A CT scan is a type of x-ray that takes pictures from different angles to make a cross-section or “slice” of the area that was scanned.
You’ll be asked if your child has any health issues or problems such as:
Your child will be taken into the CT room and will be asked to lie on a table. The table will move into the CT scanner, where the pictures will be taken.
The test may take between 5 minutes and 1 hour.
For a CT scan of the abdomen or pelvis, your child will drink a contrast dye that’s mixed in juice, ginger ale, or water. Your child will be given this drink at least 1 hour before the scan.
A contrast dye is sometimes used for the CT scan. The nurse or technologist will place a small catheter into a vein (IV) and inject the dye. The catheter will be left in place until the test is done.
Children who can’t lie still for the CT scan may be given sedation to make them sleepy.
Your child will be watched closely during the test and until he or she is ready to go home.
Your child will be assessed to see if he or she needs sedation or a general anesthetic for the test. A brief history and physical assessment will be done.
A nurse will contact you with instructions if your child is having sedation or a general anesthetic.
Children given sedation or a general anesthetic may have to stay for a few hours afterwards, while the sedation or anesthetic wears off.
Most children don’t have any side effects. Some side effects can include:
Some side effects can include:
There is also a small chance that your child may have an allergic reaction such as hives or swelling.
If your child wasn’t given sedation or a general anesthetic, he or she can carry on with their day as usual. If your child was given sedation, the nurse will give you written instructions before you leave.
Your family doctor will get the results of the scan in about 1 week. Please call your doctor’s office for the results.
Current as of: September 25, 2020
Author: Diagnostic Imaging, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.