Radiology: Safety and Preparation Guidelines for Patients

Safety and Preparation Guidelines for Patients

Note

If patients fail to adhere to instructions, tests may be rescheduled. Always inform your doctor and testing center if you are or may be pregnant.

Follow all instructions from your healthcare provider and the imaging center. If you do not follow instructions, please inform your provider and/or imaging center. Tell your provider about any medications, vitamins, or supplements you’re taking, as they might interfere with test results.

If your provider’s instructions or imaging center instructions conflict with the instructions here, always follow the instructions given to you by your provider/imaging center. Contact your provider if you’re unsure about protocol.

Safety and Preparation Guidelines

MRI/MRA Scans

MRI/MRA scans (non-contrast)
  • Do not wear hair pins, hair weaves, eye makeup, or jewelry on the day of your appointment.
  • No additional preparations needed for non-contrast exams, except for prostate. For prostate MRI, please contact the center for specific prep guidelines.
  • Claustrophobic patients should speak to their doctors to establish if they should be given oral sedation (to be prescribed by their doctor) or given access to a different machine.
  • Open MRI is also offered in specific locations. Please let us know if you prefer one.
MRI/MRA scans (with contrast)
  • Do not wear hair pins, hair weaves, eye makeup, or jewelry on the day of your appointment.
  • Do not eat or drink anything 4 hours prior to scanning. You may take usual medication with a sip of water.
  • Notify your doctor and the radiology office if you have any of the following conditions:
    • Iodine allergy and/or had a reaction to contrast in the past
    • Pacemaker
    • Defibrillator
    • Aneurysm clips (clips in brain)
    • Hearing implants/any other implants
    • Prosthetic devices
    • Breast tissue expander
  • Claustrophobic patients should speak to their provider to establish if they should be given oral sedation (to be prescribed by their doctor) or given access to a different machine for the imaging test.
  • Open MRI is also offered in specific locations. Please let us know if you prefer one.
Prostate MRI
  • Contact the center for specific preparation guidelines.

Mammogram

  • Avoid deodorant, perfume, powder, and oils on or around the breast area.

Bone density (DEXA scan)

  • Avoid all calcium, B12, or multivitamins 24 hours prior to the examination.

Ultrasound Exams

  • No preparations for ultrasound exams except for abdominal and pelvic related ultrasound.
Abdominal/Gall Bladder Ultrasound
  • Do not eat or smoke 6 hours prior to exam. Drinking a small amount of water is okay.
  • Medication may be taken with a small amount of water.
Pelvic Ultrasound and Renal Ultrasound
  • A full bladder is essential for these examinations. Drink 32 ounces of water 1 hour prior to appointment. DO NOT URINATE. You may eat regular meals prior to your procedure.

CT/CTA scans

CT/CTA scans (non-contrast)
  • Do not wear hair pins, hair weaves, eye makeup, or jewelry on the day of your appointment.
  • No other preparations needed for non-contrast exams.
CT/CTA scans (with contrast)
  • This exam requires barium intake prior to scanning. Please confirm information with your radiology center.
  • Do not wear hair pins, hair weaves, eye makeup, or jewelry on the day of your appointment.
  • Do not eat or drink anything 4 hours prior to scanning. You may take usual medication with a sip of water.
  • Notify your doctor and the radiology office if you have any of the following conditions:
    • Iodine allergy and/or had a reaction to contrast in the past
    • Pacemaker
    • Defibrillator
    • Asthma
    • Diabetes
    • Thyroid problems
  • Patients receiving intravenous contrast and have any of the following (or who are over the age of 60) should have their kidney function tested prior to the exam:
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disease/condition
    • Or are over the age of 60

X-ray

  • No preparations necessary for most x-ray types.

Coronary calcium score

  • Do not consume caffeine 12 hours prior to this exam. Note that this exam is not covered by most insurances. Please confirm information with your radiology center.

Fluoroscopy exams

G.I. Series
  • Do not consume or drink anything after midnight before your test.
Barium enema
  • Only consume clear liquids for the day before the exam. You may have water, black coffee, or black tea. No solid food. No dairy.
  • Consume either 2oz of castor oil or 4oz of Neoloid at 6:00 PM the night before the exam.
  • Perform a Fleet Enema on the morning of the exam.
  • Do not eat breakfast on the day of the exam.
Intravenous urogram (IVP)
  • You may consume a regular diet the day before the exam.
  • Consume either 2oz of castor oil or 4oz of Neoloid at 6:00 PM the night before the exam.
  • Do not eat breakfast on the day of the exam.