Anesthesiologist Questions Ct Scan

Is a CT scan done under anesthesia?

My son is 12 years old, and he will have CT scan tomorrow but he's pretty nervous and I don't blame him. Is a CT scan done under anesthesia?

9 Answers

Rarely needs general anesthesia, especially with newer, faster CT scanners
A CT scan is usually a quick and painless radiographic procedure, but may sometimes require sedation or general anesthesia for children and adults who are unable to stay still for the duration of the study.
It would be very unusual to do a CT scan with sedation. There are some different strategies to reduce nervousness. They might give him a dry run with the machine off to get used to the idea. Be sure to arrive early and let the technicians know of your son’s concerns
Typically no a CT does not need to be done under anesthesia however sedation can be utilized if necessary to alleviate anxiety and to prevent him from moving too much. The physician ordering the scan and radiologist interpreting the scan can probably assist with giving him by ordering medication if necessary

Marc A Morales MD
It is normal to have some anxiety before a CT scan, but it is a painless procedure and hospital staff will explain the test and usually provide enough education and emotional support to allow the scan to be done without any medication.
No anesthesia needed for diagnostic CT. It is short and relatively open space and no claustrophobia unless they do certain procedures under CT.
A 12-year-old is usually mature enough to have a CT scan without anesthesia or sedation. They may need to start an intravenous for X-ray dye. A CT scan now only takes a few seconds.

Steven Dain
A CT scan could be done under mild sedation, if the patient is extremely anxious or cannot stay still for 15-30 min. However, a CT scan is an open investigation and most of the patients undergoing this procedure can tolerate it without sedation.

Alina Grigore, MD