possibility of it coming back, but it hasn’t yet and that was almost 3 years ago.

Hope everything goes well for you! 

Post # 8
10603 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

Try not to worry so much about being allergic, unless there’s reason to.  The same thing could be said of many common allergens!  You don’t worry anytime you eat a food that you aren’t allergic to but that many people are, right?

I think I’ve had 2 CT scans, although one was sitting up, the other laying down and the more recent one they said you never sit up for them.  I didn’t have contrast for those.  It’s a little noisy, and you sit still for a while, but they are faster than an MRI.

I did have a radioactive dye for a bone scan.  I felt worn out for a few days after, but no other side effects.

Post # 9
795 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

candy11:  for your first time, i can see how it can be scary.  Unfortunetly i have had multiple cat scans throughout the years, 2 in the last month actually.  You will lay on your back and arms either up by your head or down by your sides.  The radiologist will leave the room and talked to you through a microphone.  The machine will move back and forth and there will be audio telling you to hold your breath and then when to breathe.  You dont hold your breath for longer than 5 seconds.  You will not feel anything and will be complete in less than 5 minutes.  

Without contrast is so quick and easy!

with contrast… They will inject the dye through an iv while you are laying on the catscan machine.  I get nausea quickly when my body feels “off” so i am not a big fan.  It is really interesting feeling how quickly your blood is pumping throughout yiur body, because in a matter of a few seconds your entire body will get a warming feeling.  You may feel like you need to urinate but the weirdest feeling to me is when the blood with contrast moves through your toungue.  Gah.  It goes away in a few moments and they will tell you to drink a lot of water after to flush it through your system.


good luck! It will be very quick!!

Post # 10
40 posts

I am a CT technologist. I have seen only a few bad allergic reactions in the 10 years I have been doing them. Even mild reactions are pretty rare and usually it is just a few hives. The reactions are usually pretty immediate so don’t worry about having a problem later on. Antibiotics and pain medications are a much more common allergen than the IV contrast. The old dyes that used to be used 20 years ago were very different, the ones used now are very safe. It does make you feel like you are peeing though and many people get a warm feeling in the throat and a metallic taste. 

Post # 11
10603 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

slp617:  Sorry for going off topic, but do you have an idea what it may have been before when I was sitting up?  When I had the more recent CT scan she said it would have been just an x-ray.  I know that wasn’t the case though.  My entire head was surrounding by something.  It moved a bit (spun?) and made noise too.

It doesn’t really matter, it was years ago, but now I want to know what it was!

Post # 12
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

AB Bride:  you likely had a panorex which is an x-Ray machine that goes all around your head. 

Post # 13
4692 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

Can you post a picture by any chance?

Post # 14
10603 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

PolkaswithPitbulls:  Maybe, but other than having that done at the dentist, it doesn’t sound familiar.  It was also done at a hospital and not just one of the imaging labs.  I have no idea if that’s typical for a non-dental panorex though.

Post # 15
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

candy11:  I’ve had two CTs both without then with contrast. It gives you a warm feeling so a lot of people think they peed themselves. The first time the tech warned me so I didn’t wig out. The second time they didn’t warn me. But it was totally painless.

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