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Imaging Test and Preparation

Please select your exam modality below to view preparation instructions.

*With all exams it is very important that you please bring your ID, insurance card, and physician order to your appointment.

An arthrogram can be performed on any joint. The exam injects an x-ray dye into the joint space. An orthopedic surgeon or radiologist performs the exam. If you are a woman of childbearing age and think you might be pregnant, tell you doctor and technologist prior to the exam.

- Blood thinners need to be checked prior to scheduling. - Preliminary film taken of the affected joint. Please bring previous x-rays of this joint to the exam. If you do not have access to your previous x-rays, preliminary images can be performed. - Skin is wiped with a cleaning solution. A numbing medication is injected into the skin. A needle is placed into the joint space. Needle location is checked under x-ray fluoroscope. - Once needle is correctly placed, the x-ray dye is injected into the joint space, and the needle is removed. - Often the joint is exercised or moved to help get the dye all around the joint area. - X-rays are taken of the joint. - Once the radiologist reviews the films, the exam is complete. It is possible the area may be sore and ache. Over-the-counter analgesics may be taken for pain relief. Call your doctor if you develop excessive pain or swelling after the procedure. The radiologist sends the report to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.


This x-ray studies your colon, using barium - a white liquid that allows the colon to be visualized on x-ray film. The radiologist interprets the x-ray and reports the results to your doctor. Your doctor will talk with you about the results.

Usually, a barium enema is an outpatient procedure. A barium enema may take approximately 45-60 minutes. If you know you have any allergy, are taking prescription medications, or are of childbearing age and think you may be pregnant, please inform your doctor and the radiologist prior to the procedure. A bowel cleansing kit with a light diet started the day prior to the exam will be needed. The bowel cleansing kit will need to be purchased from the pharmacy and your doctor will provide you with instruction. This prep is performed to better visualize the colon.

- A radiologist performs the exam with a fluoroscope. - The technologist inserts a rectal tube, so the barium can flow into the colon. Air may or may not be administered. - You may feel cramping and full in your abdomen. Slow, deep breaths will help you relax. - During the exam, the machine and x-ray table will move and you will be asked to roll in various positions. - After the fluoroscopic exam, additional radiographs will be taken. After the films are reviewed by the radiologist, you will go to the restroom to expel the barium and air. - Another film will be taken after you have used the restroom. - Return to your normal diet at home, and increase your fluid intake over the next few days, as directed by your physician. The barium should normally pass through your colon, although your physician may prescribe a laxative. It is normal for you stool to appear white as the barium is expelled from your system. If you do not have a bowel movement in three days, contact your physician.


No preparation required.


Mammogram
- No deodorant or powder. Please bring previous mammogram images if done at different facility.


CT Extremities
- No preparation required.

CT Sinus
- No preparation required.

CT Urogram
- Increase fluids the day before test and day of test.

CT Enterography
- X-Ray Supper: Consists of clear liquids only, including soups, juices, plain jell-o, and non carbonated beverages; no milk or dairy products.
- NPO (nothing to eat or drink) after midnight.
- Arrive 1 hour prior to appointment time.

CT Angiogram
- Increase fluids the day before test and day of test. No solid food 4 hours prior to exam.


A hysterosalpingogram is an exam for the female reproductive system. The main reason for performing this exam is to determine if the tubes from the ovaries to the uterus are open and not blocked. The procedure is performed by a Radiologist or your OB/GYN physician.

-Please bring any x-rays related to your exam with you to your appointment.

- A major concern for this exam is to be sure there is no risk that the patient is pregnant. The exam must be performed between 5 and 12 days after the start of the menstrual cycle. Abstain from intercourse from the beginning of your menstrual cycle until after your procedure. 

- You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and you will then be taken into a special x-ray room that has a fluoroscope. The machine allows the Radiologist to watch the procedure on the monitor as it is performed.

- The procedure starts much like a pelvic exam. A speculum is placed in the vagina and then a small tube is then placed into the cervix. An "x-ray dye" can then be introduced into the uterus and fallopian tubes. At this point you may feel some abdominal cramping. Once the "dye" is in place, the radiologist will take x-rays. You may be asked to move from side to side to see all sides of the tubes. Once the pictures are complete, the instruments are removed and you can sit up. An x-ray is taken after several minutes to check the drainage of the dye. Following the exam, some spotting may be noticed, this is normal. If an excessive amount is noticed, you should contact your doctor. You should bring a small pad with you on the day of the exam. If you continue to have menstrual type cramps, you may take any pain reliever you normally take.

- The radiologist will provide your doctor with the report of the exam. Your doctor can then discuss the results with you.


myelogram

A myelogram is an x-ray to evaluate the spinal canal. A spinal tap is used to introduce an x-ray dye into the spinal canal. X-ray pictures are taken with the fluoroscope. This procedure is generally performed by the radiologist. After the pictures are completed, a CT scan of the target spinal areas is performed.

Preparation for a myelogram:

- After midnight, the night prior to your procedure, you cannot have any solid food. You may have a clear liquid breakfast (water, apple juice, tea, chicken broth, jello) on exam day. You cannot have milk, coffee or orange juice. It is important to drink a lot of fluids.

- If you are a female of childbearing age and think you might be pregnant, tell you doctor or technologist prior to the exam.

- You may take all your medications, except you must not take aspirin, ibuprofen or Vitamin E 10 days prior to the procedure. Blood thinners, such as coumadin, should be stopped five days prior to the procedure. Other pain medications may be taken up to four hours prior to the procedure.

- You should wear comfortable clothing for the procedure. Leave money and valuables at home. Bring previous x-rays, MRIs or CT scans with you. Make arrangements for someone to drive you home, because you will not be able to drive after the procedure.

What to expect prior to your myelogram:

- When you arrive at the hospital, go to Admitting to register. Some laboratory testing may need to be completed. - You will then go to Same Day Surgery (SDS). The radiologist performing the procedure will explain the procedure and any risks or complications. Ask any questions you have about the procedure. You will be asked to sign a consent form for the procedure.
- You will be transported to radiology on a patient gurney.

During your myelogram:

- You will lie on your stomach on the x-ray table. Your skin will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. A local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, will be used to numb the skin on your back. - The radiologist will then place a needle into your spinal canal. - The needle's placement is monitored by a fluoroscope. - Once the needle is in the proper position, an x-ray dye will be injected into the spinal canal. - Several pictures will be taken. Once the dye is placed, the needle is removed. You will be taken to CAT Scan within one hour for additional pictures. - You will then go back to Same Day Surgery where a SDS nurse will monitor your vital signs for 4-6 hours prior to discharge. It will be necessary to remain in a flat position following your procedure. You will need to drink plenty of fluids to flush the dye from your system. Your family may stay with you after the myelogram. You must have someone drive you home and remain with you for the rest of the day. - The radiologist

Whole Body Bone Scan/3 Phase Bone Scan
- No barium studies two days before (CT barium okay).
- Drink fluids after your injection (four to six 8oz. glasses of water).
- Be sure to bring any films relating to your scan with you at the time of injection.
- NOTE: There is a 2 hour wait between injection and scan time

Renal Scan
- No preparation required.

MUGA Scan
- No preparation required.

HIDA Scan
- Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before exam.
- No pain medications 12 hours before exam.
- Note: Exam could take up to 4 hours to complete

V/Q Scan (lung)
- Bring chest x ray images if already done.

Leukocyte Scan
- No antibiotics 1 week prior to exam.


A small bowel series is an exam of the bowel that connects the stomach to the large bowel or colon. It is sometimes done along with an upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series. The radiologist will interpret the exam and send a report to your doctor. Your doctor will discuss the results with you.

Often, a small bowel series is done as an outpatient procedure. The length of exam varies from person to person, and can take from two to 8 hours. If you are a woman of childbearing age and think you might be pregnant, let your doctor or technologist know prior to the exam.

You will be asked to not eat, drink smoke or chew at least eight hours prior to the procedure.

During your small bowel series:

- You will be asked to wear a hospital gown, and a preliminary x-ray will be taken of your abdomen.

- You will be asked to drink two cups of barium. If you are also having an upper gastrointestinal series, you will drink another cup after your UGI films. The barium coats the walls of the small bowel so they can be seen under x-ray. - X-ray films will be taken at specific times as the barium travels through the small bowel until it reaches the large bowel or colon. That time period differs from person to person. Once the barium reaches the large bowel or colon, you will be placed onto the x-ray table and x-rays will be taken, after these are finished the exam is complete.

- You will be asked to drink plenty of fluids over the next few days to flush the barium out of your system. Some patients also like to take a mild laxative. Any white, chalky substances in your stool are from the barium. It is normal for your stool to appear white.


Ultrasound Neck/Thyroid
- No preparation needed.

Ultrasound Abdomen (Aorta, Gallbladder, Liver, Pancreas)
- NPO (nothing to eat or drink) from midnight before exam.

Ultrasound Pelvis (Uterus, Ovaries, OB)
- Must finish four to six 8oz. Glasses of fluid 1 hour before appointment. DO NOT urinate. Your bladder must be very full for this exam.

Ultrasound Breast
- No preparation required.

Ultrasound Prostate
- A Fleets enema 1 hour before exam & drink 48 oz water. DO NOT urinate.

Ultrasound Scrotum
- No preparation needed.

Ultrasound Vascular (Carotid, Venous, Arterial)
- No preparation required.
- NOTE: If exam for Arterial, please wear walking shoes.

Ultrasound Soft Tissue
- No preparation required.

Ultrasound Renal (Kidney and Transplanted Kidney)
- Drink two 8 oz glasses of water 1 hour previous to exam.

Ultrasound Renal Artery
- NPO (nothing to eat or drink) from midnight before exam.


An upper GI series is an x-ray examination of the esophagus and stomach, using barium to coat the stomach wall so it may be examined under x-ray. An upper GI exam helps your doctor make a diagnosis. The radiologist interprets the films and reports the results to your doctor. Your doctor reviews the results with you.

Most often, an upper GI series is an outpatient procedure, although it may be performed during inpatient care. If you know you have an allergy of any kind, are taking prescription medications, or are a woman of childbearing age and think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor prior to the examination.

You will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight or in the morning before your x-rays.

During the procedure:

- You will be asked to wear a hospital gown, and a preliminary film of your abdomen may be taken. - You will be positioned behind a fluoroscope. You will be given a small amount of baking soda crystals and water to create gas in the stomach, followed by a cup of barium. It is important not to belch, as the gas assists the doctor in evaluating your stomach. - You will be asked to move in different positions and hold your breath, so x-rays can be taken. Some films are taken while you are lying down and some while you are standing. - After the radiologist has taken x-rays of selected areas, x-rays of your entire upper digestive tract may be taken. - You will be asked to wait while the radiologist reviews the films to make sure all necessary information has been obtained. - At home you may resume your regular diet unless your doctor instructs otherwise. It may be beneficial to take a laxative and drink plenty of fluids after the exam. It is normal for your stool to appear white as the barium is expelled from your system.
Barium Enema
- Click here to download instruction sheet.

Barium Swallow
- Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam.

Cystogram
- No preparation required.

Hysterosalpingogram
- No intercourse after starting menstrual cycle.
- Take Motrin day of exam.
- Should be scheduled 7-10 days after the start of menstrual cycle

IVP
- Day before the exam: 4 pm take 7-8 oz magnesium citrate and 1 full glass of water. X-Ray supper (consists of clear liquids only including soups, juices, plain jell-o, and non carbonated beverages; no milk or dairy products. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

Sialogram
- No preparation required.

Small Bowel Series (SB)
- Day before the exam: X-Ray supper (consists of clear liquids only including soups, juices, plain jell-o, and non carbonated beverages; no milk or dairy products. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
- Study could take 2-4 hours to complete.

Sniff Test
- No preparation required.

Upper G.I. (UGI)
- Day before the exam: X-Ray supper (consists of clear liquids only including soups, juices, plain jell-o, and non carbonated beverages; no milk or dairy products. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

Voiding Cysto Urethrogram (VCUG)
- No preparation required