How To Prepare For A Coronary Calcium Scan?
A coronary calcium scan, also known as a heart scan, is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that uses X-ray technology to detect calcium deposits in the arteries of the heart. These deposits, also called plaques, can cause blockages and lead to serious heart conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes. Getting a coronary calcium scan can be an important step in monitoring and improving your heart health, but it’s essential to be prepared for the scan. In this article, we’ll discuss how to prepare for a coronary calcium scan.
Talk To Your Doctor
Before getting a coronary calcium scan, it’s crucial to talk to your Denver heart doctor. Your doctor will help you determine if a heart scan is necessary and explain what the test involves. They’ll also provide instructions on what to do before the scan and what to expect during the scan.
Avoid Caffeine And Nicotine
It is advisable to abstain from coffee and nicotine for at least four hours before the scan. Caffeine and nicotine both can accelerate the rate at which your heart beats, which may have an impact on the findings of the scan.
Fast Before The Scan
It’s recommended to fast for four hours before the scan. Fasting means not consuming any food or drink, except for water. Fasting is important because it ensures that the calcium deposits in your arteries are detectable. If you eat or drink anything, the calcium deposits can be masked, and the scan may not be accurate.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
While going in for the scan, make sure to wear comfortable clothes. Throughout the process, you will be required to wear a hospital gown; therefore, you should dress in attire that is not only comfortable but also simple to remove.
Bring Your Medications
If you’re taking any medications, bring them with you to the scan. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and supplements. Your doctor will advise you on which medications you can take before the scan.
Inform The Technologist
Please let the technician know if you have any medical implants, such as a pacemaker, or if you’ve recently undergone any surgical procedures. The technologist will make certain that the scan is both efficient and risk-free for you to undergo.
Be Prepared For The Scan
A coronary calcium scan typically takes 10-15 minutes to complete. During the scan, you’ll lie on your back on a table, and the technologist will attach electrodes to your chest to monitor your heart rate. You’ll then be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds while the scan is in progress.
Relax During The Scan
It is not unusual to have anxiety in the hours leading up to a coronary calcium scan. Therefore, you must remain calm throughout the scan. The more at ease, you are when taking the photos, the higher the overall quality will be. You can choose to relax by listening to music or meditating while you have the scan done.
Follow Up With Your Doctor
The scan will give you a calcium score, which can go from zero to over four hundred. A score of 0 indicates no calcium deposits, whereas a score of 400 or more indicates significant calcium accumulation. You can expect your doctor to go through the scan’s findings with you and make any appropriate recommendations for follow-up exams or therapy.
A coronary calcium scan is an essential tool for monitoring and improving heart health. To prepare for the scan, talk to your doctor, avoid caffeine and nicotine, fast before the scan, wear comfortable clothing, bring your medications, inform the technologist of any medical implants, be prepared for the scan, relax during the scan, and follow up with your doctor. By following these tips, you’ll be prepared for the scan and can take control of your heart health.