RIA Patient Preparation Information

Preparing for Your Visit

Call 877-504-9729 for additional inquiries

Items You Must Bring 

You must have the following items with you at the time of your visit. Failure to bring these items with you may result in a need to reschedule your imaging procedure.

  • Written referral order(s) from your physician. We must have the signed referral order and/or the authorization form required by your insurance company at the time of your visit.
  • Your insurance card and any co-payment due so that we may submit your insurance claim on your behalf.
  • A photo ID - Please bring a valid form of photo identification such as a driver's license, military ID, or Alien Status Card from the State Department. RIA is committed to take appropriate steps to verify your identity so that we may safeguard your identity and your financial and personal health information.
  • Workers' compensation claim or automobile insurance information, if relevant.
  • All related imaging studies performed elsewhere that relate to your visit. For example, prior mammograms (very important), MRI, x-ray, CT, sonography, or other imaging studies. These films and reports allow our radiologist to make comparisons that are necessary for the best interpretation of the new studies.
  • The name and address of any other physician who should receive the report of your imaging examination.

X-Rays and Pregnancy

For women of child-bearing age (12-50), all x-ray and CT exams of the abdomen, pelvis and proximal femurs, and all Nuclear Medicine exams are to be scheduled between day one and day fourteen following the start of the menstrual cycle, unless the chance of pregnancy can be excluded, i.e., hysterectomy, tubal ligation, abstinence, use of birth control pills, or other birth control devices. Pregnancy Questionnaire [pdf]. RIA is committed to radiation safety.

Childcare During Testing 

Unfortunately, we cannot routinely supervise your children during your imaging study. We believe that you are best served when we can provide 100% of our attention to you. Therefore, we encourage you to make childcare arrangements or to bring a responsible person with you to supervise your children.

Inclement Weather Policy

It’s rare that RIA offices are closed during inclement weather. We are usually able to have our radiologists and staff that can perform most types of procedures in the office. You are encouraged to call in advance however, if you have any concern about conditions or wish to confirm. Should one or more of our centers need to close during severe inclement weather, we try to call you. If you haven’t heard from us and wish to verify our status before venturing out, you may call us. If we aren’t in the office, you will hear our recorded message for current information

Patient Prep Instructions for Exams

Your physician has referred you to Radiology Imaging Associates, for diagnostic medical imaging examination(s).

This page provides instructions to assist you in preparing for your examination(s). Your referring physician's office should have indicated the particular exam for which you are scheduled.

Please follow the preparation instructions closely to ensure the best results. Improper preparation may result in an incomplete diagnostic exam and the need to reschedule the appointment.

Click on each exam below to read its Preparation Instructions:

Important Instructions
Upper G.I. Series
Small Bowel Series
Barium Enema
Intravenous Pyelogram (I.V.P.)
Myelogram
CT Scans
Prostate Ultrasound / Biopsy
Abdominal Sonogram
PET Scan
Renal Sonography
Retroperitoneal Sonography
Pelvic Sonogram
Obstetrical Sonogram
Biophysical Profile
Nuclear Medicine
Mammography
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Bone Densitometry (DEXA Scan)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (M.R.I.)

Upper G.I. Series

An Upper G.I. Series is a fluoroscopic examination that uses a special substance, barium sulfate contrast media, to highlight the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. This exam lasts approximately 30 minutes.

On the day before the examination:

  • Do not eat anything after 10:00 p.m. You may have clear liquids until midnight and then nothing until after the examination.

On the day of the examination:

  • Do not eat or drink anything, chew gum or smoke until your examination has been completed.
  • However, if your appointment is scheduled after 12:00 noon, you may drink up to one cup of clear liquid, coffee, or tea in the morning, but not later than 8:00 a.m.
  • Generally you are not allowed anything by mouth until your exam is completed. Consult your physician or our office before taking any medication. Feel free to bring your medication with you to take immediately after the exam.
  • After the exam, to prevent constipation, we recommend that you drink plenty of fluids and take a mild laxative, unless contraindicated by your doctor.

 

[ top ]


Small Bowel Series

The Small Bowel Series is an x-ray examination that uses a barium sulfate contrast media to visualize the small intestines. This exam can follow an Upper G.I. Series and usually lasts 1 ½-3 hours. This exam can last longer depending on how quickly the contrast moves through the intestine.

On the day before the examination:

  • At 8:00 p.m. take three Dulcolax tablets or 2 tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia.
  • Do not eat anything after 8:00 p.m. You may have liquids until midnight and then nothing until after the examination.

On the day of the examination:

  • Do not eat or drink anything, chew gum or smoke until your examination has been completed.
  • However, if your appointment is scheduled after 12:00 noon, you may drink up to one cup of clear liquid, coffee, or tea in the morning, but not later than 8:00 a.m.
  • Generally, you are not allowed anything by mouth until your exam is completed.  Consult your physician or our office before taking any medication.  Feel free to bring your medication with you to take immediately after the exam.
  • After the exam, to prevent constipation, we recommend that you drink large quantities of fluids and take a mild laxative (Milk of Magnesia, castor oil or Dulcolax) unless contraindicated by your doctor.

 

[ top ]


Barium Enema Prep

For Patients Age 14 and Older (Adult prep):

Obtain the following from a pharmacy at least one day prior to your barium enema examination and follow the instructions below.

  • A 10 ounce bottle of magnesium citrate or a packet to mix 10 ounces
  • 4 Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) tablets
  • 1 Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) suppository

Instructions for the day before the examination:

  1. No solid foods are allowed on the day prior to the exam, including breakfast.
  2. Only clear liquids should be taken by mouth. See list below. Be sure to drink a sufficient amount of fluid (we recommend 1-12 ounce glass of fluid every hour while awake).
  3. Between 3 - 5:00 p.m. drink a 10 ounce bottle of magnesium citrate.
  4. Between 7 - 8:00 p.m. take four (4) Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) tablets with at least one full glass of water. Do not crush or chew the tablets. Swallow the tablets whole.

Instructions for the day of the examination:

  1. Nothing should be taken by mouth, except that essential medication is allowed up to 2 hours prior to exam with 1 oz. of water.
  2. Insert the Bisacodyl suppository into the rectum the morning of the exam, two hours before the appointment time. (Remove the foil wrap from the suppository. Lie on side; insert suppository well up into the rectum. Push suppository in gently as far as possible and against bowel wall. Wait for 15 minutes before evacuating, even if the urge is strong. Suppositories are usually effective within 15 minutes to 1 hour. Note: If suppository is soft, put it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 minutes.)

Clear Liquids includes: water, lemonade, strained fruit juices without pulp (apple, cranberry, orange, grape, etc.), clear broth or bouillon, and coffee or tea (without milk or nondairy creamer). You may have all of the following: Gatorade®, carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, Kool-Aid® (or other fruit flavored drinks); Jell-O®(without added fruits or toppings) and ice Popsicles®.

For Patients Age 13 and Younger:

GENERAL INFORMATION:

  • No prep is used when the study is for Hirschsprung disease, acute abdomen conditions, or active inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Use clear liquids and light meal options, same as for adults.

0-2 years of age

  • No solid foods on day of exam. May have clear liquids until time of exam. No solid foods on day of exam. May have clear liquids until time of exam.

3-5 years of age

  • Day before exam, encourage drinking plenty of clear liquids.
  • Choose from the light meal foods below up to noon. After noon, only clear liquids are allowed.
  • Administer 4 oz. (120cc) of magnesium citrate at 4:00 pm the day before the exam. Serve magnesium citrate chilled.
  • Administer 1 Dulcolax tablet at 6:00 pm the day before exam.
  • No solid foods after 10:00 pm the night before exam.
  • Nothing by mouth starting 4 hours before exam.

6-13 years of age

  • Clear liquid diet the day before exam. (Note: No milk or milk products.)
  • Throughout the day before exam, clear liquids are strongly encouraged.
  • Administer 6 oz. (180cc) of magnesium citrate at 4:00 pm the day before exam. Serve magnesium citrate chilled.
  • Administer 2 Dulcolax tablets at 6:00 pm the day before exam.
  • Nothing by mouth after 10:00 pm the night before exam.

14 years of age & older - Use adult prep.

Light Meal includes: any items from the Clear Liquids Diet List: one boiled or poached egg or small portion of skinless chicken, turkey or fish; white toast no butter; one 8 oz can of Ensure.® Do not take Ensure ®Plus. Do not eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, butter, milk, cheese, beef, pork, lamb, or whole grain cereals.

 

[ top ]


Intravenous Pyelogram (I.V.P.)

I.V.P. examines the urinary system (kidneys, ureters and bladder) following the intravenous injection of a liquid iodine based contrast media. The exam takes approximately 1 hour.

On the day before the examination:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, at least six glasses.
  • Eat a light evening meal. Light meal includes clear soups (fat-free), small portions of fowl or fish, plain gelatin, white bread (no butter), plus any non-carbonated liquids.
  • After dinner, take a mild laxative. Options include any of the following:
    • 4 TBSP. Milk of Magnesia, or
    • 3 Tablets Dulcolax, or
    • 4 TBSP. castor oil.
  • DO NOT eat solid foods after midnight

On the day of the examination:

  • Do not eat solid foods until after the exam.
  • Non-carbonated liquids are allowed up to three hours before the exam.
  • After the test is completed, drink several glasses of liquid throughout the day.

IMPORTANT - For patients or diabetic patients using Glucophage Glucovance, ACTOPlus or any other medication containing Metformin: You must contact the Center for special instructions before you begin this preparation. Also, if you are diabetic, age 60 or older, have a history of high blood pressure or have a known severe allergy, history of kidney disease, kidney tumor or kidney of liver transplant you must contact the Center for special instructions before you begin this preparation.

 

[ top ]


Myelogram

Myelography is the x-ray of the spinal cord after the injection of a contrast media into the subarachnoid space of the cord. It is principally used to evaluate the condition of nerve roots and the effect of adjacent structures on the nerves.

On the day before the examination:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Eat regular meals.

On the day of the examination:

  • Have only liquids for breakfast.
  • Please try to arrive on time and bring all related films, such as spine x-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, for our Radiologist to review.
  • The exam is usually completed quickly, but you are required to be at the Center for up to 3 hours. It is recommended, but not required that someone stay with you.
  • You may choose to bring something to read and something to eat after the exam. We will provide spring water since you will need to drink plenty of fluids after the exam. If you prefer other drinks you may bring them.
  • Someone must drive you home! We cannot release patients who are driving themselves.
  • You will receive prescriptions to be filled following the myelogram.

 

[ top ]


CT Scans of:

  • Sinus
  • Spine
  • Extremeties
  • Chest, Brain, Neck, etc.

Do not eat solid foods 4 hours prior to exam. Clear liquids and medications are allowed up to 1 hour before exam. Arrive at scheduled time.

Please bring all related films for our radiologist to review.

IMPORTANT - For patients or diabetic patients using Glucophage Glucovance, ACTOPlus or any other medication containing Metformin: You must contact the Center for special instructions before you begin this preparation. Also, if you are diabetic, age 60 or older, have a history of high blood pressure or have a known severe allergy, history of kidney disease, kidney tumor or kidney of liver transplant you must contact the Center for special instructions before you begin this preparation.

 

[ top ]


Prostate Ultrasound / Biopsy

To image the prostate gland, a small ultrasound probe is placed in the rectum. The exam lasts approximately 30 minutes to one hour. Tissue samples can also be obtained through this probe if a biopsy is needed. Unless otherwise indicated, please follow the instructions below. This will prepare you for both the prostate ultrasound and also the biopsy in the event that the radiologist performing the study determines that biopsy is necessary.

In advance of the procedure you will need to purchase a Fleet enema and you will need a prescription from your physician for an antibiotic (6 Cipro tablets, 500 mg.). This is to prevent infection in the event that a biopsy is performed.

On the day before the examination:

  • Take one Cipro tablet at 8:00 a.m. and one at 8:00 p.m.

On the day of the examination:

  • Take one Cipro tablet at 8:00 a.m. and if biopsy was performed, also at 8:00 p.m. Administer Fleet enema according to the instructions, two hours before the exam.
  • Drink 24 ounces of water 1 hour prior to the appointment.  Do not empty bladder.
  • Since a biopsy may be performed and is considered to be a minor surgical procedure, you will need to bring someone with you to drive you home. We cannot release patients who are driving themselves.

If biopsy was performed:

  • Follow all other instructions given to you after the biopsy.
  • Take one Cipro tablet at 8:00 p.m. the evening of the biopsy. Take another Cipro tablet at 8:00 a.m. and one at 8:00 p.m. on the day following the biopsy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are on blood thinning medications, aspirin therapy, or have any bleeding disorders, please notify us at the time of scheduling. Special arrangements will need to be made.

 

[ top ]


PET Scan

  1. Eating: The day before your exam, follow a low carbohydrate diet, avoiding sweets, breads, pasta, rice, and cereals. Do not eat anything for at least 4-hours prior to your exam, however, try to drink 2 - 3 glasses of water during this time. Most medications do not interfere with this test and can be taken as usual.
  2. Diabetic Patients: For the test to be effective, it is important for your blood sugar levels to be low. At the time you schedule your appointment, please inform us if you are diabetic so we can provide special instructions.
  3. Exercise: Do not exercise within 24-hours of your scheduled PET scan appointment.
  4. Pain Medications: If you have difficulty lying on your back for any length of time, consider asking your doctor for pain medication to be taken prior to your exam.
  5. Claustrophobia: Most patients with claustrophobia tolerate a PET scan without difficulty. The unit is very open and only the portion of your body being imaged is within the scanner at any one time. Should you feel you may require sedation, you should discuss this need with your doctor prior to your appointment at the PET Scan Center.
  6. Prior Imaging Tests: It is very important that our radiologists have available the results of all previous imaging test (CT, MRI, PET, Sonogram, X-rays) that relate to the condition for which we are doing the PET scan. This enables the radiologist to provide the most accurate interpretation of your PET scan. Consequently, we ask that you make arrangements to deliver the films and reports for these tests to our PET Scan Center. Your PET Scan cannot be read until we have your prior imaging films and reports.

 

[ top ]


Abdominal Sonogram

Sonography is the use of "sound waves" to record images to the abdomen. This examination lasts approximately 30 minutes.

On the day before the examination:

  • Do not eat or drink anything, chew gum or smoke after midnight.

On the day of the examination:

  • Generally you are not allowed anything by mouth until your exam is completed.
  • Essential medications are allowed with a small amount of water.   Feel free to bring any medication with you to take immediately after the exam.
  • Do not eat or drink anything, chew gum or smoke until after your examination is completed.

 

[ top ]


Renal Sonography

Sonography is the use of "sound waves" to record images of the kidneys.

On the day of the examination:

  • Finish drinking 24 ounces of water one hour before your appointment time to allow time for your bladder to fill.
  • Do not empty your bladder after drinking the water until the examination is completed.

 

[ top ]


Retroperitoneal Sonography

Sonography is the use of "sound waves" to record images of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder.

On the day of the examination:

  • Finish drinking 24 ounces of water one hour before your appointment time.
  • Do not empty your bladder after drinking the water until the examination is completed.

 

[ top ]


Pelvic Sonogram

Sonography is the use of "sound waves" to record images of the bladder, uterus, and ovaries. This examination of the pelvic anatomy lasts approximately 30 minutes.

On the day of the examination:

  • Finish drinking 32 ounces of water one hour before your appointment to allow your bladder time to fill.
  • Do not empty your bladder after drinking the water until the examination is completed, or you may need to reschedule.
  • Your bladder must be full in order to do the examination. You will be able to empty your bladder when the examination is completed.

 

[ top ]


Obstetrical Sonogram

Sonography is the use of "sound waves" to record images of the bladder, uterus, and ovaries. This examination lasts approximately 30-60 minutes.

On the day of the examination for patients up to 22 weeks pregnant:

  • For patients less than 14 weeks pregnant, start drinking 32 ounce glasses of water 1½-2 hours before your appointment time. Finish drinking the 32 ounces of water one hour before your appointment to allow your bladder time to fill.
  • Patients 14 - 22 weeks pregnant should finish drinking only 16 ounces of water one hour before your appointment.
  • Do not empty your bladder after drinking the water until the examination is completed, or you may need to reschedule.
  • Your bladder must be full in order to do the examination. You will be able to empty your bladder when the examination is completed.

On the day of the examination for patients more than 22 weeks pregnant:

  • No preparation is required for patients more than 22 weeks pregnant.
  • You do not need to have a full bladder at this stage of pregnancy.

Multiple Births- Please inform the scheduling department if you are aware that you are carrying twins, triplets, etc. as the examination time will be longer.

 

[ top ]


Biophysical Profile

The Biophysical Profile uses Sonography to evaluate fetal status and activity. No preparation is required for the test. The exam may require up to 60 minutes.

On the day of the examination:

  • Please bring comparison films if baby was scanned elsewhere previously.

 

[ top ]


Mammography

  • On the day of your exam do not apply underarm deodorant, powder or lotion from the waist to the neck, underarms or around the breasts. If you must use powder, deodorant or lotions, please let us know before the exam so that we may provide you with wipes to remove it.
  • Please try to wear a two-piece outfit for your ease of changing and comfort.
  • If you have had prior mammograms at another institution, you must bring them with you or have them mailed to us one week prior to your appointment. These will be utilized for comparison to your new exam.

 

[ top ]


Breast Biopsy

A safe, simple needle biopsy that requires only local anesthesia can be performed as an outpatient to obtain a sample of breast tissue for laboratory diagnostics. This biopsy can be performed using stereotactic, (x-ray), sonography or MRI imaging guidance.

There are several things you can do to prepare for your procedure.

  • A light meal is recommended on the day of the procedure, but do not eat within four hours prior to the procedure. You are encouraged to drink plenty of liquids up until one hour before the procedure.
  • If you take blood thinners (Heparin, Coumadin, Persantine, Plavix, etc.) aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn), Ibuprofen, etc.,) please let us know at time of scheduling. These medications interfere with blood clotting and may increase the chance of significant bruising. Our radiologist may want to check with your physician about these medications before the procedure.
  • Your other regular medications should be taken as prescribed. You may take Tylenol.
  • If you are taking blood pressure medication, make sure you take your prescription the day of your procedure.
  • Wear a comfortable, two piece outfit.
  • Do not use deodorant, powder, perfume, or any lotions on or near your breast on the day of the biopsy. These items can interfere with the interpretation of the images.
  • Your most recent mammogram must be provided to us at least 24 hours in advance.
  • A biopsy is considered to be minor surgical procedure. Please make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the procedure.

 

[ top ]


Bone Densitometry/Vertebral Fracture Assessment (DEXA Scan/VFA)

This scan is a quick and comfortable test used to detect fracture risk due to osteoporosis. It is also used to monitor the progress of patients undergoing treatment.

  • Do not take calcium supplements or multi-vitamins for 24 hours prior to the examination. These calcium supplements may be found in multi-vitamins and antacids. Please be certain to read the labels when taking all medications within 24 hours prior to the examination to avoid calcium supplements. Dairy products are acceptable.
  • You should not have certain radiologic studies within the 7 days before the exam, i.e., barium studies, or studies involving IV or oral contrast.
  • Try to wear an outfit without buttons, snaps, zippers or anything metal. No under wire bra should be worn.
  • Bring a list of your medications with dosages.
  • You may want to check with your insurance company about coverage for this test.
  • Unless diagnosed with osteoporosis, many insurance plans require that two full years have gone by between DEXA scans.
  • Please notify the scheduler if you may be pregnant.

 

[ top ]


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI uses a very powerful magnet, radio waves and a sophisticated computer system to produce remarkable images without x-ray radiation.

  • There is no need to alter your diet or medication prior to most MRI examinations. For MRI of the abdomen of pelvis however, please do not eat or drink for 4 hours prior to your appointment time. We will need for you to empty your bladder before the scan.
  • Because of the powerful magnetic field, certain safety precautions will be observed. You will need to leave the following items in a private locked cabinet outside of the MRI room:
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing Aids
  • Coins
  • Credit Cards
  • Hairpins
  • Underwire Bras
  • Medication Patches
  • Removable Dental Work
  • Jewelry
  • Keys
  • Watches
  • Other Metallic or Metal-Containing Objects
  • Orthopedic Braces

If you have a history of working around metal, grinding, welding or you think you may have metal in your eyes, you will need to come for an orbital x-ray prior to your appointment.

  • In addition, please do not wear hairspray or eye makeup.
  • You may be asked to change into a patient gown. Sometimes this is not necessary if your clothes are relatively free of metal.

Please note that a patient may not qualify for an M.R.I. exam if any of the following conditions exist:

  • Pacemaker
  • Aneurysm Clips
  • Neural Stimulator
  • Metal Objects Imbedded in the Body
  • IUD
  • Permanent makeup (eyeliner, lip liner, eyebrows, etc.) unless vegetable dye was used
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Artificial Heart Valve
  • Pregnancy
  • Metallic Fragments, Objects
  • Please alert our staff to any of the above conditions when you schedule an appointment, and inform the technologist of your condition(s) before beginning an examination.
  • Please make arrangements to bring all related imaging studies, i.e., prior x-rays, CT's, M.R.I.'s, Sonograms, Mammograms, etc., so that our radiologist can make comparisons and provide the best interpretation of your new studies.

    Patient History and MRI Safety Screening Form