Our certified staff provides a wide range of advanced radiology services,
available 24 hours every day. Learn more about our procedures, tests,
and what you need to do to prepare for one, below:
Diagnostic x-ray and fluoroscopy
A diagnostic digital x-ray and fluoroscopy sends a momentary, low-energy
beam and is usually used for a specific area of your body. Other parts
of your body are shielded during the process. In the resulting x-ray image,
the gray areas are where the radiation is able to pass through the tissue.
Fluoroscopy is similar but provides the picture in "real-time."
You do not need to prepare for x-rays. To prepare for your fluoroscopy test:
- Upper GI, esophagram and small bowel exams: Do not eat or drink for six
hours before the test.
- Barium enema: You will be asked to purchase a drug that helps empty your
colon. Follow the instructions provided.
Click here for some general information about diagnostic x-ray and fluoroscopy in
our Health Library resource.
Computed tomography (CT) scan
A CT scanner is a large machine that allows the x-ray to move around the
body. The image is sent in "real-time" to a special computer.
The resulting image provides detail of bones and soft tissue.
To prepare for your CT scan:
- Abdomen, pelvis, colon, and other exams that include an IV injection of
a contrast dye: Not all CT scans use a contrast dye but can make certain
areas of your body more visible on the scan. In some cases, you will be
asked to drink a liquid and wait one hour before the scan.
- Other exams: A blood test may be required before the exam. When you are
scheduling your scan appointment, please ask if you will need a blood test.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to bounce off of tendons, muscles, joints,
blood vessels and organs inside the body. Obstetric ultrasound is used
for examining pregnant women. Ultrasound images are created when the sound
echoes are recorded and displayed to the sonographer on a computer screen.
To prepare for your Ultrasound:
- Abdomen (including the renal artery): Do not eat or drink for six hours
before your exam.
- Pelvis, bladder and obstetric ultrasounds: Your bladder must be completely
full. Drink 32 ounces of water one hour before your exam.
- Paracentesis, thoracentesis and some biopsies: A blood test will be required
before the exam. When you are scheduling your ultrasound appointment,
please ask if you will need a blood test.
Nuclear Medicine Imaging
Nuclear medicine imaging uses small amounts of naturally occurring radioactive
material, usually by injection but also may be swallowed or inhaled. A
special camera and computer create images of the inside of the body from
the gamma rays that are given off.
In most cases, you do not need to prepare for your Nuclear Medicine exam.
- Gastric emptying study, hepatobiliary scan or myocardial perfusion scan:
Do not eat or drink for six hours before the exam.
- Thyroid scan: You should not take thyroid medications, birth control pills,
and supplements containing idodine (a type of salt) for 2-4 weeks. You
should also not eat seafood or foods containing idodine for 2-4 weeks.
If you have had a previous IV radiography contrast, you need to wait three months.
Click here for some general information about myocardial perfusion scans (nuclear
stress tests) in our Health Library resource.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
A MRI is a large machine that uses a magnetic field and radio raves to
create images of bones, organs and soft tissues, without radiation. Our
scanner uses the latest technology, which results in sharp, quality images
for diagnosis. We provide headphones to listen to music during the scan.
In most cases, you do not need to prepare for your MRI exam but other imaging
methods may be recommended if you:
- Have a metal plate, pin, other metal implants, or a prior gunshot wound
- Are a metal worker (past and present)
- Are pregnant
- Have a pacemaker or artificial heart valve
- Have an aneurysm clip
Vascular lab testing (duplex ultrasound, ankle-brachial index)
We offer non-invasive testing to diagnose and treat vascular conditions
that affect blood flow in the arteries and veins. Our sonographers are
specially trained to test and examine blood vessels throughout the body
that feed organs and tissues.
Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)
The ABI test uses an inflatable pressure cuff on your arm and ankles. The
sonographer will compare your blood pressure to an ABI ratio to test the
circulation in your legs.
You do not need to prepare for your ABI test.
Types of duplex ultrasound are carotid, renal, abdominal and mesenteric.
To prepare for one of these:
- Let your physician know if you are currently taking medications or have
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing
Interventional radiology (IR) and vascular interventional radiology (VIR)
IR (also known as VIR) provides image-guided, minimally invasive procedures,
usually with less risk, pain, and recovery time than open surgery.
Using the vascular system as a guide to the body, our team of experts treat
a variety of conditions such as cancer, diabetes, blood clots in the lung,
narrowing or expanded arteries, uterine fibroids, infertility, chronic
pain, and bleeding (hemorrhaging). Treatments include tumor ablation,
draining fluid from the chest or abdomen, placement of gastrostomy feeding
tubes, and treating collapsed spinal bones. Some procedures are diagnostic
such as angiograms for the heart.
When you schedule an appointment, please ask if there is anything you can
do to prepare for your test.