How To Prepare for a CT scan of Brain?

CT scan, also known as computed tomography, of the head is done for various reasons. It gives the healthcare providers a more detailed insight than X-rays. They may perform it for reasons such as;

  • Tumor
  • Stroke
  • Injury to the head, face, or skull
  • Hydrocephalus- fluid build up in the head
  • Infections
  • Swelling
  • Atrophy of brain tissue
  • Birth defects
  • Brain aneurysms
  • Hemorrhage- bleeding in the brain
  • Any abnormalities in the bones of your skull

For head Xray, you can get an x ray in Islamabad done.

How to Prepare for a CT scan of the Brain?

To prepare for a brain CT scan, the healthcare provider may give you the following instructions.


The healthcare providers will ask you to get yourself dressed in a patient’s gown. Moreover, they will also ask you to remove all the jewelry, hairpins, metal pins, or anything else you are wearing. You must make sure that you are not wearing anything metallic as it may interrupt the test.


The healthcare providers will ask you to sign the consent form, as they will administer you a contrast media called dye. Generally, dyes are safe, but they can have side effects.

Before they administer the dye, they will take your complete health history. It can be injected directly into your vein, or they may make you drink it.

Food and Drink

When you need to take a dye for a CT scan, your healthcare providers may ask you to stop eating or drinking for at least three hours before the test. But when you do not need it, they may not stop you from eating or drinking. In this case, you can take your medicines or have food. Eating and drinking restrictions vary from case to case. Therefore you must ask your healthcare provider about it before the test.


If you are diabetic and have to stop eating before the test, you must consult your healthcare provider about it. They will guide you when you should take medication, or stop eating food.


You must consult with your healthcare provider about which medications you should take and which you should not before a CT scan.

What are the Possible Side effects and Risks of CT scans?

Generally, CT scans are safe. But it can involve possible side effects and risks, such as;

  • Discomfort
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Allergic reaction to contrast


CT scan is a noninvasive, painful procedure. But the table in which you have to lie is hard. It can make your back stiff or have difficulty in lying for long hours. Moreover, dye upon injection can cause a slight burning sensation in your vein. Some people may experience a metallic taste in the mouth or a warm sensation in their bodies, but that is normal and may subside in less than a minute.

Exposure to radiation

Healthcare providers only perform CT scans when the benefit is greater than the risk. Newer model machines expose you to fewer radiations. But repeated scans may have bad effects on your health. You must tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or planning to get.

Allergic reaction to contrast

Generally, dyes are safe and do not harm your body. But sometimes, they may cause allergies. If you are allergic to iodine, you must tell your healthcare provider as most dyes are made up of iodine.

After getting dye injected, your healthcare providers will ask you to drink plenty of fluids as it will help in flushing out. For radiological evaluation, you can get an MRI in Islamabad done.