You may want to ask your healthcare
provider about the amount of radiation used during a CT scan and the risks tied to your
particular situation. Radiation from CT scans varies. But it may be up to 100 times
greater than a normal chest X-ray. It is a good idea to keep a record of your radiation
exposure, such as previous CT scans and other types of X-rays, so that you can inform
your healthcare provider. Risks linked to radiation exposure may be related to the total
number of X-ray exams and treatments over a long period.
If you are pregnant or think that
you may be, tell your healthcare provider. Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead
to birth defects. If it’s necessary for you to have a CT scan of the bones, special
precautions will be taken to reduce the radiation exposure to the fetus.
Nursing mothers should talk with
their provider about whether to delay breastfeeding after receiving contrast. There are
conflicting recommendations on this topic.
If contrast dye is used, there is a
risk for allergic reaction to the dye. If you are allergic to or sensitive to medicines,
contrast, or iodine, tell your healthcare provider. Studies show that most people will
not have an adverse reaction from contrast. But you will need to let your healthcare
provider know if you have ever had a reaction to any contrast dye or any kidney
problems. A seafood allergy does not mean you can't have contrast.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have kidney problems. In some cases, the contrast dye can cause kidney failure. People with kidney disease are more prone to kidney damage after contrast exposure.
There may be other risks depending
on your specific health condition. Talk about any concerns with your healthcare provider
before the procedure.