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How is a pelvic CT scan done?

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Quick Answer

To complete a pelvic computed tomography scan, patients must lie down on a scanner table, which is then positioned inside the CT scan machine. An x-ray inside the machine quickly captures multiple images of the pelvic region, according to MedlinePlus.

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Patients must remove all jewelry and, depending on the area of focus, must also remove some or all clothing. Patients may wear a hospital gown during the scan. While the entire procedure typically takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete, the x-ray scan itself only lasts for a few seconds, as stated by WebMD. To prevent blurred or fuzzy images, patients should not make any sudden movements while inside the CT scan machine. Patients may need to hold their breath briefly to ensure clear images.

A liquid contrast media dye may be used to highlight specific areas of the pelvic region. The dye may be ingested by patients or given intravenously. Patients should not consume food or drink liquids 4 to 6 hours before the scan so that the dye can move quickly through the body, as reported by MedlinePlus. Patients who are allergic to contrast media dye or those who take diabetes medication should inform the medical staff to avoid possible health complications.

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