Reducing Your CT Scanxiety - Ways To Reduce Stress Before Your CT Scan
REDUCING CT SCANXIETY
How to Reduce Stress Levels Before Your Upcoming CT Scan
A CT scan is a computerised tomography scan that
uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed
images of the inside of the body. There are a number
of reasons why you may need to have a CT scan.
The NHS explains that they can be used to diagnose
and monitor a variety of different health conditions,
including brain tumours, certain bone conditions, and
injuries to internal organs such as the kidneys, liver or
They're also now being used to look at the heart. There will
always be some level of anxiety but here are my tips on how
to reduce the factors that may lead to more stress than
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
The first step is to understand the process. Whether you are having an appointment
with the NHS or a private CT scan, most will follow a similar process:
You will lie on your back on a flat bed
The CT scanner will have an X-ray tube that rotates around your body
You'll usually be moved continuously through the rotating beam
Unlike an MRI scan, where you're placed inside a tunnel, you shouldn't feel
claustrophobic. Please click here for some advice preparing for an MRI scan.
5. The scan is painless and will usually take between five and 10 minutes depending
on the part of your body being scanned
2. CONSIDER GOING PRIVATE
The waiting list for a CT scan can be lengthy. The
longer you have to wait the more anxious you
will feel on the day. Consider arranging a
private CT scan if you have the relevant health
insurance or funds to cover it. This is particularly
recommended for an MRI scan.
This will reduce the time waiting for your
appointment and also mean you are likely to
get a little more time and attention.
Not all private health care providers are expensive. Take a look at the database of
imaging care centres for one that is affordable for you.
3. SPEAK TO YOUR FRIENDS
If you have a friend or acquaintance that
has had a CT scan speak to them about
There are also plenty of CT scan forums out
their offering support and sharing
Most importantly don’t keep your anxiety to
yourself. If you are worried then talk to
someone. Your family, friends and doctor
are there to help.
4. USE MEDITATION TECHNIQUES
This can be particularly useful for anyone that is worried about claustrophobia or the
ability to remain still for an MRI scan. I came across a blog post that described a very
personal CT scan experience. The author of the post explained that she focused on
the one positive statement from the doctor while waiting for her appointment. She
“It felt like I was hovering between time, where no anxiety about what has
passed, and what might come to pass, exists. The present moment. It was
a kind of instinctive meditation, an instinct for survival, without which I
don’t know how I would have coped emotionally with my situation, on
top of physically dealing with how very ill I was. By the time I was taken
down for my emergency operation, following the results of my scan, I felt
no fear at all…” Amy Deane, www.springtolife.co.uk
5. TRUST THE EXPERTS
It is the fear of trusting strangers that
often causes the most anxiety.
Performing CT scans is a daily task for
the doctors and nurses that will be
looking after you. Trust that it will be
If that is not enough, arrange to come
in and talk to them or ask for a little
time before the appointment to talk it
I hope these tips have helped set you on the way to reducing your CT scanxiety.
I have a number of friends who have had positive experiences both through the
NHS and privately. However, one of my friends in particular, explained that by
arranging a private MRI scan he felt more calm and was able to get his
appointment a lot quicker – so there are pros and cons for both.
Whatever you decide and whatever the result, if you lean on your support
network – whether it be your friends, family or recommended groups from your
doctor - everything really is going to be okay.