Comprehensive CT Scan of the Abdomen and Pelvis at Valley Radiology

At Valley Radiology, we pride ourselves on providing diagnostic imaging services to meet your health and wellness needs.

Our team of radiologists offers you a state-of-the-art CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis to find the underlying cause of your symptoms.

The abdomen and pelvis are vital regions of the body, housing numerous essential organs, blood vessels, and tissues. Our advanced technology enables us to create highly detailed cross-sectional images, offering unparalleled insights into the inner workings of these critical areas.

Beyond a diagnostic service, we strive to create an environment that promotes patient comfort and peace of mind. We recognize that undergoing medical imaging can be uncertain, and our compassionate staff is committed to addressing any concerns and guiding you through the process.

What Is an Abdominal and Pelvic CT Scan? 

Similar to other types of imaging, an abdominal and pelvic CT (computed tomography) scan is a non-invasive procedure that uses X-rays and computer technology to create detailed cross-sectional images of the abdominal and pelvic regions. 

The images allow our radiologists to identify and evaluate various organs, tissues, and structures by providing more detail than regular X-ray exams.

Abdominal and Pelvic Scan Common Uses 

Abdominal and pelvic CT scans are commonly used to diagnose and assess various conditions affecting the abdominal and pelvic region.

A CT scan may be recommended if you are experiencing any of the following conditions or symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Appendicitis
  • Cancerous tumors and masses
  • Infections or inflammations
  • Evaluation of abdominal organs like the liver, spleen, and pancreas

I’m Getting a CT Scan of My Abdomen and Pelvis– What Does It Show? 

When you undergo a CT scan of your abdomen and pelvis, the procedure provides highly detailed cross-sectional images of the internal structures within these vital regions of your body. 

Typically, this type of imaging will show any abnormalities, tumor growth, inflammation, or signs of injury, infection, or disease in the following organs and structures: 

  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Kidneys
  • Adrenal glands
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Bowel
  • Bladder
  • Uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries (in females)
  • Prostate (in males)
  • Aorta and other major blood vessels
  • Blood Flow
  • Spine
  • Pelvis
  • Lymph Nodes

The detailed information obtained from the CT scan of the abdomen aids in accurate diagnoses, appropriate treatment plans, and the effectiveness of ongoing treatments. 

How Should I Prepare for the Abdominal and Pelvic CT Scan?

Before your CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis, it is essential to adhere to specific preparation instructions to ensure optimal imaging results.

While our experienced team will provide you with detailed guidelines tailored to your specific case, your preparation will likely include the following:

Fasting Instructions

Depending on the nature of your procedure, you may be required to fast before the procedure. Fasting helps to reduce artifacts in the images caused by undigested food, ensuring clearer and more accurate results. 

Contrast Agent Preparations

If your CT scan involves contrast agents, you may receive specific instructions about how to take them. Contrast agents enhance the visibility of particular organs and blood vessels, enabling better visualization of structures during the scan. You may be required to drink a contrast solution or receive it intravenously.

Medication and Medical History Review

Before your CT scan, it is essential to Inform our team about any medications you are currently taking. Guidance will be provided on whether to continue taking them as usual or if any adjustments are necessary beforehand. It is also important to disclose any medical history of allergies that could impact the scan.

If there is a possibility that you may be pregnant or if you are breastfeeding, inform us immediately. Pregnant women should avoid unnecessary radiation exposure, and breastfeeding mothers may need to pause breastfeeding temporarily if contrast agents are required.

We understand that undergoing a medical procedure can be stressful, especially if you have claustrophobia or other anxieties. If you have concerns about preparation, don't hesitate to discuss them with us. 

What Happens Before, During, and After an Abdominal and Pelvic CT Scan?

At Valley Radiology, we are here to guide you through the entire CT scan process.

Before the scan, we will explain the procedure and answer any questions. You will change into a medical gown and may be given a contrast agent. 

You will lie comfortably on a table that moves through the CT scanner during the scan. 

After the procedure, you can resume your regular activities, and our radiologists will interpret the images and send the results to your healthcare provider or schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss your results in more detail directly with you. 

How Long Will a CT Scan of the Abdomen Take?

The duration of the CT scan varies depending on the complexity of your abdominal or pelvic condition. Generally, your procedure will take about 30 to 60 minutes. 

CT Abdomen and Pelvis With and Without Contrast: What’s the Difference?

CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis can be conducted with or without contrast.

The contrast agent used in CT scans is typically an iodine-based solution that is safe and well-tolerated by most patients. 

In an abdominal and pelvic CT scan without contrast, no dye will be used as they are often the initial imaging study performed to evaluate various medical conditions.

CT scans without contrast serve as a valuable baseline assessment and may be sufficient to guide your healthcare provider in formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan.

 This type of scan provides detailed images of the anatomical structures in your abdomen and pelvis, including organs, blood vessels, bones, and soft tissues.

In a CT scan of the abdomen with contrast, a specialized dye is introduced into your bloodstream, typically through an intravenous (IV) injection. As it circulates through your blood vessels, it enhances the visualization of blood vessels, organs, and specific abnormalities, providing additional information to the radiologist. 

This process is beneficial for identifying subtle lesions, tumors, vascular abnormalities, and inflammatory conditions.

CT scans with contrast are often used to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your condition or if there is suspicion of specific abnormalities that may be better visualized with targeted dye. 

The contrast-enhanced images can help differentiate between normal and abnormal tissues and enable the radiologist to identify even tiny lesions that may not be visible otherwise.

Getting a CT Scan With Contrast? Here are the Abdomen and Pelvis Side Effects

It is essential to understand that a CT scan with contrast on the abdomen and pelvis can lead to side effects.

While most patients tolerate contrast well without any adverse effects, a small percentage may experience mild reactions that include: 

  • A warm sensation spreading through the body
  • A metallic taste in their mouth during or shortly after the injection. 

These mild reactions are generally considered normal and are not a cause for concern. 

Severe allergic reactions to contrast agents are exceedingly rare but can occur. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction may include:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Throat tightness
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Widespread hives or a rash
  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or fainting

If you experience any of these symptoms during or after the contrast injection, it is crucial to alert us immediately. At Valley Radiology, your safety and well-being are our top priorities. 

What Are the Possible Outcomes of My Abdominal and Pelvic CT?

The outcome of your procedure will depend on the specific purpose of the imaging study and the final findings.

CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis can provide valuable diagnostic information, helping your healthcare provider make informed decisions about your health. 

  • The CT scan may reveal normal and healthy structures within your abdomen and pelvis. This outcome assures that no significant abnormalities or medical concerns require immediate attention.
  • In other cases, the procedure may reveal the presence of various medical conditions affecting the abdominal and pelvic regions. 
  • These conditions could include but are not limited to:
    • Gallstones or kidney stones
    • Liver, pancreatic, or kidney tumors
    • Appendicitis or other gastrointestinal issues
    • Inflammatory disorders, such as diverticulitis or colitis
    • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
    • Uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts (in females)
    • Prostate issues (in males)

Structural abnormalities or developmental variations that require further evaluation or monitoring may also be detected. These findings may not necessarily indicate a medical condition but could be essential to know about and monitor regularly.

If you have undergone previous abdominal or pelvic surgeries, the CT scan may be performed to assess post-surgical changes, healing, or the presence of complications.

No matter the outcome, the information obtained can guide your healthcare provider in developing an appropriate treatment plan.

Sometimes, a CT scan may provide initial information but require additional tests or imaging studies to confirm a diagnosis.

After completion and a thorough review, your provider will discuss the findings with you, explain their implications, and recommend appropriate next steps, which may include more imaging, testing, treatment, or follow-up appointments.

What’s the Cost of a CT Scan of the Abdomen and Pelvis Without Insurance?

The cost of a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis without insurance can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the imaging center, the complexity of the scan, and any additional services or consultations required. 

If you don’t have health insurance, we are here to help. We pride ourselves on providing affordable CT scans for all. 

Your Trusted Partner for a CT Scan of the Abdomen and Pelvis 

At Valley Radiology, we aim to provide accurate and reliable imaging results to support your healthcare journey, no matter what you face.

If you or a loved one are living with abdominal pain or other symptoms affecting your daily life and overall health, a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis with contrast may be the next best step in determining the root cause.

Make your health a priority by scheduling a CT scan of your abdomen today. A clearer picture of your health is possible here.