Patient Information

CT scans and MRI exams are painless, although you will be required to lie still during the exam. We will do our best to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Here is an overview of how to prepare for your CT or MRI exam.

  • How to Prepare for Your CT Exam:

    For no-contrast CT scans, not much preparation is required at all. Please do let us know if you are pregnant, or if you think you might be pregnant.
    Your CT exam may require IV or oral contrast. If so, we request that you do not eat or drink during the four hours prior to your scan. If you take prescription medicine, you may continue to take your medication, with a small sip of water.
    If you have ever experienced an allergic reaction to X-ray dye or iodine, please let us know before your exam. This is very important.
    If you have diabetes, please let our staff know which medications you are taking. If you use Glucophage, Glucovancel or Metformin, you will be asked to stop taking your medication for 48 hours following the scan.
    Your doctor may also have special instructions for you. If you’re having an abdominal CT scan, you will be given contrast material to drink, which will require you to arrive an hour before the test is given.
    What should I wear for my CT Scan?
    Please wear comfortable, athletic-style clothing without metal fasteners, belt buckles or other metal objects. These could affect the image quality, so if your clothing contains metal, you may be asked to wear a medical gown for the exam.
    What should I expect during the scan?
    Your CT scan should be a painless procedure, although you will be required to lie completely still in order to obtain a high quality image. Most scans take 5 to 10 minutes, although some may take a bit longer. The scan will be conducted as you lie on the CT machine’s padded table, which will move slightly every few moments to reposition you. If you will be receiving IV contrast, it will be given during the exam. The contrast may cause you to momentarily experience a metallic taste in your mouth, or feel flushed. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, let the technologist know.
    What happens after the exam?
    You may resume normal activity after the exam. Your results will be read by a radiologist and sent to your physician, who will follow up with you.
    Since MRI uses a magnet, certain types of metal will interfere with the study. An MRI may not be performed if you have a pacemaker, metal clips in the brain (placed to stop bleeding), or cochlear implants in the ear. You will be asked several questions about past surgeries or injuries before your study to ensure you can safely have the MRI exam. Please let the technologist know of any metal you have on, or in your body. If you are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, or have a questionable implant, call the location where your appointment is scheduled prior to your appointment. If you have documentation or an implant identification card please bring this information with you. The technologist will research the implant(s) to check for their safety and compatibility before you enter the magnet room. For most exams, you may eat and drink before your MRI. Before entering the MRI room, please remove: glasses, pens and pencils, hearing aids, hair accessories, dentures and partial plates, infusion insulin pumps, jewelry, TENS units, coins, credit cards and bank cards, wallets and purses, keys, pocketknives, pagers, phones and safety pins. Women may be asked to remove make-up for certain types of MRI exams.
    We recommend that you wear comfortable, athletic-style clothing without metal snaps or zippers. You may need to wear an exam gown during the study because snaps, zippers, hooks, belt buckles, and any other metal objects on your clothing affect the quality of the images.
    During your MRI you will lie on a comfortable padded table. The table then moves into the MRI machine. During most MRI exams you may hear loud thumping or knocking sounds while the machine is working. If the noise from the machine is uncomfortable for you, headphones are available to you during most exams. You will be able to speak with the technologist during the MRI by intercom if you have any concerns you would like to inform them about. It is very important that you lie as still as possible so the best possible picture can be obtained. The time spent on your MRI will vary based on body part and exam protocol, however in general each exam typically lasts about 30 minutes. A contrast material may be used for some MRI studies. If contrast is needed, it will be injected by IV during the MRI. Should you feel any discomfort from the contrast, please inform the technologist.
    MRI Scan - No Preparation Required: For comfort, wear loose clothing without metal buttons or closures. Patients with pacemakers, aneurysm clips in the brain, certain ear implants, certain stents, implanted neuro stimulators, or metallic fragments in one or both eyes or other surgically implanted devices should contact the imaging clinic prior to the exam for further instruction. MRI - Abdomen: Follow directions above and patient must be NPO (nothing to eat or drink) for 6 hours prior to exam.
    MRI - Breast: Follow directions above. Water and light meal is allowed. Please bring any prior images and arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
    MRA - Neck: Follow directions above and patient must be NPO (nothing to eat or drink) for 6 hours prior to exam.

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Save time by downloading patient forms here to print and complete before your exam. You may bring these forms with you to your appointment.

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Zoom Diagnostic Imaging accepts all forms of insurance—and we also provide low-cost diagnostic imaging on a cash basis for payments without insurance. Please bring your photo ID and insurance card to your appointment, and we will file with your insurance provider on your behalf to determine coverage. At the time of your visit, you will need to pay the residual balance, as well as any required copay amount. If you have questions about your insurance or coverage, please give us a call. You may also wish to reach out to your insurance company to find out what is covered under your plan.