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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...

  11. #11
    Super Member lovingmama's Avatar
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    I just had one done, last Friday, yes the 13th.

    The drink doesn't taste good, but suck on a candy afterwards and it's not a big deal. No mad dash to the bathroom! How did I feel afterwards, like always, just fine. May be the taste lingered awhile, but that was all.

    No need to reschedule your appointment. You'll be just fine.
    ♥♥♥ Loving Mama ♥♥♥

    If life gives you scraps, make an angel quilt out of it!

  12. #12
    Super Member nunnyJo's Avatar
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    good morning, I too have had CTs with contrast and the worst part is the drinking but pretending it is a shake will get you thru. I am so far 3 yrs and free but do scans every 6 mos. Glad they have them and super blessed it was found. Best of luck to you and pm. me if'd you'd like

  13. #13
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Aren't some CT Scans with contrast done via "dye" that they inject?
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  14. #14
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    I've had a few; of my chest and of my brain. Normally for the most part there are no side affects. I've only known one person who was alergic to the contrast. You should be fine for travel.

    The contrast is normally given now thru IV (around here it is) so no drinking ucky stuff.
    Judy

  15. #15
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I had one done in December. I got the Berry flavored barium. Had to drink one the night before and the other shortly before the test. They were not bad. I put them in the fridge and had them cold. The "contrast" is given during the test via IV. You will feel a "flush" of being warm for a few minutes, nothing else. (unless you are allergic to it, that's why a DR needs to be in house, Just in case) No problems the next day whatsoever! Your BM may be a little chalky white for a couple of days. You should be good to go for the Road to California Quilt show.
    BTY I and 4 other friends will be there. I will be in a wheel chair though. Can't walk much with out pain.


    My newest Grandson, Caleb Austin, was born May 29th. I am now Grandma to 4 precious babies. I am so blessed!!!!

  16. #16
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    Wishing good results to those of you who've mentioned your cancer battles and I hope your future scans will show nothing! And to OHIOBUCKEYE congratulations on moving to the once-a-year-scan schedule. I remember how happy we were when my husband went from every three months to every six months and finally was told "come back in a year". Good health to all of you.

  17. #17
    Super Member Rann's Avatar
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    They gave me a shot for the contrast for my CT scan. What am I missing here?
    If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it.

  18. #18
    Member mcpatches's Avatar
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    Rann, you're not missing anything. Abdominal CT scans with contrast typically have you drinking the chalky stuff and also injecting something during the scan. At least all mine have been. Depends on the diagnosis, what they are looking for, and which part of the body they're checking out.

  19. #19
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treasureit View Post
    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?
    I have frequent CTscans with contrast to check for reoccurrence of cancer (every six months). Nowadays the stuff they give me is almost like a smoothie. I get a berry flavored one. There is no problem afterwards - just need to drink a lot of water.

  20. #20
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    I have had several CT scans with contrast because of lung cancer and breast cancer diagnosis almost 4 years ago. All of mine were by injection. It didn't seem to bother me at all. Good luck.

  21. #21
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    I have had 6 or so CT scan with contrast it taste nasty like unsweet cool-aid. I always have to have an IV that is the most uncomforabe part........oh waiting for the results is harder. Try to relax.............

  22. #22
    Junior Member Kate01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treasureit View Post
    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?
    I have had several and had no after effects at all. Good Luck

  23. #23
    Senior Member Tudey's Avatar
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    I had a CT scan with contrast when I had a kidney stone, but they injected the dye into me. It was not unpleasant.
    Who needs therapy? I quilt!

  24. #24
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    I think I drank some orange drink, not barium.

  25. #25
    Senior Member cassie69emt's Avatar
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    It depends on what they are targeting to scan, if it is like you back they insert the dye thru a needle stick,you will not be feeling poorly after. I have had many of these due to back problems and so I am talking from experience on that kind.

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