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Preparing for Imaging

MRI and CT

Each imaging test is unique in its requirements. For MRI or CT scans, you may need to fast for three or four hours, consuming only water or clear liquids like apple juice. Some contrast scans may necessitate drinking the contrast liquid at a specific time before the scan. If the scan doesn’t require contrast, no special instructions are needed. Inform our radiologist if you have any medical devices such as implants, pacemakers, metal clips, or stents, as they may impact the test. Not all patients are suitable candidates for contrast dye, and a set of questions will be asked to ensure its safe administration. Pregnant women are not eligible for these tests, and contrast dye cannot be given if you are breastfeeding.

Ultrasound

For a lower abdomen ultrasound, you may be requested to drink several glasses of water one hour before the test and refrain from emptying your bladder. This helps the ultrasound technician obtain clear images of the targeted areas. If the scan aims to examine your digestive system, you’ll need to avoid eating or drinking for several hours before the appointment.

Mammogram

For a successful mammogram, follow these tips: Avoid deodorant or moisturizers, as they can affect image quality. Wear pants or a skirt since you’ll be undressed from the waist up. If needed, take over-the-counter pain medication before the appointment with your healthcare provider’s approval. Opt for comfortable shoes as you’ll be standing and repositioning during the 30-minute procedure. Understand that you likely won’t receive immediate results, especially for diagnostic exams, which may require more time for review by the radiologist.

Digital X-ray

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure. Metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins, may affect the X-ray images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work. Women will be asked to remove bras containing metal underwire. You may be asked to remove any piercings, if possible. You should also inform the technologist if you are pregnant or if there is a possibility that you could be.

DXA

To prepare for a DXA scan, wear loose-fitting clothes without metal, remove jewelry, and inform the technologist about any supplements or recent procedures. It’s a quick, painless procedure, and the results will be discussed afterward by a healthcare provider.