Preparing for Your Imaging Exam

There are certain exams performed in Imaging Services that require a "prep," which prepares you for the exam so that we can get the best quality exam possible. Without the specific prep, the radiologist might not see everything necessary to read your film. If there are requirements for the prep that you are unable to perform, please call us.

There is no specific prep for your exam if you do not see it listed below. If you have any questions about your exam or prep, please call us.

Contact Us

St. Joseph's Imaging Services, (912) 819-2452
Candler Imaging Services, (912) 819-8132

Contrast (X-Ray Dye)

Some x-ray, CT and MRI exams require the injection of contrast, which is a sodium- and iodine-based liquid that helps to show organs and blood vessels in more detail than is seen without the contrast.

Lab work will be needed to check kidney function under the following requirements:

1.     X-ray with contrast:65 years or older.

2.     CT with contrast: 55 years or older

3.     MRI with contrast: 60 years or older..

4.     If you have diabetes, hypertension or heart disease and you are 55 years or older.

5.     The blood work is done in the CT/MRI department on a piece of lab equipment called a Statsensor for quick results. Your exam cannot be started until we have those results.

6.     If you have had a BUN and creatinine drawn within the last 30 days we can use that result.

7.     If you take any medications by mouth for diabetes, check with the technologist after the exam for instructions.

Barium Enema or IVP

1.     Clear liquid diet (JELL-O, broth, tea, coffee without cream, sodas) beginning with lunch the day before your appointment.

2.     Drink 8 ounces of clear liquids every hour starting no later than noon the day before your barium enema. Do this once an hour for 12 hours.

3.     Take 10 ounces of magnesium citrate solution at 2 p.m. the day before your exam.

4.     Take 2 ounces of castor oil at 6 p.m. the day before your exam.

Upper GI Series or Barium Swallow

Have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. Drink extra fluids for 24 hours after the exam to prevent constipation.

CT Scans

Pediatric patients who will require sedation for their CT scan should not have anything to eat or drink for 4 hours prior to their scheduled exam.

CT Abdomen With or Without Contrast/CT Pelvis With or Without Contrast

1.     You do not have to restrict food or drink.

2.     Please come to the Imaging Department at the hospital at which you are scheduled no later than the day before your exam to pick up the oral contrast that you will need to drink prior to your exam. You will receive instructions on when to drink it at that time. Drinking your contrast prior to arriving for your exam will shorten the actual exam time.If you are not able to pick your oral contrast the day before your exam please arrive 2 hours prior to the appointment time to drink and allow it to pass through your GI tract..

CT Biopsy, Fine Needle

Please bring any CT scans done at a different hospital or office along with you, as well as your current medications. We will draw lab work and review your imagesat this time.

Ultrasound, Abdominal

This exam includes looking at the aorta, gallbladder, common bile duct, liver, pancreas, kidneys, spleen and any arteries or veins that are connected to those structures.

1.     Nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior to the ultrasound.

Ultrasound, Pelvic, Obstetrical or Fetal Age

1.     Drink 36 ounces of liquid before your exam. Do not empty your bladder. It must be full to get a diagnostic test.

MRI/MRA

1.     If you are claustrophobic or anxious about your exam, an oral Xanax can be given when you arrive for your exam. If you receive medication, you will not be allowed to drive yourself home. Please have someone come with you. If you are scheduled to have IV sedation, you may not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before your exam.

2.     You will need to remove all metal when you arrive, including hairpins, dentures, belts, coins, credit cards and any external medication pumps that you may be using.

3.     Absolutely no one with a pacemaker, cerebral artery clip, aneurysm clip or cochlear implants can go in to the MRI scanner. Please let your doctor know if you have any of these things.

4.     If you have a metal heart valve, rods, pins or screws, they will have to be evaluated to determine if you can go into the scanner.

5.     If you are pregnant your doctor must consult with the radiologists.

Angiography/Arteriography/Angioplasty/Vascular Stent placement

1.     You must not have anything to eat or drink for 4 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. You may take your medications (except for any diabetic medication) with a sip of water.

2.     If you take Glucophage, Glucovance or Metaglip for diabetes you will not be able to take them for 48 hours after your exam. Contact your diabetes doctor and let them know, as they may want to give you something different for that period of time.

3.     You will not be able to drive home. Make arrangements for someone to pick you up after your recovery period.

4.     Bring all of the medications that you are currently taking with you to the hospital.

PAS Port/Port-a-Cath Insertion

1.     You must not have anything to eat or drink for 4 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. You may take your medications (except for any diabetic medication) with a sip of water.

2.     If you take Glucophage, Glucovance or Metaglip for diabetes you will not be able to take them for 48 hours after your exam. Contact your diabetes doctor and let them know, as they may want to give you something different for that period of time.

3.     You will not be able to drive home. Make arrangements for someone to pick you up after your recovery period.

4.     Bring all of the medications that you are currently taking with you to the hospital.

PET Scan

1.     You must bring any previous CT, MRI or PET images that you have had at another facility; without these images the radiologist cannot correctly and quickly interpret your scan.

2.     Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours prior to your scheduled time. This includes gum, candy, mints, etc.

3.     If you are diabetic, ask to get any early appointment so that your glucose levels will be within a normal number. If you do not have an early appointment you may eat and take your medication 5 hours prior to your appointment time. Do not eat or drink anything after this meal.

4.     It is cool in the scanner so you might want to bring a sweater or jacket with you.

5.     You will be at the facility for approximately 2 hours.

Myocardial Perfusion Scan

1.     Nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior to your appointment.

2.     Do not take Inderal for 24 hours prior to your appointment

3.     Remove Nitro patches or cream 4 hours prior to your appointment.

4.     Do not take Nitroglycerin by mouth for 1 hour before your appointment.

5.     Nothing with caffeine for 24 hours prior to your appointment.

Cardiolyte/Thallium/Exercise (Treadmill) Stress Test

1.     Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

2.     If you take any medication for your heart, check with your cardiologist to see if they want you to stop taking them before your exercise stress test.

Persantine/Adenosin Cardiolyte Scan (Non-Exercise)

1.     Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

2.     No Xanthine medications, theophylline or caffeine for 24hours before your scheduled exam.

3.     If you take any medication for your heart, check with your cardiologist to see if they want you to stop taking them before your test.

HIDA Scan (Hepatobiliary Scan)

1.     Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.

2.     Do not take Demerol or morphine for 8 hours before your scheduled appointment.

Gallium Study

1.     Make sure that this test is not scheduled less than 2 days after any barium study (CT abdomen, barium enema, GI series).

2.     On the day of your gallium study you will come to Nuclear Medicine department for an injection. You will be given diet instructions at that time.

Bone Scan

1.     Make sure that this test is not scheduled less than 2 days after any barium study (barium enema, GI series).

2.     You will come to the hospital in the morning for an injection and then return in approximately 3 hours for the bone scan. You will not feel any effect from the injection so you may drive yourself.

Gastric Emptying Study

1.     Make sure that this test is not scheduled less than 2 days after any barium study (CT abdomen, barium enema, GI series).

2.     Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

3.     This study should be scheduled in the morning because gastric emptying varies with the time of day.

GI Blood Loss Study

Make sure that this test is not scheduled less than 2 days after any barium study (CT abdomen, barium enema, GI series).

GI Meckel's Scan

1.     Make sure that this test is not scheduled less than 2 days after any barium study (CT abdomen, barium enema, GI series).

2.     Nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours before your scheduled appointment.

Liver/Spleen Scan

Make sure that this test is not scheduled less than 2 days after any barium study (CT abdomen, barium enema, or GI series).

Thyroid Scan

1.     You must be off of your Synthroid for 4 weeks prior to the exam.

2.     You must be off of PTU or Tapazole for 3-7 days.

3.     You may not have had any IV contrast injected for 4 weeks before your thyroid scan.

4.     Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before your scheduled appointment.

Hyperthyroid Initial Therapy

1.     You must be off of Synthroid for 4 weeks before your appointment

2.     You must be off Tapazole for 3-7 days.

3.     You may not have had any X-ray dye injected for 4 weeks before your test.

4.     A pregnancy test may be required for females.

5.     Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before your scheduled appointment.

  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000