How Long Does a CT Scan of the Abdomen Take?

April 5, 2022 – 3 min read

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How Long Does a CT Scan of the Abdomen Take?

A CT scan uses X-ray imaging to take pictures of organs, soft tissues and bones. CT scans are a common tool used to diagnose conditions throughout the body. A CT scan of the abdomen appointment typically takes about 30 minutes.

Here’s other information you need before your scan.

What is a CT scan of the abdomen?

An abdominal CT scan can help diagnose a number of internal organ diseases or concerns, including appendicitis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney stones or certain forms of cancer found in the abdomen or pelvis. Depending on the type of CT scan you need, your doctor may order a CT with contrast dye, also known as a CT angiogram. The contrast material is typically administered intravenously, but it may be given orally in some cases. Contrast material helps improve the images of certain organs. The contrast dye shows up white on the scan, helping the radiologist understand how fluids are moving through your vessels and organs.

How much does an abdominal CT scan cost?

Imaging costs at Touchstone Medical Imaging are quite affordable compared with the costs at hospitals—on average 40-60% less than hospital-based imaging. We offer competitive rates and are in-network with 99% of health plans.

Touchstone Medical Imaging offers high-quality scans with leading-edge equipment and experienced staff. Cost shouldn’t prevent you from receiving the advanced imaging you need.

How to prepare for your CT scan of the abdomen

Share any medications you’re taking, allergies or medical conditions with your Touchstone Medical Imaging team before the scan. You may be asked not to eat or drink for several hours prior to the scan.

Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your scan. Women shouldn’t wear undergarments with metal underwires. Remove all jewelry, eyeglasses and dentures so they don’t interfere with the scan images.

If your doctor has ordered an imaging scan, travel and scheduling difficulties shouldn’t be part of your abdominal CT experience. Touchstone Medical Imaging offers multiple locations and extended and weekend hours so you can get your imaging done when it’s convenient to you. Find a center near you.

What to expect during a CT scan

The CT scanner is a large, circular machine with a short tunnel in the middle where a table slides in and out.

The technologist will explain the process before it begins and answer any questions. Then, your technologist will help position you on your back. It’s important to stay still during the scan so the images are clear.

When the scan is over, most people can return to regular activities immediately.

Does an abdominal CT scan hurt?

A CT scan of the abdomen is generally fast and painless. If the scan uses intravenous dye, you may feel a brief, mild discomfort that goes away quickly. Mild allergic reactions are rare and the technologist will discuss your known allergies before administering the contrast to prevent issues. The technologist will also be there to observe any reactions that may occur.

Contrast material you take orally may not taste great, but it shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort.

When to expect your results

A board-certified, subspecialty-trained radiologist will review the images and send the results to your doctor after your appointment. Your doctor will share the results and discuss any follow-up care.

Has your doctor ordered a CT scan of the abdomen? Find a Touchstone Medical Imaging center near you.