Getting Ready for Your Exam

Preparations vary with each procedure; please follow the instructions below. For more information, click on a procedure name.

Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

  • Eat as you normally do on the day of your exam.
  • Do not take any calcium supplements for 24 hours before your exam.
  • If you have had a radioisotope injection, a barium study, or received oral or intravenous contrast material during a CT scan or MRI, you must wait seven days before having a BMD.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing, such as a sweat suit or other casual attire that does not have metal zippers or buttons.

CT (Computed Tomography)

  • Abdomen/Chest/Pelvis/Head with and without contrast: Nothing to eat or drink for four hours before exam.
  • Angiogram: Nothing to eat or drink for four hours before exam.
  • Colonography: A bowel preparation to clean the colon before the test is required to ensure a successful exam. Our staff will give you precise instructions when your test is scheduled.

Gastric Emptying Study

  • Do not eat or drink anything for eight hours before the exam.
  • Do not take medicines beforehand unless directed by your doctor.
  • Do not take stomach medicine unless directed by your doctor.

Hepatobiliary Scan (HIDA)

  • Do not eat or drink anything 4 to 6 hours before your exam. (Do not fast over 12 hours).
  • Do not take any prescription pain medications 6 hours prior to your exam.

Interventional Radiology

You may be seen in our interventional radiology clinic to speak to the nurse or interventional radiologist to discuss the procedure and have pre-procedural imaging. While many procedures are done on an outpatient basis, some of the more extensive procedures will be performed in a hospital setting. Please give your interventional radiologist a list of any medications you take when you come in for your procedure. The radiologist will work with your primary physician to help determine the best treatment plan.

Mammography

  • On the day of your exam, you should not use deodorant or powder, as some of the ingredients these contain may result in a false-positive reading on your mammogram
  • Tell your physician and the technologist if you think you may be pregnant or if you are breast feeding.
  • If your last mammogram was performed at another facility, please ask for those films be sent to our facility so that we can compare them to your new images.
  • Wear comfortable clothing with separate top and bottom. This will eliminate the need to remove your entire outfit for the procedure.

MRI Abdomen

Nothing to eat or drink four hours prior to exam.

MRI

No special preparation is required before your MRI exam. Metal objects, such as jewelry, hairpins, and car keys, are not allowed in the scan room, you will be asked to leave any such items in a safe place before beginning your MRI. We will also ask you whether you have any metal implants or a pacemaker, since some patients with these devices may not be able to have an MRI.

Myelogram

  • If you are taking any type of blood thinners, you must not take them for three days before your exam — but be sure to speak with your physician before stopping any medications.
  • We recommend that you eat a light breakfast, as you will be lying face down during the procedure.
  • If you are taking any type of antidepressant or antipsychotic medication, you must not take it on the day of the exam and for 24 hours after the exam.
  • You must bring a driver to take you home after the exam.

Myocardial Perfusion Scan

  • No food 4 hours prior. Water is OK.
  • Do not take any medications on the morning of the exam unless approved in advance.
  • Do not drink or eat any caffeinated products for 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Bring with you a list of your current medications.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for walking on a treadmill.

PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography)

  • Do not eat or drink anything for at least six hours before arriving for your PET/CT scan. If you need to take medications, you may take them with a small amount of water. If any of your medications need to be taken with food, you may eat a few saltine crackers.
  • If you have diabetes, you will need to regulate your blood sugar, since the glucose in your blood will compete with the radioactive glucose that you will receive before your procedure. Your blood glucose level must be less than 200 at the time of your scan. If you take insulin (injection or pill form), it must be taken at least 4 hours before your scan. If your glucose levels are over 200, please contact us before coming in so that we can work with you and your physician to obtain a high-quality scan.
  • If you need them, please bring along medications for pain, anxiety, or claustrophobia.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for 48 hours before your exam.
  • Please inform the technologist of any medications that you are currently taking.

Nuclear Renal Scan

  • Do not take any diuretics (water pills) the day of your exam.
  • Drink at least 20 oz. of fluids up to 90 minutes before you arrive. No food 2 hours before test.

Captopril Renal Scan

  • Do not take any blood pressure medications the day of your exam. If you are taking a blood pressure medication known as an ACE Inhibitor it will be necessary to speak to your physician regarding alternative blood pressure medications to be taken for 3 days prior to your exam.
  • Do not take any diuretics (water pills) the day of your exam.
  • Drink 20 oz. of fluids 90 minutes before you arrive.

Thyroid Scan and a Thyroid Uptake

  • You should wait at least four weeks after having intravenous iodinated contrast before having your thyroid scan and uptake. This includes contrasts (sometimes called x-ray dye) that are used for heart catheterizations, CT scans, kidney x-rays, or intravenous urograms (IVPs), and angiograms.
  • You will need to discontinue your thyroid medication for a certain period of time ranging from several days to a month, depending on which medication you are taking. Exactly when you should stop taking your medication is usually established when you schedule your exam. If you do not find out then, please call and speak to our staff to find out when you should stop taking the medication.

Ultrasound

  • Abdominal ultrasound: Nothing to eat or drink six hours prior to exam.
  • Obstetrical ultrasound/Retroperitoneal ultrasound (kidneys, bladder): You will be asked to drink 24 oz. of water one hour before exam time and to hold your bladder until the exam is complete.
  • Pelvic ultrasound: You will be asked to drink 32 oz. of water 30 minutes before exam time and to hold your bladder until the exam is complete.
  • Breast ultrasound: Wear a two-piece outfit. No other preparation is needed.
  • Renal artery stenosis ultrasound: You will be given anti-gas pills to take the evening before and the morning of your exam. You will be asked to drink 24 oz. of water 30 minutes before exam time, and you can empty your bladder as needed.
  • Interventional ultrasound: Preparation will depend on the procedure being performed and will be explained to you when your exam is scheduled.

Upper GI

  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your exam.
  • Do not take medications on the morning of your exam. You may bring any required medications with you to take after the exam.

Arthrogram

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Because metal can affect the image, please do not wear anything with metal snaps or zippers.
  • Before your exam you will be asked to remove items such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, hairpins, and jewelry.
  • Let us know if you think you may be pregnant.

Intravenous Urogram (IVP)

  • Pick up a prep kit from our front desk and follow the instructions on the back of the box.

Hysterosalpingiogram

  • Eat something light the night before your exam, like soup or salad.
  • Take a laxative the night before your exam.
  • Do not eat or drink anything on the morning of your exam.
  • Urinate right before the exam.
  • Let us know if you are allergic to contrast dye or seafood.

Barium Enema / Gallbladder

  • Pick up a prep kit from our front desk and follow the instructions on the back of the box.
  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your exam.