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Thread: Anyone have a CT Scan with contrast?

  1. #1
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Anyone have a CT Scan with contrast?

    I am scheduled for a CT scan next week and wonder how it was if you had to drink that Barium icky stuff. And what happens after - do you feel poorly the rest of the day?

    The next day I am going to the Road to CA quilt show and I want to feel well for that...I will even reschedule if I won't be up to snuff!

    What is your experience?

  2. #2
    QKO
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    Super Member QKO's Avatar
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    They used to make you drink that stuff for GI xrays. I could be wrong, but I don't think you have to take it for CT scans.

    If you do though, don't worry about it, I had it a long time ago and can't remember it making me feel ill or anything like that. Just do what the nurse tells you to and it'll be fine.

  3. #3
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    I had a couple of them and never had a reaction. They had me drink 8 oz at 15 minute intervals because it is filling but not enough to make you sick. I believe mine was what they called orange flavored. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't something that you would say, "Wow, that was yummy" either. It doesn't stay in your system for very long either. I was able to work the next day without any problem.

  4. #4
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I remember getting something similar done and don't know if i drank the Barium or if they "filled" me up. i do know before i could get off the table, they gave me an enema!! Then i visited the bathroom. No problems afterward though.
    perhaps you should call the office and talk to someone. i'm sure they help patients all the time with questions on procedures.

  5. #5
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    I had the scan with contrast in the Spring. about it not staying in your system long, the attendants "forgot" to give me the paper with the "side effect" listed on them. My caution would be to go home as soon as possible. Do not stop for shopping on the way. and stay close to your bathroom. it was not so much fun! And the clean-up was something we won't talk about. ASK is the best advice I can give you......before you go have this done. Phone the hospital since I have found that sometimes Dr's office does not know what the hospital is using. Get your information from the people who administer the tests. What I drank looked like water...and every 15 min but it tasted like the plastic cup it was in. Not all tests are using the same products. I was told they no longer use barium.

    June in Cincinnati
    June in Cincinnati

  6. #6
    Member ohiobuckeye's Avatar
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    YES!! I'm an expert at these.....seriously.

    I've had probably had 8-10 CT Scans with contrast in the last 5 years due to a cancer diagnosis, surgery, and chemo.....Here's the tips I've learned:

    1. Get the Contrast the day before. The local hospital here will give it to you so that you don't have to show up 2 hours before your scan and chug it down in their waiting room. (Be sure to see if they have a choice of flavors....I once was able to get a Berry flavored one and it was 300% better than the orange.)

    2. PUT IT IN THE REFRIGERATOR. You can then almost convince yourself it is an orange milkshake or smoothie.

    3. Get a straw from McDonald's. They have the largest diameter straws of any fast food joint. It's easier to suck it down with a straw.

    4. Hold your nose and suck it down with a straw....straight down your throat....don't let it touch your taste buds....trust me on that one....

    5. The contrast didn't really affect me after getting it down....No mad dashes to the potty or feelings of nausea....I have gone shopping and done other things after the scan...

    I'm coming up on my last 6 month scan...In slightly more than 3 weeks, I'm going to be 5 years cancer free and waiting a whole year before another scan...

  7. #7
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    I worked for 8 years for a radiology facility and had a CT scan. Was told by one of the doc's that an extremely small percentage of people react to the contrast given orally for abdominal and pelvic CTs. Believe it was one in 60 people. I was one that did. Nothing frightening but a lot of diarrhea for the rest of the day, I'm guessing until the stuff was out of my system. Ohiobuckeye's suggestion of chilling it and drinking with a straw works out nicely. Best wishes to you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sandilee's Avatar
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    I have one annually also since I had cancer. I have no problems with them or the contrast. Lately they haven't been that horrible to drink and they are not requiring me to drink the whole bottle. Just enough to show up on the scans.

    The most uncomfortablest part of the whole exam for me is when I am going thru the ct machine it warms my body and it feels like I am wetting in my pants. I know I am not but the heat from the radiation makes it feel that way.
    Good luck.

  9. #9
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    I had one this past Wednesday.Had no discomfort whatsoever although the prep tastes awful and is hard to drink

  10. #10
    Junior Member rainbow quilter's Avatar
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    I couldn't have said it better. I've had a similar number of scans with contrast, also for a cancer diagnosis. It did cause diarrhea for me, but only until it was out of my system. Can't say that it tasted good, but cold is better.

    Quote Originally Posted by ohiobuckeye View Post
    I've had probably had 8-10 CT Scans with contrast in the last 5 years due to a cancer diagnosis, surgery, and chemo.....Here's the tips I've learned:

    1. Get the Contrast the day before. The local hospital here will give it to you so that you don't have to show up 2 hours before your scan and chug it down in their waiting room. (Be sure to see if they have a choice of flavors....I once was able to get a Berry flavored one and it was 300% better than the orange.)

    2. PUT IT IN THE REFRIGERATOR. You can then almost convince yourself it is an orange milkshake or smoothie.

    3. Get a straw from McDonald's. They have the largest diameter straws of any fast food joint. It's easier to suck it down with a straw.

    4. Hold your nose and suck it down with a straw....straight down your throat....don't let it touch your taste buds....trust me on that one....

    5. The contrast didn't really affect me after getting it down....No mad dashes to the potty or feelings of nausea....I have gone shopping and done other things after the scan...

    I'm coming up on my last 6 month scan...In slightly more than 3 weeks, I'm going to be 5 years cancer free and waiting a whole year before another scan...

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