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EXAM PREPARATION

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.

  • If you are planning on taking sedation medication, please arrive one (1) hour before your appointment and do not start taking the medication until after you have completed the paper work on site. Please arrange for someone to drive you home from the exam.

What You Should Bring

  • Prescription or referral from your physician.

  • List of medications you take, including non-prescription medications and supplements.

  • Insurance cards.

  • 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.

MRI of the Breast

You will be escorted to the MRI suite by the technologist or her assistant. The examination takes approximately 25 minutes, however, you should allow about an hour for the visit.

For your comfort, we will provide a set of scrubs for you to wear during the examination. It will be necessary for you to take off your watch, jewelry and any removable metallic items such as hair pins. A locker is provided for your valuables.

An IV will be placed for the administration of a contrast agent necessary for this test. An IV and contrast will not be required if the test is being performed solely for the evaluation of rupture of silicone implants.

The MRI will be interpreted by two radiologists and correlated and compared with your most recent studies. You will be given the results by the interpreting radiologist, usually within 24 -48 hours. If your most recent mammogram or if a prior MRI was done at another facility, please make these available to us on or before the date of your MRI appointment.

If you feel you that will need a sedative to be prescribed due to claustrophobia or extreme anxiety, please discuss this with your primary physician and have someone accompany you to the appointment.

If you are over the age of 60, have diabetes, hypertension or known kidney problems, please have the results of a kidney function blood test sent to our office prior to the date of your MRI . The lab results can faxed to our office at 212.683.3092.

Please speak with our staff for further information and clarification. We will provide you with a bottle of water when you leave; make sure to drink plenty of water following the examination and the day after.

Needle Biopsy

We use various types of imaging; mammography, MRI or ultrasound to guide a needle to obtain a sample of tissue. The imaging modality and type of needle used will depend on how the area of concern is best seen by the radiologist.

Local anesthesia is used. No sutures are required. You will leave with a band aid or steri-strips and a sterile gauze dressing over the area. There is virtually no "downtime" and generally patients return to work that day or the next. After a stereotactic or a MRI biopsy, there will be some restrictions on exercise for a few days. These biopsies may sometimes result in bruising, which can be treated with an ice pack. Post-biopsy discomfort is generally very minimal and controlled with acetaminophen. You will be given simple written post-biopsy care instructions.

Some medications and supplements can increase bleeding and bruising. The following is a guide regarding the use of medications prior to biopsy:

Do not take any of these medicines one week prior to procedure:

  • Aspirin or any medicine that contains aspirin

  • Ibuprofen

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories

  • Vitamin E or multivitamins containing Vitamin E

  • Or any of the following medicines: Advil, Alka-Seltzer, Anacin, Arthritis Pain Formula, Ascription, Aspergum, Bayer products, Bufferin, Cope, Darvon Compound, Empirin, Excedrin, Ecotrin, Fiorinal, Indocin, Midol, Motrin, Naprosyn, Nuprin, Percodan, Relafen, Vanquish, Motrin IB, Plavix.

You May take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or any of the medicines listed:

Anacin-3, Datril, Darvocet-N100, Excedrin PM, Fiorcet, Panadol, Percocet, Sine-Aid Tylenol, Tylenol with codeine.

If you are taking Plavix, Coumadin or other blood thinners (anti-coagulants), discuss with your referring doctor or appropriate specialist whether you can stop the medication and if you are a candidate for this procedure. You may eat or drink and take your usual medications on the day of the biopsy. Bring or wear a supportive bra.

The sample of tissue is sent for analysis by an experienced breast pathologist. We will discuss with you the results and recommendations for any further management usually within 24-48 hours of performing the biopsy. We will assist you in making arrangements for consultation with a breast surgeon if needed.

Other Breast Imaging

Digital & 3D Mammography

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.

Breast Ultrasound

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.

Stereotactic Biopsies

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.

Pelvic Sonogram

No specific preparation is required on your part. It is advised that you wear a two piece garment for your comfort. A referral from your doctor with the indications for the study and any relevant history should be provided to our office. The examination takes about one hour and is performed by one of our radiologists.

DEXA

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, please call us.

For the best patient care, please return to the same DEXA unit where you were initially scanned.

Ultrasound

Pelvic ultrasound

Drink 48 ounces of fluid one hour before your exam and do not empty your bladder until the test is completed.

Obstetrical ultrasound

  • 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.

Renal ultrasound

Drink 16 ounces of fluid one (1) hour before the exam and do not empty your bladder until the test is complete.

Questions about how best to prepare for your exam?

Give us a call:

212-794-2500