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Radiology Services

The certified radiology staff at Valley Presbyterian Hospital provide 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:

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.

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 radioactive materials, 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. Exceptions include:

  • Gastric emptying study: Do not eat or drink for six hours before the exam.
  • Hepatobiliary scan: Do not eat or drink for six hours before the exam. Do not take narcotic pain medicine at least four hours before the exam.
  • Myocardial perfusion scan: Do not eat or drink for six hours before the exam. Do not eat or drink caffeinated products twelve hours before the exam.
  • Thyroid scan: You should not take thyroid medications or supplements containing iodine (a type of salt) for 2-4 weeks. You should also not eat seafood or foods high in iodine for 2 weeks. If you have had a previous study with IV radiography contrast, you need to wait two months.

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. 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.

Duplex Ultrasound

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 dietary restrictions
  • 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 need to do to prepare for your test.