Having a CT colonography - Transcript | Cancer Research UK
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Having a CT colonography - Transcript

A CT colonography is a test to look at the inside of your bowel.

Your bowel needs to be empty for the test so you have to follow a special diet for a couple of days beforehand. Usually a low fibre or liquid diet.

You’ll be given instructions about what you need to do. Before the test you take a laxative or a special liquid called gastrografin. This is a dye to help make the scan clearer but also works as a laxative.

You will have diarrhoea so it’s best to stay at home close to a toilet.

On the day of the test you can continue to drink clear fluids up to a few hours before.

The radiographer puts a small tube called a cannula into a vein in your arm or the back of your hand. You may have a drug through this cannula to relax your bowel muscles. This reduces cramping during your test.

You may need to have an injection of x-ray dye through the cannula. This helps to show the other organs outside of the bowel.

You then need to lie on your left side. The radiographer will put a small tube into your back passage to pump air or carbon dioxide inside your bowel. This helps to open up the bowel to make it easier to see it on the computer.

You may feel as if you need to go the toilet or to pass wind. It is normal but try to keep in as much gas as you can.

You then have 2 or 3 CT scans in different positions. All of your images will be looked at using a special computer programme. This shows up any growths or abnormal areas on your bowel wall.

After the test you may feel bloated, have stomach pains and pass wind. This doesn’t last long.

To make sure you’re ok you usually stay in the department for 20 minutes. Then you can go home and eat and drink normally again.

You usually get the results within a couple of weeks from the person who sent you for the test.

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Updated: 11 August 2016