Computed Tomography (CT) is a way of using x-rays to take pictures in very fine slices through the part of the body that the doctor has asked to be investigated. A CT cystogram scan primarily focuses on the bladder and its surrounding organs only. However, depending on what your referrer has requested, the radiologist may also look at your kidneys, ureters and other organs of the abdomen and pelvis. You will be asked to send your request through prior to making the booking.
You may also be required to have an intravenous iodinated contrast injection. This will be determined by your referring doctor and the request provided. As a precaution we would ask that you fast from food for two hours prior to the examination. It is important to hydrate in this time, please try to drink 1 litre of water.
NOTE: If you do not have a urinary catheter in at the time of your booking, please notify the staff making your appointment, as this may be needed to be inserted prior to the CT in the department by one of our doctors.
Depending on the scans required it takes 25 – 45 minutes.
The radiographer will position you on the CT table and the table will move in and out of the scanner. A series of pictures will be performed. Pre-contrast images may be first obtained of the bladder if deemed necessary by the reporting radiologist. One of our nurses or radiologists will connect, under sterile conditions, a bag containing a dilute contrast solution to your urinary catheter, termed an indwelling urinary catheter (IDC).
A dilute contrast agent will be put through the catheter into the bladder under the pressure of gravity until a specified amount has been reached or you feel a sensation of ‘fullness’ similar to when having the need to pass urine. At this point, another set of CT images will be taken and then checked immediately with the reporting radiologist. Sometimes, a third set of CT images may need to be taken once the bladder had been allowed to drain of the contrast solution. The radiologist will indicate to the radiographer and/or medical imaging nurse whether or not this will be required. It is very important that you lie still for this test and hold your breath when requested. Any movement can blur the images.
Digital images are immediately available to your doctor and your records will be kept permanently. Your report will be faxed to your doctor, however this can sometimes take up to 48 hours. If your referring doctor wants to see you on the day of your examination, please advise the radiographer when you arrive for your appointment, so the appropriate information can be made available for you to take to your doctor.
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