CT Exam Instructions for Patients Having Contrast

  • Patient needs to fast 2 hours prior to exam.
  • The contrast does not need to be refrigerated. Some patients find that the contrast tastes better if it is cold.
  • Patients need to start drinking their contrast 2 hours prior to the exam.
  • Please note that the drink may give the patient diarrhea. It is not a laxative and not all patients may experience this.
  • Post procedure medications may need to be discontinued for a period of time and that a nurse will discuss at the time of appointment.

Biopsy Preparations

A CT guided biopsy is done by a radiologist who has specialized training performing biopsies and procedures using CT scans and other diagnostic equipment. Your physician consulted with the radiologist about the neccessity for the biopsy, based on prior CT scans or other X-ray and Lab results.

Pre-Biopsy: Do not take Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Lovenox, Agranox, or other blood thinners for at least 5 days before the biopsy. *If you have stopped taking blood thinners per our instructions, have the lab tests drawn early morning the day before the procedure.

  1. You will need to go to the lab for blood tests required for the biopsy (PT, PTT, Platelet count, BUN and Creatinine). You should have this done at least 3 days prior to the scheduled date of your procedure. You should obtain a prescription for these from your physician.
  2. You will be contacted by the hospital for pre-registration, the night before the test.
  3. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your procedure.

Day of the Procedure

  1. Report to the Endoscopy or Ambulatory department at 7 A.M. (second floor, main hospital).
  2. The biopsy will be done between 8 A.M. & 11 A.M., in the CT Department depending on the radiologist schedule. There may be several biopsies daily. The test takes approximately one hour. Your family can wait in the ICU or Endo waiting area during the procedure.
  3. After the procedure, you will go back to the Endo or Ambulatory department for 4-6 hours.
  4. You will not eat until 2 hours after the biopsy. Initially, clear liquids will be given followed by lunch 4 hours after the biopsy.
    ** Please note: times may vary. **
  5. Bring medications, in their original containers, that you need daily to take later in the day after the biopsy. IF YOU ARE DIABETIC, we will contact your MD for the correct insulin dose, which may need to be changed due to fasting until mid-morning.
  6. You may want to bring books or magazines to read. Your family may stay with you throughout the day or return later in the day to take you home, as their schedule allows.
  7. Someone should drive you home.


  1. Once home, rest on the couch/chair or in bed for 1 day.
  2. Stay at home another 2 days, taking it easy. You may walk around the house.
  3. No heavy lifting for one week. We can give you an excuse for work/school, if needed.
  4. Your doctor will tell you the results as soon as possible, usually within 2 days to one week.

In general, biopsies using CT guidance are less risky than general surgery. However, potential risks are possible, including bleeding, infection and lung collapse for lung and adrenal biopsies or pancreatitis for pancreatic biopsies. During the procedure, you may feel a stinging sensation from the medication used to numb your skin. Pressure may be felt during the biopsy. Afterwards the site may be tender and is usually releived with non-aspirin products.