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A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of parts of your child's body and the structures inside the body. During the test, your child will lie on a table that's attached to the CT scanner. The CT scanner is a large doughnut-shaped machine.
Doctors use CT scans to study areas of the body, such as the brain, chest, belly, spine, bones, or joints. CT scans are also used to assist with or check on the success of a procedure or surgery.
Let your child know that a CT scan doesn't hurt.
If your child gets nervous in tight spaces, ask the doctor if your child will need sedation to help relax before the test. You can also ask if your child will swallow a contrast material before the test or if your child will have contrast materials (dye) put into an IV in the arm. The doctor will tell you if your child should stop eating or drinking before the test.
The test will take about 30 to 60 minutes. Most of this time is spent getting ready for the scan. The actual test takes a few minutes.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.
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Current as of: November 4, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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