What are the risks of having a pelvic and abdominal CT scan?


Quick Answer

Possible risks of undergoing a pelvic and abdominal CT scan include having itchy skin, a headache or a rash, according to Drugs.com. It is also possible for a patient to experience nausea or vomiting.

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Full Answer

A pelvic and abdominal CT scan generates images of a patient’s pelvis and abdomen using X-rays, explains Drugs.com. Physicians use the pictures to determine the cause of a patient’s pain in the pelvis or abdomen. The scan may reveal a broken bone, infection or stones in particular organs.

Diabetics are at risk of increasing their likelihood of suffering kidney damage if they undergo a pelvic and abdominal CT scan that uses a contrast, states Drugs.com. A contrast refers to a dye that allows the CT scan machine to produce images of the body’s internal structure. It is given to a patient through a beverage or an intravenous tube. A pregnant woman may also be at risk of experiencing problems with her unborn child.

Other potential risks of the scan include difficulty in breathing as an allergic reaction to the contrast, damage to organs caused by the X-rays used in the exam and a higher risk of cancer, notes Drugs.com. After the scan, contact a health care provider if you experience severe pain that does not respond to medicines or are unable to urinate. Women who experience persistent vaginal bleeding even when not on a monthly period should also contact a doctor.

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