Preparing For Your Appointment

We’re here to help you prepare for your upcoming imaging appointment

Whether you are undergoing an MRI, CT, Ultrasound, or Mammography, the better prepared you are for your exam the more relaxed you will feel. Our detailed list of exam preparation instructions provides details on how you should prepare for your upcoming exam. Should you have any questions about these instructions, please contact us immediately to avoid any delays or cancellations on the day of your appointment.

What To Bring With You

  • Face mask
  • Photo ID
  • Current health insurance card
  • Prescription/referral or authorization paperwork
  • List of current medications including vitamins and herbal supplements
  • Previous images and reports related to your exam

General Patient Information

Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment unless your exam prep guidelines or a member of our team advises otherwise.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only patients are allowed within our centers (minors can be accompanied by a parent/guardian).

All patients are required to wear a face mask at all times within our centers (exceptions for young children and those with certain underlying conditions).

Patients receiving sedation for an MRI scan must be accompanied by a friend or family member who can safely drive them home after their test is over.

Patients Receiving IV Contrast

Recent blood work is needed for all patients age 60+ and for all patients who have diabetes, hypertension, multiple myeloma, renal disease, renal insufficiency, renal failure, nephrectomy (one kidney) or renal surgery, and renal transplant.

  • Blood work requirements:
    • Date drawn (within 6 weeks of exam date)
    • Creatinine
    • BUN
    • GFR (if available)

Akumin may perform creatinine test at the time of scan if current lab results are older than 6 weeks. *Not offered at all clinics – subject to availability and scheduling constraints.

Patients with a history of asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, severe allergies, or prior contrast reaction MUST notify the technologist prior to the exam.

Patients with prior adverse contrast reaction must have their referring physician contact our office about premedication.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) / MR Angiography (MRA)

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your exam.

Remove any metallic objects (jewelry, glasses, hairpins, hearing aids, etc.) and clothing with metal parts such as zippers or underwired bras, prior to exam as these may interfere with the clarity of the images.

For MRI with IV contrast: 

  • Review the IV Contrast Guidelines section above for full preparation details including blood work requirements.
  • Some tests may require that you avoid food or drink for 2-4 hours prior to the exam. Please follow the exact guidelines you are given.

For MRCP MRI/abdominal test:

  • No food or drink* for 4 hours prior to the exam.

Please contact us if you have a history of the following:

  • Brain aneurysm clips
  • Cochlear implants or ear tubes
  • Electronic implantable devices
  • Neurostimulator
  • Breast Expanders
  • Has worked with metal
  • Artificial heart valve
  • Pacemaker

*DO NOT stop taking your medication. All medications may be taken with a small sip of water.

Computerized Tomography (CT) / CT Angiography (CTA)

For CT with IV contrast:

  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your exam.
  • Review the IV Contrast Guidelines section above for full preparation details including blood work requirements.
  • No food or drink* for 4-6 hours prior to the exam.

For CT with oral contrast, including abdomen and pelvic scans:

  • Please arrive 1 hour prior to your exam to allow time to drink the oral contrast.
  • No food or drink* for 4-6 hours prior to the exam.

For CT without contrast:

  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your exam.
  • No additional preparation is required.

*DO NOT stop taking your medication. All medications may be taken with a small sip of water.

PET/CT

Prior to your exam, you will receive a call with full instructions. Please advise us if you are diabetic.

The day before your exam:

  • Follow a low carbohydrate, low sugar, and caffeine-free diet avoiding sweets, bread, pasta, rice, cereals, and sweetened drinks. Speak to your physician if you are diabetic.

24 hours prior to your exam:

  • No strenuous exercise.

6 hours prior to your exam:

  • Do not eat anything. Most medications do not interfere with this test and can be taken as usual.

Nuclear Medicine

Prior to your appointment date, you will receive specific instructions based on the type of nuclear medicine exam you will be undergoing.

For Thyroid Uptake and Scan, Whole Body Scan:

  • Do not eat seafood or shellfish for 48 hours prior to the exam.
  • No multivitamins for 2 weeks prior to the exam.
  • No thyroid medications for 2 to 4 weeks prior to your exam, depending on the type of scan.
  • No medications containing iodine and no iodine-based contrast for 1 month prior to the exam.
  • No food or drink for 6 hours prior to this scan.

For Gastric Emptying:

  • No food or drink for 4 hours prior to this scan.

For Nuclear Stress test:

  • No food for 4 hours prior.
  • Wear or bring comfortable clothes and walking shoes.
  • Bring a small snack to consume after you’re done as this test can take 3 to 4 hours to complete.
  • Call us regarding cardiac medications.

Interventional Biopsy

Prior to your appointment date, you will receive specific instructions based on the type of procedure you will be undergoing.

  • If sedation will be given during your procedure, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for 8 hours beforehand.
  • If you are diabetic and take insulin you should talk to your doctor as your usual insulin dose may need to be adjusted.
  • You may be required to cease taking anticoagulants for several days prior to your procedure.

Ultrasound

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment.

For Echocardiography, Thyroid, Carotid, Breast, and Scrotal:

  • No preparation is required if you are having an echocardiography or ultrasound of your breast, extremities such as an arm or leg, or other body parts such as your thyroid or scrotum.

For Renal Doppler:

  • No food for 6 hours prior to the exam.

For Gallbladder, Liver, Abdominal, and Pancreas:

  • No food for 6 hours prior to the exam.

For Bladder and Pelvis (includes Obstetrical and Transvaginal):

  • Drink and finish 32 oz. of clear liquids 1 hour prior to appointment.
  • The bladder must be full at the time of the exam.
  • Do not urinate.
  • An empty bladder will prevent us from performing the exam.

Mammography

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment.

Do not apply perfume, deodorant, or powder in the chest or underarm area. If you have to wear deodorant (or have applied it by mistake) please let your technologist know so that we can provide you with a wet wipe to remove any residue.

Bring previous mammograms for comparison to avoid delay with results.

Digital X-rays

Please inform your imaging technologist if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your exam.

Remove any metallic objects (jewelry, glasses, hairpins, hearing aids, etc.) and clothing with metal parts such as zippers or underwired bras, prior to exam as these may interfere with the clarity of the images.

DEXA Bone Densitometry

Please inform your imaging technologist if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your exam.

24 hours prior to your exam:

  • No calcium or osteoporosis medication

Kindly advise our scheduling staff if you’ve recently had a barium exam or injection with contrast material for a CT, Nuclear, or PET scan as you may have to wait up to 14 days before undergoing this test.

Remove any metallic objects (jewelry, glasses, hairpins, hearing aids, etc.) and clothing with metal parts such as zippers or underwired bras, prior to exam as these may interfere with the clarity of the images.