6A Napier Road, Annexe Block #05-35C Gleneagles Hospital
Mount Alvernia Medical Centre A  #06-07,  820 Thomson Road

Computed Tomography (CT) Abdomen & Pelvis

X-rays are very useful but are only able to provide 2D images. Some conditions require a cross-sectional view for a proper diagnosis. This is where the computed tomography (CT) scan, commonly referred to as a CT scan, comes in.
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What is a CT-scan?

A CT-scan is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging tool that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional, horizontal, or axial images of our body. An x-ray produces images of the body straight-on as it is presented to the machine whereas a CT-scan circles your body and can therefore produce images of different angles of the body.

CT-scans of your abdomen or pelvis can help your gastroenterologist to see the bones, organs, and blood vessels in your abdominal cavity.

How does a CT-scan of the Abdomen & Pelvis work?

A CT-scan is a short out-patient procedure that can last up to 30 minutes. There are a plethora of reasons for a CT-scan of the abdomen/pelvis, and you may require a contrast dye to be intravenously injected into your body. This allows certain areas of your body to be highlighted, allowing for more accurate images.
  • Lie on the table with your hands above your head.
  • Once you are ready, the table will slide into the CT scanner.
  • The scanner’s x-ray beams will rotate around you and the images are recorded.
  • You may be asked to hold your breath for some images.
  • You must not move while in the CT scanner as movement creates blurred pictures.

How do I prepare for a CT-scan of the Abdomen & Pelvis?

  • You may be required to fast for 2-6 hours before your scan
  • You may not be allowed to consume certain medications
  • Remove all your jewelry
  • Depending on the reason for your CT-scan, you may be required to either consume a contrast dye or have the dye injected intravenously

You must also inform your gastroenterologist if you are pregnant, have diabetes, or if you are allergic to anything especially barium, iodine, or any other contrast dye.

Who needs a CT-scan?

Your gastroenterologist may recommend a CT-scan of your abdomen/pelvis if you have the following conditions:
  • Abdominal mass
  • Pancreatic problems
  • Kidney stones
  • Inflammation of the intestines
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Appendicitis
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained abdominal pain
  • Cancer
  • Check for abnormalities of intestines

What can I expect after a CT-scan of the Abdomen & Pelvis?

There is no downtime for a CT-scan and you will be able to resume your daily activities after the procedure. If a contrast dye was used, you will be monitored for a while to ensure that you do not have any adverse reaction to it. You should consume lots of fluids after your scan if a contrast dye was used.
The results will take approximately 1 day and you will be scheduled for a follow-up session to discuss your results.

What are the benefits of a CT-scan?

  • Non-invasive procedure
  • Takes approximately 30 minutes
  • More detailed and accurate than an x-ray
  • Cheaper and more convenient than an MRI
  • Able to detect and diagnose disease earlier

What are the possible complications or risks of a CT-scan of the Abdomen & Pelvis?

Although the complications and risks are rare, they may happen, this is what you should look out for:

  • Adverse reaction to the contrast dye: In rare cases, some individuals may experience rashes, itchiness, or kidney problems
  • Radiation exposure: Some increase in exposure to radiation but if spread out over a lifetime then the amounts are not dangerous

Frequently asked questions

What organs does a CT-scan of the abdomen/pelvis show?
A CT-scan of the abdomen/pelvis can diagnose problems in the uterus, bladder, bowels, prostate, and liver.
Is a CT-scan painful?
No, it is not painful.
Will I have to stay overnight at the hospital?
No, CT-scans are out-patient procedures which last for approximately 30 minutes. You may go home after the procedure.
What diseases can a CT-scan of the abdomen/pelvis diagnose?
A CT-scan can reveal different types of diseases such as, liver disease, pancreatic cancer, lymphoma, colon cancer, kidney stones, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, etc.

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    6A Napier Road, Annexe Block #05-35C Gleneagles Hospital
    Singapore 258500
    820 Thomson Road, #06-07 Mount Alvernia Medical Centre A Singapore 574623

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