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barium before CT question

Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2009

I am having my first CT scan after my surgery of 6 months ago. I have
to drink two bottles of barium before the scan, which is in the morning.
My question is whether or not it will be feasible to go to work after
the scan. I've never had barium before so I am not sure what the effects
will be. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

Posts: 14
Joined: Jul 2009

The barium didn't bother me, it was kind of like fruit flavored liquid Tums. It was a little hard to get the two bottles down in time, and I did get a little queasy, but was fine after the scan. You should be ok to go to work after.

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 1004
Joined: Feb 2009

It can be harsh to your intestines. I've been having them about every 3-4 months since 2006 and I've learned to prepare for the effects. The barium pulls fluid from the body just like a laxative would. Wear a panty liner and take extras. Take "baby wipes" or other type of gentle cleansing sheets. Anticipate you may need to make a quick exit to the restroom.

My oncologist is concerned with the one kidney issue and it being able to process and excrete the CT contrast, so I am prescribed acetylcyst-3 cc in clear liquid the night before and morning of the test; and then have a liter of D5W prior to and after the test. With all the extra fluid, I do end up with diarrhea for a while when I'm out of there.

You may not be affected the same way. But I look on it as a "cheap" price to pay. So far, the tests have caught two recurrences in lymph nodes, for which I had more surger in 2007 and 2008. So far, I'm "No Evidence of Disease" for 18 months and counting.
Good Luck and keep us posted on the results.

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