General CT Preparation
CT exams fall into five general categories.
The preparation instructions for each is listed below.
You can print and fill out the CT Whole Body Screening Questionnaire , if you are having that study, before you arrive to speed the registration process.
CT with Contrast
- Do not eat 4 hours before your exam. Continue drinking water as normal before your exam.
- Taking medication as prescribed.
CT without Contrast
- No preparations required. (Approximate visit time: 1 hour)
- The most important part of any CT colonography happens before you come to the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center. To get a good look at the lining of the colon, it is necessary to clean out any traces of food or other material.
- This means you must maintain a restricted diet the day before your exam and take colon-cleaning medications.
- A prep-kit with detailed instructions and the medication you need to take before your exam is available from us.
- You can either pick up this prep-kit in person, or request that it be mailed to you. To request a prep-kit, or for more information, call (310) 423-3266.
- It is important that you carefully follow the instructions given with the prep-kit.
- If you have diabetes: please contact us before you begin the prep-kit: (310) 423-3266.
CT contrast is sometimes given for this exam.
PET scans require careful preparation, so please follow instructions carefully.
(Diabetics should discuss the preparations with their doctor.)
- 24 hours before your appointment
- Do NOT engage in any strenuous exercise.
- 12 hours before your appointment
- Stay on a low-carbohydrate diet. (See below for a guide on what to eat.)
- Refrain from consuming any caffeine, including any decaffeinated products for 24 hours before your exam. Note: Decaffeinated products still contain small amounts of caffeine.
- Do NOT chew gum.
- Avoid mints.
- 6 hours before your appointment:
- Do NOT eat anything.
- Drink water as needed.
- Take any prescribed medications as usual.
- If you are diabetic, please consult your doctor for questions regarding diet and medication.
- Low-Carbohydrate Diet Guide:
- All meats
- Hard cheeses
- Unsweetened peanut butter
- Oil, margarine, butter
- Diet soda (be careful to avoid caffeine or decaffeinated sodas.)
- Non-starchy vegetables (such as: broccoli, spinach, green beans.)
Foods not allowed:
- Dry beans
- Fruit and fruit juices
- Jams and jellies
- Sugar and candy
- Starchy vegetables (such as: peas, corn, potatoes)
- Milk (including non-dairy milk)
- Coffee or Tea
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.