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What To Expect After a Chest CT Scan

You usually can return to your normal routine right after a chest CT scan.

If you got medicine to help you relax during the CT scan, your doctor will tell you when you can return to your normal routine. The medicine may make you sleepy, so you'll need someone to drive you home.

If contrast dye was used during the test, you may have a bruise where the needle was inserted. Your doctor may give you special instructions, such as drinking plenty of liquids to flush out the contrast dye.

If you're breastfeeding, the contrast dye can be passed to your baby through your breast milk. Ask your doctor how long you should wait after the test before you breastfeed.

You may want to prepare for the test by pumping and saving milk for 24 to 48 hours in advance. You can bottle-feed your baby in the hours after the CT scan.

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Chest CT Scan Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Chest CT Scan, visit

January 01, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.