What to expect at 1st Cat Scan

Katpet2u
Katpet2u Member Posts: 3

Hi, I'm going for my 1st Cat Scan with contrast. I've had scans before for things other than my kidneys but never with contrast. I've got my vanilla flavored contrast beverage chilling in the fridge for tomorrow's scan. Any advice as how to get it all down? I'm worried I won't be able to finish it all. Anyone have any problems with it bothering them (upset stomach, etc)? I've been told by a relative who's a nurse to drink plenty of water afterwards.

Comments

  • Kat23502
    Kat23502 Member Posts: 179
    I'm a little confused as to

    I'm a little confused as to why you are drinking contrast for a kidney CT? Normally oral contrast is reserved for viewing the bowel. Kidney scans usually require IV contrast. 

  • Katpet2u
    Katpet2u Member Posts: 3
     

     

    All I know is I'm having an abdominal cat scan because of a complex renal cyst. They are aware of the reason for the scan and the instructions are to drink contrast liquid prior to scan. It is possible I am also going to receive in contrast as well. I just read the most common type of CT with contrast is the double contrast study. This may be what I'm having. Sounds like double the fun! 

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,360 Member
    I've had both

    Katpet2u,

     

    Hopefully the scan will show nothing remarable or as we like to say NED.

     

    Icemantoo

     

  • Kat23502
    Kat23502 Member Posts: 179
    Well, you shouldn't have any

    Well, you shouldn't have any problem getting it down, my patients don't usually. Just be sure to drink a ton of water when you are all done with the CT. 

  • todd121
    todd121 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited February 2017 #6
    CT with Contrast

    I always have to drink something, but I think that's for the GI tract. What I drink is clear but they give me crystal light to add to it. Tastes like lemonade. For the kidney, they usually inject contrast. Before the scan, the put in an IV. When you're getting ready to go into the machine, they usually do one scan without contrast then inject the contrast and do another scan.

    This is my memory of it. I haven't had the IV contrast in 4 years because my kidney function hasn't been good enough since my kidney was removed.

    Before my surgery, I had another type of scan done that was like a movie. They had me drink a lot of water. I think they injected the IV contrast while I was in the machine. It was a study to see how much of the work each kidney was doing. My left kidney was smaller than my right. They were worried that the smaller one that was going to be left wouldn't be able to do the work so that's why they did this study. I don't remember what they called this other test. I don't think it's very common. I never heard anybody else on here talk about this one.

    Do drink a lot of water like Kat said. You want to clear that out of your system.

    I seem to remember there was a weird sensation when they injected it. I can't remember if it was hot or cold. I want to say hot. It wasn't bad though.

    CT machines aren't as scary as MRI machines. Just like a big donut. Not at all claustrophobic for me.

    You'll do great.

    Todd

  • Kat23502
    Kat23502 Member Posts: 179
    todd121 said:

    CT with Contrast

    I always have to drink something, but I think that's for the GI tract. What I drink is clear but they give me crystal light to add to it. Tastes like lemonade. For the kidney, they usually inject contrast. Before the scan, the put in an IV. When you're getting ready to go into the machine, they usually do one scan without contrast then inject the contrast and do another scan.

    This is my memory of it. I haven't had the IV contrast in 4 years because my kidney function hasn't been good enough since my kidney was removed.

    Before my surgery, I had another type of scan done that was like a movie. They had me drink a lot of water. I think they injected the IV contrast while I was in the machine. It was a study to see how much of the work each kidney was doing. My left kidney was smaller than my right. They were worried that the smaller one that was going to be left wouldn't be able to do the work so that's why they did this study. I don't remember what they called this other test. I don't think it's very common. I never heard anybody else on here talk about this one.

    Do drink a lot of water like Kat said. You want to clear that out of your system.

    I seem to remember there was a weird sensation when they injected it. I can't remember if it was hot or cold. I want to say hot. It wasn't bad though.

    CT machines aren't as scary as MRI machines. Just like a big donut. Not at all claustrophobic for me.

    You'll do great.

    Todd

    You are correct Todd, it's

    You are correct Todd, it's usually a warming sensation and sometimes a metallic taste after the we inject the contrast. 

     

    You are also also correct that oral contrast is given for bowel opacification. It's not standard on my renal scans. However, since it isn't eliminated through the kidneys, some doctors still use it for renal scans just to get a look at bowel as well. This practice, as our CT cameras have gotten better and better has started being done less and less. It isn't harmful so some doctors do it because why not get a good look?

     

    The study you describe sounds a lot like a nuclear medicine study. This study essentially watches the kidneys filter and excrete. 

  • dhs1963
    dhs1963 Member Posts: 513
    edited February 2017 #8
    the only thing that bothers me about contrast...

    The IV contrast seems to make my anus burn.  I laugh about it, though.  They give me something to drink.  I was wondering if the trink is to help flush the kidneys?  I also hydrate / drink a lot of liquid to help my kidney.

  • mrou50
    mrou50 Member Posts: 389
    edited February 2017 #9
    Kat23502 said:

    I'm a little confused as to

    I'm a little confused as to why you are drinking contrast for a kidney CT? Normally oral contrast is reserved for viewing the bowel. Kidney scans usually require IV contrast. 

    Kat

    I drink contrast for my scans because I have only one kidney, somtimes I have to both drink and do the IV contrast the doctors have to check my kidney numbers and if they are good they give me the IV otherwise I just do the oral.

    Mark

  • Kat23502
    Kat23502 Member Posts: 179
    mrou50 said:

    Kat

    I drink contrast for my scans because I have only one kidney, somtimes I have to both drink and do the IV contrast the doctors have to check my kidney numbers and if they are good they give me the IV otherwise I just do the oral.

    Mark

    Hey Mark! That makes sense to

    Hey Mark! That makes sense to do both if your physicians are being extra cautious about screening for bowel/stomach pathology. Oral CT contrast isn't absorbed in any way by the kidneys or other organs. The way it does its job is by distending the bowel and GI tract and outlining any possible, what we call filling defects, along the GI tract. It's not a bad thing to use but it looks at GI tract only. 

  • foxhd
    foxhd Member Posts: 3,181
    They give me

    a liter of contrast to drink an hour before ct scans. I chug it like Octoberfest. I add no flavor. Always get iv contrast also. Reduced amount. As to the feeling, I told the tech it feels like sitting naked on hot aluminum bleacher scorching my scrotum. Hey, nothing is sacred anymore.

  • Kat23502
    Kat23502 Member Posts: 179
    foxhd said:

    They give me

    a liter of contrast to drink an hour before ct scans. I chug it like Octoberfest. I add no flavor. Always get iv contrast also. Reduced amount. As to the feeling, I told the tech it feels like sitting naked on hot aluminum bleacher scorching my scrotum. Hey, nothing is sacred anymore.

    We tell people they will feel

    We tell people they will feel like they are peeing on themselves.

     

  • foxhd
    foxhd Member Posts: 3,181
    edited February 2017 #13
    Isn't that

    like using power of suggestion? I can guess how often that happens Kat.

  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237
    Throw away the straw!

    Pour it on ice and drink it in 15 minutes. No probs. Absolutely nothing to worry about

  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760
    foxhd said:

    They give me

    a liter of contrast to drink an hour before ct scans. I chug it like Octoberfest. I add no flavor. Always get iv contrast also. Reduced amount. As to the feeling, I told the tech it feels like sitting naked on hot aluminum bleacher scorching my scrotum. Hey, nothing is sacred anymore.

    Next time...

    Next time I have to drink contrast before a scan, I'm going to request that particular cocktail and guzzle it, "like (a) Fox." 

    Not sure if it was the flavoring and/or the two kinds of artificial sweetener (which I'm sensitive to), but I ended up with one heck of a killer headache last time. If I'd missed the door on the way out and walked right into the wall, it probably wouldn't have hurt any worse. 

  • hardo718
    hardo718 Member Posts: 853
    I've had both

    Sometimes the IV and sometimes the lovely drink followed by the IV.  Not crazy about the sensation of peeing on myself but it goes away almost as quickly as it comes on.  And the metallic taste is something else too....yuck!  And they always tell me to drink LOTS of water for the next day or two.

    Donna~

  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237
    hardo718 said:

    I've had both

    Sometimes the IV and sometimes the lovely drink followed by the IV.  Not crazy about the sensation of peeing on myself but it goes away almost as quickly as it comes on.  And the metallic taste is something else too....yuck!  And they always tell me to drink LOTS of water for the next day or two.

    Donna~

    Well...

    I've never felt like I'm peeing myself or scorching my scrotum. Am I missing out on something?

    I just feel like I'm enjoying my own personal summer. Rather pleasant.

  • corey50
    corey50 Member Posts: 111
    Drinking contrast

    Listen to Kat23502 she's exactly right on why we drink the contrast before a kidney CT, it's only to outline the bowel.  Usually when I've had it done I'd drink one bottle at home and sip on a bottle in the car and then sometimes the tech would even give me a cup to drink right before the test. Not to be indelicate but this stuff goes right thru you so don't drink it earlier then the instructions say because it won't be in your system, that's why they would give me a drink right before the test. You're going to have to use a bathroom right after the test. The stuff is disgusting no way around it, but keeping it cold helps. DO NOT DRINK ANY WATER ONCE YOU'VE STARTED THE CONTRAST DRINK, but drink plenty after the test.

    The IV contrast always makes me feel all warm on the inside and it does feel like you've peed yourself, but don't worry you won't LOL. That sensation lasts for only a few seconds. I have one kidney so I'll get an IV saline flush after that too.

    Good luck on your test.