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Exam Preparation

These are adult preparations only. Please call our office for children's preparation.

Bone density

  • On the day of the exam, eat normally but don't take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours beforehand.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal.
  • Inform your physician if you recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material for a computed tomography (CT) scan or radioisotope scan; you may have have to wait 10 to 14 days before undergoing a test.
  • 3 days prior to your exam, you must stop taking any medicines with calcium; this includes antacids such as TUMS, Fosomax and Actonel. Check the ingredients on your medications or ask your doctor.
  • Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is a possibility they are pregnant.

CT scan

Intravenous (IV) contrast exams
Do not eat or drink 4 hours prior to your exam. Also, please tell us if you have any known allergy to iodine, or if you are on medication containing metformin such as Glucaphage.

Oral contrast exams
You will be requested to drink a liquid designed to coat your stomach and intestinal area. After about 2 hours, your procedure will be started.

Fluoroscopy

Barium swallow
There is no preparations required.

Upper GI series/small bowel study
Have nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior to your exam.

Barium enema
You will be required to use a prep kit, which is available at any drug store or pharmacy.

  • Take 3 tablespoons of Fleet's-Phospho Soda 1 hour before a light evening meal on the night before your exam.
  • Take Ducolax tablets that same night before the exam, 2 tablets at 6 p.m. and 2 more tablets at 8 p.m.
  • Do not drink or eat anything after midnight. A very small amount of water may be used to swallow any medications the morning of the exam.

Mammogram

On the day of the procedure, do not wear any deodorants, powders or perfumes around the breast area as they can interfere with the examination.

MRI

Generally no preparation is necessary, however, some people are not able to undergo an MRI scan due to surgical implants such as a pacemaker or aneurysm clips, or because of previous injury which has left metal fragments in the body.

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire on the day of your exam, which will be reviewed by the technologist before your exam begins.

PET/CT scan

  • Do not eat anything 8 hours before your exam because it could interfere with the results.
  • Completely avoid gum, sugar and caffeine.
  • You may drink water but no other type of liquid is allowed.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity 24 hours prior to your exam.
  • If you have been advised not to take your medication on an empty stomach, eat nothing more than a few soda crackers with your medications 4 or more hours before your exam.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing without metal (buttons, zippers, etc.) and remove all metal objects (jewelry, belts, eyeglasses, etc.) before the test.

Ultrasound

Unless listed below, there is no preparation for your ultrasound procedure.

Abdominal ultrasound

  • Do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to the exam.
  • Do not smoke.

Pelvic/obstetrical ultrasound

  • You must have a full bladder.
  • Drink 40 ounces of water starting 1 hour prior to your exam time. Try to drink all the water within a 15-minute time frame.
  • Do not empty bladder until instructed.

Renal ultrasound

  • Drink 40 ounces of water starting 1 hour prior to your exam time. Try to drink all the water within a 15 minute time frame.

X-ray

No exam preparation is required. 

Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is a possibility they are pregnant.