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CT FAQ

Can I Have a CT Imaging Exam if I am Pregnant?
Pregnant woman should not have a CT exam or any x-ray examination, especially if the woman is in her first trimester (first of three-3 month periods of pregnancy). There may be other exams available, such as ultrasound, to help diagnose medical conditions if it is determined that the patient is pregnant. Ultrasound does not use radiation to acquire images. Pregnant women should always inform their imaging technologist or radiologist that they are pregnant, or may be pregnant.

What will intravenous contrast do if I am breast feeding?
According to the American College of Radiology, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology a very small percentage of intravenous contrast medium is excreted in the breast milk.  Depending on the contrast media used, it may or may not be absorbed by your child's stomach. They believe the available data suggest that it is safe to continue breast-feeding after receiving the contrast media.

If you remain concerned about any potential side effects to your child or if it is recommended that you briefly stop breastfeeding, you may receive information on how to pump and store your breast milk prior to your test from your Pediatrician or Lactation Consultant. This will allow your baby to continue to receive your breast milk after your procedure until such time as the contrast is voided from your system. It is very important to continue expressing your milk (pump and dump) during that time so that to maintain your milk supply. (Click here to learn more)

Is CT Imaging Safe?
Yes, CT imaging is considered a safe examination. In general, the diagnostic benefit of a CT scan usually outweighs the risk of x-ray radiation exposure or injections of imaging contrast during the scan. Patients should inform the radiologist or technologist if they have a history of allergies (especially to medications, previous iodine injections, or shellfish), diabetes, asthma, a heart condition, kidney problems, or thyroid conditions

Can I Talk with anyone during the CT scan?
You may talk to the technologists or ask a question in between CT data acquisitions. However, during the scanning process it is very important to remain perfectly still so as to obtain the best images possible without motion.

Can I Bring a Friend or a Relative into the CT scan Room with Me?
No, CT uses radiation, the same as diagnostic x-ray.  Therefore, the only the person being exposed is the patient for whom the study is ordered.  In the interest of radiation protection, no else is allowed in the suite during the exam.

What if I am claustrophobic?
Unlike the MRI unit, the CT scanner is not as long as an MRI unit. In addition, the scan time is much shorter. It takes longer to prepare for, and explain the exam, than it does to actually acquire the images themselves. If you think you may be claustrophobic, call the imaging services department (603) 740-2670 to see if you could visit the room prior to your appointment date to verify whether or not you are able to tolerate the environment. 

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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100