Are CT scans safe?

CT scans are quick, painless and generally safe. However, there's a small risk you could have an allergicreaction to the contrast dye usedand you will be exposed to X-rayradiation.

The amount of radiation you're exposed to during a CT scanvaries, depending on how much of your body is scanned. CT scanners are designed to make sure you're not exposed to unnecessarily high levels.

Generally, the amount of radiation you're exposed to during each scan is the equivalent to between a few months and a few years of exposure to natural radiation from the environment.

It's thought exposure to radiationduring CT scans could slightly increase your chances of developingcancer many years later, although this risk is thought to be very small (less than 1 in 2,000). For more information, read GOV.UK: patient dose information.

The benefits and risks of having a CT scan willalways be weighed up before it's recommended. Talk to your doctor or radiographer about the potential risks beforehand, if you have any concerns.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018