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Advance Preparation

Following are some general guidelines for preparing for your imaging procedure. If you have questions, please call us and we would be happy to assist you. Check with your physician as to whether you should stop any medications.

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
Drink 32 ounces of fluid 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)
Drink 16 ounces of water one hour before your appointment time. Do not empty your bladder until the exam is complete. 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
You will need to buy a Fleets preparation kit #2 at your local pharmacy. Follow instructions for the 24-hour preparation. 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 is only a possibility. Most imaging procedures are not performed on pregnant women.
If you are an asthmatic, please bring your inhaler.

What to Expect During Your Visit

Arrival Time
Depending on your procedure, you should plan to arrive between 15 and 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment in order to complete necessary paperwork for registration.

What to Bring
Plan to bring your insurance card, referral or written order/prescription, and the name and address of your insurance plan and/or claims payer. After completing your paperwork, you can relax in our comfortable waiting areas, some of which offer wireless Internet access.

What to Wear
Before your test or procedure, you will be escorted to a changing room, where you will change into a gown for your test. Wear comfortable, easy-to-remove clothing and remove any metal body jewelry. Leave jewelry and other valuables at home.

Length of Procedure
The length of your procedure will depend on what type of procedure you are having and other factors. Please ask for this information when your procedure is scheduled.

Receiving Your Results
In most cases NCCH radiologists return reports to your physician within 24 hours. Occasionally it may take longer. Your doctor generally will take a day or two to review the results. You can expect to hear from your doctor in three to five days. If you don't receive a phone call after five days, call your physician's office to ask about your results.

Your Results

Your results will be read by a qualified radiologist. This means an expert with experience in one particular area of medical specialty will be reviewing your test results and reporting the findings to your physician.

Most physicians can receive your imaging results electronically through NCCH's digital imaging technology. With digital imaging, NCCH physicians can view your results on their computer desktops.

Non-NCCH physicians may wish to receive results via e-mail or compact disc. We will be happy to provide your images on a compact disc for your own personal use at your request. The disc will contain your images, but not your doctor's medical review of your images.

Your doctor will be in touch with you after he or she has reviewed your results. If you have questions about your results, you should call your doctor's office directly.