What Does My Doctor Do With The Results Of My Pelvic CT Scan?
A pelvic CT (computed tomography) scan is a very helpful medical scan for diagnosing the cause of abdominal or pelvic pain. If you’re experiencing pain in these areas, your doctor might recommend you get a pelvic CT scan. Your doctor will assess the cause of your pelvic pain based on your results. A pelvic CT scan gives the doctor visualizations of your kidneys, bladder, lymph nodes, small intestine, pelvic bones, hip bones, lower spine, colon, prostate, and male and female reproductive organs.
Your pelvic CT scan could result in clear, normal results. If you receive abnormal results, your doctor could be looking for any of the following results:
- Infected fluid collections (abscesses)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Liver cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Kidney and bladder stones
- Bone fractures or breaks
*Having a pelvic CT scan does not mean you certainly have one of these diagnoses
Pelvic CT scans are very helpful in finding obstructions, masses, tumors, infections, and many other problems. While a CT scan alone cannot diagnose a mass as benign or malignant, it will give your doctor enough information to know the size, location, and approximate borders of the mass.
How Do I Prepare For A Pelvic CT Scan?
Now that you know what your doctor will be looking for, you’re ready to get ready for your scan. Preparing for your pelvic CT scan involves some planning. On the day of your scan, try to eat a light breakfast or a diet of clear liquids. Don’t eat anything for 5 hours before your scan. Try to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This will give you time to ask any questions and change into a hospital gown for your scan. Try not to wear any jewelry, cosmetics, lotions, or deodorant on the day of your scan as they could react to the machinery.
If you are getting a pelvic CT with contrast, you may need to arrive 10-15 minutes early to ingest or be injected with the contrast dye material. This dye helps your doctor have better visualization between different organs or structures or masses on your scans. You may experience some injection site pain or itchiness. If these symptoms or others (nausea, fever, etc.) persist, contact your doctor.
For the scan itself, you will be asked to lie on your back while the CT machinery moves around you. It’s important to stay as still as possible during the scan. The scan will take between 10 and 30 minutes to complete, and once it’s over, you are free to go home.
What Happens After My Pelvic CT Scan?
After your pelvic CT scan, your results will be sent from the radiologist to your doctor within 24 hours of your scan. If your radiologist notices an emergency on your scan, they will get you emergency care immediately, but other than that, they are not able to diagnose your results after your scan. Your doctor will get back to you with your results likely within a week to schedule a follow-up appointment to go over your results, answer any questions, and potentially create a treatment plan.
It’s normal to worry about your results. The best way to combat your fear is to clarify with your doctor what exactly they are expecting to find. Your doctor is there to help you – ask as many questions as you feel you need to feel comfortable going into your appointment. While waiting for your doctor to call with your results, try to keep yourself busy, talk about your feelings with friends, and try to stick to your normal routine. Don’t assume the worst before talking to your doctor.
At South Jersey Radiology, we know waiting on results can oftentimes feel like the worst part of the scan. This is why we work hard to get results out quickly and accurately. You’re more than just a number to us – you’re a person, and we want to help. Call us today to schedule an appointment at any of our following locations:
- Greentree Office – Marlton, NJ
- Haddonfield Office – Haddonfield, NJ
- Turnersville Office – Turnersville, NJ
- Voorhees Office – Voorhees Township, NJ
- Route 73 Office – Voorhees Township, NJ
- Washington Township Office – Sewell, NJ
- West Deptford Office – West Deptford, NJ
Learn more about the board-certified, subspecialized radiologists who read and interpret studies at SJRA, here.
A pelvic CT scan is a valuable medical scan for diagnosing the cause of abdominal or pelvic pain. It provides visualizations of various organs and structures, including the kidneys, bladder, lymph nodes, small intestine, pelvic bones, hip bones, lower spine, colon, prostate, and male and female reproductive organs. Abnormal results from a pelvic CT scan may indicate conditions such as appendicitis, pyelonephritis, infected fluid collections (abscesses), inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), pancreatitis, liver cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, lymphoma, kidney and bladder stones, diverticulitis, or bone fractures or breaks. However, it's important to note that having a pelvic CT scan does not guarantee a specific diagnosis, and further evaluation and consultation with your doctor are necessary.
To prepare for a pelvic CT scan, it's recommended to plan ahead. On the day of your scan, have a light breakfast or consume clear liquids, and avoid eating anything for at least 5 hours prior to the scan. Arrive at the imaging center 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow time for questions.. Avoid wearing jewelry, cosmetics, lotions, or deodorant on the day of the scan, as they can interfere with the imaging process. If you are having a pelvic CT scan with contrast, you may need to arrive earlier to receive a contrast dye material orally or intravenously, which improves visualization. Some temporary symptoms like injection site pain or itchiness may occur, but if any persistent or concerning symptoms arise, contact your doctor.
During the scan, you will lie on your back while the CT machinery moves around you. It's important to remain as still as possible throughout the procedure. The scan typically takes between 10 and 30 minutes to complete, after which you are free to go home.
After your pelvic CT scan, our radiologist will send the results to your doctor within 24 – 48 hours. Your doctor will typically contact you within a week to schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss the results, address any questions or concerns you may have, and potentially create a treatment plan if necessary.
It's normal to feel worried about the results. To alleviate stress, we advised you to discuss with your doctor what they are expecting to find and ask any questions you may have. Remember, your doctor is there to help you. While waiting for your doctor's call, try to keep yourself occupied, share your feelings with friends or loved ones, and maintain your normal routine.
At South Jersey Radiology, we understand that waiting for results can be stressful. We strive to provide quick, accurate results to you and your doctor. Reach out to schedule an appointment at any of our locations below: