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Preparing for a VCT Exam
 
Preparations and length of a VCT procedure are similar to a regular CT procedure and is dependent on the type of scan your doctor ordered. Here are some general guidelines: 
  • Please arrive one half hour before your scheduled exam at Hartford Hospital, Department of Radiology, 2nd Floor, Room 236.
  • Do not eat or drink anything except water for 4-6 hours before your exam because it could interfere with the results; do not even chew gum.
  • If you take medications, drink only enough plain water to swallow them.
  • If you have been advised not to take your medications on an empty stomach, eat nothing more than a few soda crackers within 4-6 hours of your exam.
  • If you are diabetic, let us know ahead of time so we can work with your physician to determine the safest possible way for you to prepare for your exam.
  • If you feel feverish, please call this to our attention.
  • In addition, please let us know if you might be pregnant or are currently breast feeding.
  • You should allow 2 to 3 hours for the entire visit.
  • If you have any questions about your scheduled procedure, please call (860) 545-2839
What should I expect when I arrive?
When you arrive, we will take a review of your history and any past exams. Depending on the exam, you may be required to drink an oral contrast. For most studies, you will have to wait for the contrast to distribute itself – typically one hour. During this time you will be asked to relax.
 
What to Expect During a VCT Exam
LightSpeed SeriesYou will lie on a comfortable padded table. The table will move slowly through the tube-shaped VCT scanner as it acquires the information needed to generate diagnostic images. 
 
You will be asked to lie very still during the scan because movement can interfere with the results. You will be asked to breath normally during the scan. During the scan, you might hear a humming noise but you will not feel anything unusual. You may feel the table move while images are being taken at certain locations on your body. Our technologist will monitor you during the exam.
 
The specific details of your upcoming exam will be explained fully by our technologist or your physician.
 
How long will all this take?
The VCT scan should last between 30 and 45 minutes. The exam procedure can vary depending on what we are looking for. Plan to spend two to three hours with us.

What to Expect After a VCT Exam
You may leave us as soon as the exam is complete. Unless you have received special instructions, you will be able to eat and drink immediately – drinking lots of fluids soon after the exam will help remove any of the contrast that may still be in your system.
 
In the meantime, we will begin preparing the results for review by our diagnosticians, and then by your physician, who will tell you what we have learned.
 
Safety of VCT exams
Be assured that VCT exams are a safe and effective diagnostic procedure. If a radiopharmaceutical contrast is used, it will not remain in your system long, so there is no reason to avoid interacting with other people once you have left.