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Prep for abdominal and pelvic CT scan

Berkshire Medical Center
CAT Scan Department
(413)447-2114 ext.4414

Your Doctor has scheduled you for a CT scan of your Abdominal and Pelvic structures, which requires drinking "Readi-Cat II" (barium sulfate contrast) and the possibility of an injection of IV contrast material just prior to the exam.

DO NOT stop taking your medication. All medications may be taken with a small sip of water. If possible, try to avoid taking your regular medications at the same time as the contrast material. Doing so could reduce the effectiveness of your medications.

The following is the preparation for your exam;

  • Have nothing to eat or drink four (4) hours prior to your exam except as stated above.
  • Place both bottles of "Readi-Cat II" contrast material in the refrigerator to chill.
  • Shake the contrast material well before drinking.
  • Drink the first bottle of contrast two (2) hours prior to your exam time.
  • Drink the second bottle of contrast one (1) hour prior to your exam time.
  • When you arrive in the CT Department you will be asked to drink a cup of contrast just prior to your exam, with the possibility of having an injection of IV contrast at this time.

*Barium contrast is not absorbed into the body; it passes through your colon which may cause loose stools. It can cause bowel movements within the 2 hour period that you are consuming the Readi-CAT.  Contact your physician or come to the Emergency Room if you experience any shortness of breath or chest pain after drinking the contrast material.

Please allow time for traffic and parking. We ask that you arrive in the Radiology Department 30 minutes prior to your exam for insurance verification and final exam preparation.  If for any reason you are unable to keep this appointment, please try and give 24 hours notice.  If you need to cancel or reschedule please call (413) 447-2114 ext. 4414.  Our staff is available 24 hours a day to assist you with any questions or concerns that you might have.

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