Mothering Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,308 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been having some mysterious symptoms (see this thread), and now I have to go in for a CT scan of my brain tomorrow morning. I have a couple of questions and I'm wondering if anyone here has the answers.

First of all, I have had a CT scan before when I had kidney stones, and no contrast dye was needed. I'm wondering with a brain scan is it typical to use contrast dye? And if so what are the implication for nursing?

Second of all, when I had the other CT scan I found it quite scary. I'm somewhat claustrophobic and the thought of having to go head-first into that machine is getting me quite worked up. I'm wondering if it's possible to have some sort of sedative to take the edge off of my anxiety, or would that compromise the test. Also, if anyone has any idea how long a "brain scan" lasts for (so I have some idea how many minutes I'll have to hold it together for).

TIA!

(btw, I'm asking here and not googling for answers because I've promised myself not to do any googling about my symptoms/what's going on so I don't end up just freaking myself out. But if anyone else wanted to google about CT scans on my behalf it would be appreciated
)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
I'll try to answer as best I can.

As far as dyes...you MUST determine what contrast they are using in advance. Call the radiology department now and ask for the specific name of the dye. Some dyes are safe for nursing and some are not.

With brain scans they typically do one scan of the brain without the contrast and one with. Each scan gives better insight into different elements of the brain.

As far as sedative, you would need to arrange for that in advance, but yes they do offer that generally if you need it. I didn't ask for sedative in my most recent brain MRI and wish I had. That said, the techs there were fairly resourceful at offering suggestions for minimizing anxiety.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,308 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for your response.


Can you give any idea as to how long each scan usually lasts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
Oh gosh, well I can't recall the different times for the CT v. the MRI. I think the CT is shorter. It also depends what exact tests they are doing. If you call the rad. department they will give you the exact times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
Sometimes they use contrast with the brain, and sometimes they don't. They never have with us -- but they always know what they're looking for with us, rather than doing just a general assessment, as they are with you.

The actual time in the machine is about 5 minutes -- at least for my five year old it is.

They might have changed the machine since the last time you used one -- they're no longer so enclosed. A CT is definitely less enclosed than an MRI.

Just curious, have you considered an MRI? It doesn't have radiation. It takes a lot longer and is a more closed-in machine, though.

Hope it goes well for you tomorrow. It's really pretty quick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,308 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post
Sometimes they use contrast with the brain, and sometimes they don't. They never have with us -- but they always know what they're looking for with us, rather than doing just a general assessment, as they are with you.

The actual time in the machine is about 5 minutes -- at least for my five year old it is.

They might have changed the machine since the last time you used one -- they're no longer so enclosed. A CT is definitely less enclosed than an MRI.

Just curious, have you considered an MRI? It doesn't have radiation. It takes a lot longer and is a more closed-in machine, though.

Hope it goes well for you tomorrow. It's really pretty quick.
Thanks for the info.


I haven't been offered an MRI. I don't know that I could get one without a referral? The dr I saw said that she'd like me to have a CT scan, and then I will meet with a neurologist and he will decide if I need an MRI as well (and if so it would take at least a couple of weeks for me to get one).

Ok, I'm off to bed... keeping fingers crossed that all goes smoothly tomorrow...
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top