With the advancement in technology, the medical field has also been developed in a way that now we can do things that were previously impossible — from guessing what may be the problem behind the pain in our chest to taking accurate scans to see the exact issue. With the development of CT scans, early detection of injuries and diseases before they turned fatal became much easier. However, this also raises the question of how to prepare for a CT scan and if there is any specific preparation needed.

Since many lab tests and medical procedures need specific conditions to be performed, such is also the case for CT scans — especially since it is q complicated procedure of taking detailed scans of one’s whole body and can induce nausea or discomfort, possibly hindering the whole process.

What is a CT scan?

In a nutshell, a CT or Computed tomography scan is a method to take detailed x-ray scans of one’s whole body to detect the presence of abnormality in the form of diseases, injuries or internal discourse. These scans are very detailed and sensitive to the change occurring in the body, making the whole process quite dependent on the comfort of the patient as well.

These images are then transferred to the computers where a 3D version of them can be observed and printed if needed. Many such images can also show the real-time brain and organ activity of the patients, which is often used by doctors to observe their patience in specific conditions.

What to do to prepare?

The preparation process for a CT scan is not much harder than other lab tests and one’s health provider or doctor would let them know in advance how to prepare for one.

However, the basic preparations include performing the CT scan on an empty stomach — avoid eating anything for at least four hours before one’s appointment. Though, water is highly suggested to be consumed regularly even after the scan to avoid any feeling of nausea. Other than that, one should wear comfortable clothing that is not restricting movement for a better scan experience.

Any medical history or medication that is needed to be taken during the four hours before the period of the CT scan should be informed to the doctors. Depending on the type of CT scan one is opting for, doctors may even ask one to bring blood test reports and allergen reports. One should consult their doctors before acting on their own.


In the end, while movies may have shown CT scans as a little scarier and clinical, it is not as such in real life. It is a relatively quick and simple procedure and one does not need to be afraid while going to take one.