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.)
CT Scans
Prostate Ultrasound / Biopsy
Abdominal Sonogram
PET Scan
Renal Sonogram
Retroperitoneal Sonography
Pelvic Sonogram
Obstetrical Sonogram
Biophysical Profile
Nuclear Medicine
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Bone Densitometry (DEXA Scan)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (M.R.I.)

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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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