Find out the guidelines for eating and drinking before your exam

Once you schedule an appointment with Main Street Radiology, please take a few minutes and learn more about the procedure we will be performing. Our goal is to keep you as comfortable as possible, but it's also vitally important that you follow our exam preparation instructions so we can provide you with the most accurate results possible. If you have any questions regarding your exam, please call us at 718-428-1500.

We ask that you bring in your prescription, insurance card and photo ID. Please make sure all jewelry is left at home. Preparation for test is as follows:

  • For 4 hours before the exam, do not eat or drink fluids other than water. You may drink as much water as you wish.
  • If you are a diabetic, abstain from any diabetic medications on the day of the exam.
  • You may take any other prescribed medications, including hypertension medication and seizure medication.
  • You must limit your exercise for at least 24 hours prior to the exam.
    If you are pregnant, or think you may be, please let us know as PET is not generally performed on pregnant women.

The full appointment will take roughly 3 hours. When you arrive, you will be instructed to fill out some paperwork. Once that is completed, a technologist will set you up with an IV in your arm. A dose will be administered. You will then have to wait two hours before your scan begins. You may stay in the office or leave and come back. Once you are called in for your exam, the scanning time is about 45 minutes.

The quality of your colonography examination is largely dependent on your bowel preparation. To assure the best possible outcome, this preparation should be taken exactly as directed. Do not make any substitutions or changes without prior consultation with your doctor. In addition, you should read all instructions and ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Instructions

The day day before the test, please have breakfast at 8 am. and lunch at noon, choosing from the clear, non-alcoholic liquids listed below.

  • Tea/black coffee (no milk or dairy creamer)
  • Apple juice, white grape juice, lemonade
  • Plain gelatin (without any fruit or toppings)
  • Clear chicken or beef broth
  • Clear sodas (7-Up, Sprite and Ginger Ale)
  • Water
  • Popsicles

Avoid: Soups that contain meats, vegetables or grains; colas and heavily caffeinated beverages such as Mountain Dew and all solid foods.

Between lunch and bedtime: It's very important to drink at least 8 ounces of water every hour so you do not become dehydrated.

Approximately 3 p.m. Start to drink bowel preparation fluids such as GoLYTLEY or NuLYTELY, as prescribed by your doctor. Drink 8 ounces of GoLYTLEY or NuLYTELY every 15 minutes until it is all gone. This will take 4 to 5 hours. After completing, 30 minutes later take two Bisacodyl (5mg) tablets.  After the first several glasses, you will begin to have loose, watery bowel movements. Diarrhea will continue at least one hour after you finish drinking GoLYTLEY or NuLYTELY.

Dinner 5 p.m. Clear liquid diet from choices provided

Bedtime If you have any significant allergies to iodine, consult your doctor before taking Omnipaque. Mix a full bottle of Omnipaque with 5 to 6 ounces of clear soda or Gatorade, and drink.

Important: Do not drink or eat anything after midnight.

  • Refrain from eating and drinking 4 hours prior to your exam.
  • If you are diabetic, we will need your most current blood work; no more than 3 months old. We will also need your BUN and creatinine levels.
  • On the day of your appointment, please come to Main Street Radiology with your doctor’s prescription, insurance card and a picture ID.
  • Complete the CT Scan Questionnaire
  • Refrain from eating and drinking 4 hours prior to your exam.
  • On the day of your appointment, please come to Main Street Radiology with your doctor’s prescription, insurance card and a picture ID.
  • Complete the CT Scan Questionnaire

A small bowel series is an X-ray of the small intestine. This exam is often performed along with an upper GI series. For the exam, you must drink barium, which is a contrasting agent that enables us to see the anatomy of your digestive tract.

Preparation

  • The night before testing, do not eat or drink anything after midnight. (Food or liquid in your stomach and intestines may affect test results)
  • Do not eat or drink anything the morning of the exam. If you must take medications, please take them with a small amount of water.

What to Expect
Prior to the exam, a radiologist will take a plain X-ray of your abdomen. This is known as a “scout film.” Not only will this X-ray give us a basic picture of your anatomy, we’ll also be able to tell if you followed the preparation guidelines.

In preparation for the small bowel series test, the radiologist will briefly discuss your medical history, so that he or she can better perform the exam. Throughout the exam, you’ll be required to swallow a barium drink in various positions on the X-ray table. The radiologist will be able to see your anatomy and capture any necessary photos using a fluoroscope. This special X-ray machine is connected to a TV screen.

After the initial part of the test, a radiologic technologist will take X-ray pictures of your abdomen every 20 to 30 minutes, to observe the progression of the barium through the intestines. We will make sure you are as comfortable as possible throughout this process. Once the barium has progressed sufficiently through your intestines, the radiologist will capture a few more images of the small intestines using the fluoroscope. We recommend you bring reading material with you since the exam takes 4 or 5 hours or longer to complete.

An upper gastrointestinal (GI) series is performed to identify problems in the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine. The exam may also be performed to assess problems in the small intestine. An upper GI series enables your doctor to view a blockage, abnormal growth, an ulcer or a problem with the functioning of an organ.

Preparation

  • The night before testing, do not eat or drink anything after midnight. (Food or liquid in your stomach and intestines may affect test results.)
  • Do not eat or drink anything the morning of the exam. If you must take medications, please take them with a small amount of water.

What to Expect
During the exam, you’ll have to drink a barium mixture - a thick, white liquid, similar to a milkshake. Barium coats the inside lining of the stomach, esophagus and duodenum, making them more visible on the X-rays. The radiologist can also identify ulcers, scar tissue, hernias, abnormal growths, or any blockages hindering the normal path of food through the digestive system.

Using a fluoroscope, the radiologist can observe the barium moving through the digestive system to see if it is working properly. For example, the doctor will see whether the muscles that control swallowing are functioning properly. The radiologist can take an X-ray as the barium moves into the small intestine. The exam takes 15 to 30 minutes to complete. If a small bowel series is also being done, the total testing time could be as much as 4 hours.

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an X-ray of the urinary bladder, kidneys and the ureters. Most people are knowledgeable of X-rays, which generate a still image of the body’s interior by passing a small, yet extremely controlled amount of radiation through the body, and capturing the resulting shadows and reflection on film.

For an IVP, a contrasting agent (iodine) is injected into the patient and used to enhance the X-ray images. Its progress through the urinary tract is recorded on a sequence of quickly captured images. An IVP allows the radiologist to view the anatomy and function of the kidneys and urinary tract.

Preparation

  • Light dinner the evening before the exam
  • 2 ounces of castor oil (to be purchased at a pharmacy) after dinner, then nothing to eat or drink
  • Fleet Enema the morning of the exam

An esophagram or barium swallow exam enables the radiologist to examine the function and appearance of the esophagus. The swallowing process is also evaluated. This test, which is ordered by a physician, is used to assess symptoms of difficult or painful swallowing, weight loss, abdominal pain and bloodstained vomit.

An esophagram allows the radiologist to identify ulcers, polyps, tumors, and enlarged veins, which can cause bleeding. In addition, the radiologist can view problems with the esophagus, such as narrowing or irritation, blockages and a hiatal hernia (the upper part of the stomach slides through the diaphragm).

Preparation

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

What to Expect
During the test, you’ll drink a cup of barium mixed with water while the radiologist observes and evaluates the swallowing process using a fluoroscopy. X-rays are taken to track the path of the barium to the stomach. To ensure that each structure is represented well on the X-rays, you’ll be placed in various positions. The test only takes 15 to 30 minutes.

A barium enema or lower GI exam is performed to examine the large intestine (rectum and colon). This test enables your physician to identify diseases and other conditions that affect the large intestine. During the test, the colon is filled with a contrast material containing barium. This makes the intestine visible on an X-ray image. The contrast material is inserted into the rectum by using a tube. The procedure usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.

Preparation

  • Light dinner the evening before the exam
  • 2 ounces of castor oil (to be purchased at a pharmacy) after dinner, then nothing to eat or drink
  • Fleet Enema the morning of the exam

The Breast Questionnaire must be filled out for all mammograms. Please bring with you any previous mammograms and any breast-related images you have. These images are important to improve the quality of the mammogram interpretation.

During a mammogram, a low-dose radiation system is used to examine the breasts. Mammograms enable your physician to identify breast diseases early.

On the day of your exam, do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion. These can appear on the test results.

How is the procedure performed?
During the exam, a radiology technologist will place your breast on a special platform on the mammography system, and use a paddle made of Plexiglas or another plastic to gradually compress your breast. Breast compression is necessary because:

  • It evens out breast thickness so that all of breast tissue can be examined.
  • Stretches the tissue so that small abnormalities are less likely to be covered by overlying breast tissue.
  • It enables the technologist to use a lower X-ray dose, since a thinner amount of tissue is being X-rayed.
  • Keeps the breast still, which reduces blurring.
  • Decreases X-ray scatter, which increases sharpness.

What should I expect during the procedure?

During X-ray exposure, the technologist will stand behind a glass shield. You will have to change positions between images, and the same process will be repeated for the other breast.

You must remain very still. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds while the X-ray is being taken. This decreases blurriness. The exam takes about 15 minutes. As your breast is compressed, you will feel pressure. If your breasts are sensitive, you may experience discomfort. If that is the case, please schedule your mammogram when your breasts are least tender.

The Breast Questionnaire must be filled out for all breast ultrasounds.

During an ultrasound, a portion of the body is exposed to high-frequency sound waves to generate images of the inside of the body. An ultrasound is non-invasive.

You’ll be instructed to lie on your back on the exam table, with your arm raised above your head. A clear gel is applied to the area of interest, which helps the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminates any air pockets between the transducer and the skin. The ultrasound technologist firmly presses the transducer against the skin and sweeps it back and forth over the area. A bilateral breast exam takes 45 minutes and a unilateral breast exam takes 15 minutes.

To better serve you, we ask that you please complete this MRI questionnaire prior to your exam.

To better serve you, we ask that you please complete this MRI Prostate questionnaire prior to your exam.

Specific Ultrasounds

Please follow the following guidelines when preparing for your specific ultrasound:

  • Abdomen/Pelvic (male): No food / drink one glass of water one hour prior to exam
  • Abdomen: No food or drink 6 hours prior to exam
  • Abdomen with doppler: No food or drink 6 hours prior to exam
  • Abdomen limited: no food or drink 6 hours prior to exam
  • Abdomen renal: No food for one hour before exam. Drink one glass of water one hour prior to exam.
  • Aorta: No food or drink 6 hours prior to exam
  • Breast (bilateral, left or right): No perfume, powder or deodorant if also having mammogram
  • Carotid doppler: None
  • Lower extremity doppler: None
  • Umbilical artery doppler: None
  • Upper extremity doppler: None
  • Lower extremity non-vascular: None
  • Obstetric first trimester: Drink 32 ounces of water one hour prior to exam and hold urine. (If trans-vaginal ultrasound, no prep necessary.)
  • Obstetric second/third trimester: None
  • Obstetric: Additional fetus
  • Obstetric: Limited study
  • Obstetric transvaginal: None
  • Parathyroid: None
  • Pelvic endovaginal: None
  • Pelvic (routine): Drink 32 ounces of water one hour prior to exam and hold urine
  • Pelvic & Endovaginal: Drink 32 ounces of water one hour prior to exam and hold urine
  • Pelvic doppler: Should be done transvaginal; no prep necessary
  • Renal: Drink one glass of water one hour prior to exam
  • Renal doppler: Drink one glass of water one hour prior to exam
  • Testicular: None
  • Testicular doppler: None
  • Thyroid: None
  • Transplanted kidney with doppler: Drink one glass of water one hour prior to exam
  • Upper extremity non-vascular: None
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