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Crohn's Disease Forum » Tests for IBD » Questions about CT scan


09-23-2015, 02:27 PM   #1
Lizzie
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Questions about CT scan

I have to have a CT scan very soon and I am wondering whether you have to take that awful prep stuff you take before colonoscopies, or is it just laxatives and/or not eating for some hours beforehand?

Does anyone know if a CT scan is as good as a colonoscopy in terms of what it reveals? The GI consultant wanted me to have one but as I refused she offered me the CT scan instead.

Finally, is there anything it would be useful to know about the CT scan procedure? I understand an injection is involved, or is there more than one?

Thank you for any information.
09-23-2015, 08:25 PM   #2
Justanothercp
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I didn't have to do any prep at all for my CT
09-24-2015, 06:14 AM   #3
Axelfl3333
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I haven,t but they sometimes give you a contrast med that helps the machine the effects last 2/3 minutes and make you feel you,ve had an accident but it only lasts while your in the machine.
09-24-2015, 02:39 PM   #4
Lizzie
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Thank you for the replies. I do hope there isn't any prep involved! The consultant has told me that they will inject something for contrast, so I know there will be one needle at least. I googled and read something about gas being inserted to open up the colon, too, but the doctor didn't mention that.
09-27-2015, 05:55 AM   #5
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I had to drink a couple of glasses of water (think theres was sth inside but at least it didnt have any taste) and then they put a tube in my butt and filled my colon with water (or whatever it may have been) and asked me to hold ot for the aprox 5 to 10 min of the procedure...not super horrible and definitely a million times better then the whole colonoscopy prep

09-27-2015, 06:26 AM   #6
fuzzy butterfly
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Hi Lizzie, i have a 3/4 ct/ mri scans, none of which included any prep, had contrast dye injected on a couple of them, no restrictions on food or meds in my cases. yes i think they are better than a scope sometimes as my scope showed nothing but the ct scan showed crohn's in my terminal ileum, scopes can do a good job if they check out all of the bowel area but this can't always happen, where as a scan can do all of it in 1 foul swoop as it were. Good luck n best wishes, let us know how it goes x
actually just remembered one did have a prep just b4 scan on the day in the waiting room, but it was ok with some cordial/juice mixed with it not as nasty as some i had for the scope that was gross ..
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Last edited by fuzzy butterfly; 09-27-2015 at 06:30 AM. Reason: i tell a lie
09-27-2015, 06:33 AM   #7
fuzzy butterfly
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I haven,t but they sometimes give you a contrast med that helps the machine the effects last 2/3 minutes and make you feel you,ve had an accident but it only lasts while your in the machine.
Oh ye i forgot about that bit, yes i felt like i'd wet my pants, or something
09-27-2015, 04:11 PM   #8
Lizzie
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Thank you all for the very reassuring replies - I'll let you know how I get on. Still no date yet.
09-27-2015, 06:29 PM   #9
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I've had 5-6 CT scans and each time I had to drink a contrast liquid prior to the scan.....also had an IV thru which a contrast dye was injected prior to the exam as well! Good luck!!!
09-27-2015, 07:40 PM   #10
teeny5
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I had to drink contrast before, they gave it to me while in the waiting room. When I went in she told me she was injecting the dye and it would make me feel like I peed myself...it did...but not to worry, because it's just the dye. I just laid on the machine and it told me when to breath...in a creepy robot voice haha. Very quick and easy procedure.
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09-29-2015, 05:54 AM   #11
DEmberton
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I had to drink a couple of litres of fairly horrible stuff in 40 minutes in the waiting room. Not easy to get down. They injected Buscopan and contrast once in the room.

A colonoscopy can only really see the large bowel, and it's visual so they can only see the surface. But they can take samples. A CT Scan or MRI can see all the small bowel and can see thickening of the walls. I guess the exact procedure may depend on where they're trying to look. My colonoscopy didn't show anything conclusive which is why they went on to a small bowel CT Scan.

The machine had a smiley face telling you when to hold your breath.
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10-04-2015, 02:43 PM   #12
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I had a colonoscopy a month ago, and later this month I'll be having a CT Enterography exam.
I believe the colonoscopy is just colon, large intestine, and beginning of small; where as, ct scan can see if there are ulcers, tears, issues with most of the GI tract.

That's why they are doing it for me.y specialist found ulcers at the opening of the small intestines, so they need to see to what degree they are and how many in the small intestine. My test said they will give me something to drink as a laxative, wait 40mins, then images. Contrast I think will be by IV.
This has been 10 yrs in the making and just finally got a specialist 2 months ago after dropping 20lbs... I just want these tests over to diagnose all my issues.
10-04-2015, 04:33 PM   #13
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Hi Lizzie, I just had a C.T. scan last week. Yes, it shows more of the bowel, lower. than a Colonoscopy. You do have to drink 2 litres of Prem Pak over an hour in the waiting room before examination. Take a bottle of Roses Lime juice cordial and add it as a mixer. It makes it more palatable. Another piece of advice, do not sip it but take large mouthfuls, then rest and you will manage it well. I did! You then have an injecton in the room but that is not unpleasant.
I now await results but have more tests to come. Good luck.
10-04-2015, 04:52 PM   #14
Lizzie
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Thanks for all the info. My CT scan is on Tuesday, I got the letter yesterday, so not long to wait. One more question I'd like to know the answer to, is how soon do you know the outcome, and do you actually see anything of the scan on a display or is it not visible?

I've just googled Prem Pak and all it's come up with is something about female hormones, so I think that must be something different - at least I hope it is! So I'm none the wiser about exactly what it's for.
10-04-2015, 05:03 PM   #15
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Hi Lizzie, it is the same stuff they give you to drink before a Colonoscopy viz it is a laxative. You are taken immediately after drinking it all. You will then be in the loo for some time afterwards. Do not leave the hospital for an hour or so: I found I was in and out of the toilet several times. Sorry to be so graphic, but I think this might help you. Best wishes,
10-04-2015, 05:25 PM   #16
Lizzie
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Oh no, that stuff is awful! It sent me to the toilet for many hours when I had to drink 2 litres and it had to be taken the night before the colonoscopy over the course of several hours, so I'm a bit puzzled why you take it only an hour before a CT scan. Sounds like I'd better not make any plans for Tuesday night.
10-04-2015, 06:12 PM   #17
Honey
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Oh no, that stuff is awful! It sent me to the toilet for many hours when I had to drink 2 litres and it had to be taken the night before the colonoscopy over the course of several hours, so I'm a bit puzzled why you take it only an hour before a CT scan. Sounds like I'd better not make any plans for Tuesday night.
Hi there yes it sucks , but you will be o.k. It is not the same amount as for a colonoscopy.The scan is easy. Best wishes.
10-05-2015, 02:55 AM   #18
DEmberton
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For some reason the laxative stuff didn't have too much of an effect on me. I walked home half an hour later, despite them warning me, but it was fine. Nothing like the colonoscopy prep.

You won't see the results. It's like an X-ray: you're left by yourself and the operators disappear off into a different room. They told me 2 weeks to get the result, but the good old NHS waited 2 months to tell me I needed urgent surgery. But hopefully that won't happen to you.
10-06-2015, 05:36 AM   #19
DEmberton
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Good luck today Lizzie.
10-06-2015, 06:58 AM   #20
Lizzie
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Thanks. Only three hours to go and I am getting nervous, worrying about the needle bit most, but I'm having Emla cream to numb the skin.
10-06-2015, 07:43 AM   #21
teeny5
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Good luck! My Dr gave me the results at a follow up appt 2 weeks after. I didn't have any bathroom urgency with the prep.
10-06-2015, 12:23 PM   #22
fuzzy butterfly
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Hope all went well lizzie !! X
10-06-2015, 01:01 PM   #23
Lizzie
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Thank you everybody for all the helpful info which made me better prepared for the procedure. My CT scan went OK. I struggled to cope with the needle/cannula part but the numbing cream did its job and there wasn't really any pain. I only had to drink a pint of water before the scan, there didn't seem to be anything in it, certainly no laxatives. The CT scan itself was a doddle, no problem at all with that. In fact the feeling when the contrast was injected was quite pleasant. You did have to hold your breath for quite some time, I only just managed that. Just an anxious wait for the results now. My scan was of the chest, abdomen and pelvis, by the way.
10-06-2015, 01:26 PM   #24
fuzzy butterfly
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Best wishes for the results lizzie. Take care n let us know how things go please. X
10-21-2015, 03:49 AM   #25
Lizzie
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Just a follow-up - I rang the hospital to try and find out the results of my CT scan. All the nurse could tell me was that there's a lot of inflammation in the colon. She couldn't even tell me which bit or whether "a lot" meant severe, extensive or both. She says they need to do a colonoscopy with biopsies. Well I only had the CT scan because I refused the colonoscopy so I feel very cheesed off and scared. The CT scan seems to have been fairly pointless.
10-21-2015, 10:46 AM   #26
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You'll be fine.As with the MRI it's the not knowing that's worse.Best wishes.
10-21-2015, 12:47 PM   #27
fuzzy butterfly
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Hey lizzie, colonoscopies arent to bad, uncomfortable n maybe a bit embarressing. Generaly not to painful at all. Good luck n best wishes hun x
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