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Advance Preparation

Following are some general guidelines for preparing for your imaging procedure. If you have questions, please call the imaging site where you have an appointment. Check with your physician as to whether you should stop any medications.

Please note: Due to radiologist preferences, preparations may vary by exam location. Please ask the scheduler for any specific instructions at the time that you make your appointment.

CT Scan - Abdomen or Pelvis
Preparation may be required. Please check with the facility where you are having your test for any specific instructions.

MRI Scan
Please inform us of any metal in your body at time of scheduling. Remove any metal, jewelry, or hairpins prior to the scan. Specific preparation information will be given when your appointment is scheduled.

Nuclear Medicine
Specific preparation information will be given when your appointment is scheduled. Study times vary in length.

PET Scan
Generally, you should have nothing by mouth for five hours before your appointment. Please allow three hours for the procedure.

Ultrasound – Gallbladder or Abdominal
Generally, you should have nothing by mouth for six hours before your appointment. This includes chewing gum and smoking cigarettes.

Ultrasound – Pelvis
In some cases, you may be asked to drink fluids to fill your bladder. This should be completed one hour before the procedure. Do not empty your bladder until the procedure is complete.

Ultrasound – Obstetric – Up to 25 weeks pregnant
For women who are 26 weeks pregnant or further along, no special preparation is necessary.

Do not use any powders, talcs, sprays, or deodorants on breast and underarm area. Please try to obtain your previous mammogram films and reports. Bring them with you at the time of your appointment.

DXA (Bone Density Scan)
Do not take calcium supplements 24 hours before the scan. If you have had any x-rays using contrast such as barium, IV contrast, or any nuclear medicine studies, please wait one week before having a DXA scan. If you have any of those tests scheduled for the same day as your DXA scan, the DXA must be performed first.

G.I. and/or Small Bowel Series
Do not eat or drink anything after 10 p.m. the evening before the examination. This includes chewing gum.

Barium Enema or Air Contrast Enema
Specific preparation information will be given to you when your appointment is scheduled. Study times vary in length. For children under 12, procedures using contrast, or for those with a colostomy, please call for specific preparation.

You should eat a light supper the day before the procedure. Adults should take two Dulcolax tablets at 6 p.m. the night before the procedure. You are permitted to have as much liquid as you would like, but no solids are allowed after supper. You may have juice, coffee, tea, or milk for breakfast the day of the procedure. For children under 12, please call for laxative instructions. Infants may eat as usual. If your appointment is scheduled for after 1 p.m., you may eat an early, light breakfast. Take medicine as you normally would.

Other General Information

  • For your safety, children may not accompany patients into procedures. If it is necessary to bring children to the appointment, please bring appropriate adult supervision to watch your child while you have your procedure.
  • Could you be pregnant? Tell the staff, even if there’s only a possibility. Most imaging procedures are not performed on pregnant women.
  • If you are an asthmatic, please bring your inhaler.
  • Bring a list of your medications with you
  • To better assist you, inform the scheduler of any special needs you may have


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