By following these instructions carefully—both the general instructions and those that apply to your specific exam, below—you help us to ensure the best possible diagnostic quality.
Radiology Exam General Preparation
Please arrive at least 20 minutes before your radiology exam appointment. If you must cancel or reschedule, call us at least 24 hours in advance.
If you are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, let your doctor know. In most cases, X-ray exams will not be done on a pregnant patient.
Tell us if you are breastfeeding.
If you are diabetic and taking insulin, ask your physician for specific instructions regarding the dosages for the day of your examination.
If you are on a medically-ordered, fluid-restricted diet or if you have kidney failure or a kidney transplant, discuss radiology exam preparation with your physician, who may alter your instructions. Your physician should inform us if any change is made in the preparation.
If your radiology exam requires you to fast beforehand and is scheduled for the afternoon, you may have 8 -12 ounces of water around 7:00 AM. Otherwise don’t eat, drink, smoke or chew before the exam.
What You Should Bring
Prescription or referral from your physician.
List of medications you take, including non-prescription medications and supplements.
Any previous, relevant imaging exams and reports performed outside of our network.
Medical history, including whether you may be pregnant or breastfeeding currently.
Radiology Exam Procedure-Specific Instructions
Different radiology exams have different preparation requirements. Our staff will discuss specific instructions with you, and you can review the information below. Please click on the + sign for more information.
Always let us know if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have breast implants. Use the relevant instructions below for your procedure:
If you have had a breast biopsy, please tell us. To minimize your discomfort, schedule your exam two to three days after the end of your period when your breasts will be less tender. Do not wear lotions, perfume, powder, deodorant or glitter on the breast or underarm area.
Wear a two-piece outfit for the exam if you would like to undress only above the waist. After donning a gown, the technologist will have you lie down on the ultrasound table and apply warm gel to the breast, to help the hand-held transducer transmit the sound waves.
This procedure should be done the week after your period ends. Because the MRI uses a powerful magnet, our staff will carefully screen you to make sure that you don’t have any ferromagnetic metals on or in your body that could interfere with the magnet. For your safety, it is essential that you inform staff of any such objects.
A stereotactic biopsy uses mammography, a special breast x-ray, to guide doctors to a lump or abnormality that can’t be felt or seen on ultrasound, but that can be seen on the mammogram. It creates a 3-D picture of the lump’s location to guide the radiologist to the right area with maximum accuracy. During this procedure, you will lie face down on a special table that allows your breast to be placed in an opening. The radiologist will raise the table and perform a core needle or vacuum assisted biopsy from under the table. Your breast will be somewhat compressed during the procedure.
The presence of metal in your body may be a safety hazard or affect a portion of the MRI image. Before receiving an MRI, tell the technologist if you have any metal or electronic devices in your body, such as metallic joint prostheses, artificial heart valves or cardiac stents, an implanted heart defibrillator, a pacemaker, metal clips, cochlear implants, a bullet, shrapnel or any other type of metal fragment.
Before you schedule an MRI, tell your doctor if you think you’re pregnant. Your doctor may recommend choosing an alternative exam or postponing the MRI. It’s also important to discuss any kidney or liver problems with your doctor and the technologist, because problems with these organs may limit the use of injected contrast agents during your scan. A contrast (gadolinium) injection may be necessary to provide better information in some MRI exams. Our staff will notify you at the time you schedule your MRI if this is necessary in your exam. Most MRIs do not involve a contrast injection.
Before an MRI exam, eat normally and continue to take your usual medications, unless otherwise instructed. You will be asked to change into a gown and to remove jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, watches, wigs, dentures, hearing aids, underwire bras and metallic make-up.
If you are taking Coumadin (a blood thinning medication), arrange with your doctor to stop taking the medication 24-48 hours before your MR Arthrography appointment.
Please arrange for someone to drive you home from the exam.
Please arrive one hour and 15 minutes before your appointment so that you have time to drink a special barium solution that helps us better see the bowel. Do not eat or drink anything except water at least four - six (4-6) hours prior to your procedure.
Do not wear metal (including metallic make-up) or jewelry. Let your doctor know if you have any implants, such as a pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator, a brain aneurysm clip, a cardiac stent, stimulators or metal in any part of your body.
Notify us in advance if you have renal (kidney) disease. If you are, or think you may be, pregnant, tell your physician.
Remove metal and plastic items from the part of your body being examined.
If you could be pregnant, are breast feeding, are allergic to contrast medium (dye), or are diabetic, please tell our staff.
Special instructions for Abdominal or Pelvic scans and CT studies involving contrast medium
Do not eat anything for four (4) hours before your scan. Before your scan, you may be asked to drink a liquid to help us visualize your bowel.
Do not take any calcium supplements for 24 hours before your exam.
If you have had an X-ray that used any contrast material (dye) or a nuclear medicine study, schedule your DEXA exam at least one week after those tests.
At most centers, if you weigh more than 300 pounds, only your forearm will be scanned. To find a center that can accommodate up to 350 pounds, call us.
For the best patient care, please return to the same DEXA unit where you were initially scanned.
Use the relevant special instructions below, as well as the general instructions at the top of this page.
Drink 48 ounces of fluid one hour before your exam and do not empty your bladder until the test is completed.
1st Trimester: drink 48 ounces of fluid one hour before the exam and do not empty your bladder until the test is completed.
2nd Trimester: drink 32 ounces of fluid one hour before the exam and do no empty your bladder until the test is completed.
Limited in 2nd & 3rd Trimester:
For growth, AFI, BPP, position or anatomy – no preparation needed.
For cervical length, bleeding, placenta location – drink 28-32 ounces of fluid one hour before the exam and do not empty your bladder until the test is completed.
Biophysical profile (BPP)
This test determines the health of your fetus by checking movement, increases in heart rate, muscle tone, breathing rate, and amount of amniotic fluid. Eat or drink something sweet one hour prior to the ultrasound exam, unless contraindicated by your physician.
Gallbladder and abdominal ultrasound
Do not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for eight (8) hours before the test.
Drink 16 ounces of fluid one (1) hour before the exam and do not empty your bladder until the test is complete.
This exam requires no special preparation. Use the general instructions at the top of this page.
Let us know what medications you take, including non-prescription medicines and supplements.
You will receive an injected, oral, or inhaled preparation of an isotope (a radioactive material) before your exam. This material highlights the part of your body being examined and allows the radiologist to see how certain organs are functioning.
Gallbladder (HIDA) and Gastric Emptying Scans
Do not eat or drink for 6 hours before the exam.
No Barium studies for 5 days before the exam.
Do not eat or drink for 4 hours before your scan
Do not have any test that requires the use of contrast media for 6 weeks before your scan.
Discontinue medicines containing iodine and thyroid hormones for 3 weeks prior before the test. Please contact your referring physician for approval before you stop taking any medication.
No multi-vitamins, or seafood or kelp-based food supplements one week prior to exam.
No seafood for one week prior to exam.
Fluoroscopy uses a continuous low-dose X-ray beam to produce images of organs and bones in real time. During this procedure, radiologists usually use contrast material (dye) to highlight the area being examined. The contrast material can be injected or taken orally or rectally.
GI/Small Bowel Exams
Do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum after midnight the night before your exam. You may brush your teeth, but avoid swallowing any water.
Barium Enemas and Air Contrast Enema Exams
Pick up a prep kit from your local pharmacy scheduled before your appointment.
Use the kit, following the instructions that come with it.
For children under 12, please call our office for special instructions.
If you have a colostomy, call our office for special instructions.
Most needle biopsies are performed in an outpatient setting with minimal preparation necessary.
If you are having a needle or surgical biopsy, ask your health care provider if you need to stop taking any medications before the procedure.
You may be instructed not eat or drink for eight (8) hours before your biopsy. However, you may take your routine medications with sips of water. If you are diabetic and take insulin, you should talk to your doctor as your usual insulin dose may need to be adjusted.
Prior to a needle biopsy, you should report to your doctor all medications that you are taking, including herbal supplements, and if you have any allergies, especially to an anesthetic. Your physician may advise you to stop taking aspirin or a blood thinner for a specific period of time before your procedure.
Questions about how best to prepare for your exam?
Give us a call: