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Imaging Procedures and Preparation Instructions

By following the instructions below carefully that apply to your specific exam, you help us to ensure the best possible diagnostic quality.

Your doctor has requested a procedure called a barium enema. This exam is performed to assess a change in bowel habits, abdominal pain or rectal bleeding, or if your doctor suspects that you may have diverticulitis (small inflamed areas in your colon) or polyps (growth of tissue on your colon).

Day Before Exam:

For a satisfactory exam, your colon must be empty. You will need to follow a restricted diet and to take a laxative the night before your exam. You will need to pick up a prep kit from the Doctor’s Plaza Pharmacy. You will not need a prescription to get this.

Day of Exam:

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. (If you are diabetic, please consult your physician about the preparation for this exam.)

If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.

During the exam:

The technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have before your exam.

You will be asked to change into a gown and to lie on the exam table on your back with your arms at your side.

The technologist will take a "scout" film to make sure that your intestines are clean. Once the scout film has been reviewed by the imaging physician, the technologist will insert a lubricated enema tip into your rectum.

The imaging physician will start the exam by allowing liquid barium to flow through the enema tip, a little at a time. This material allows the visualization of your colon.

The imaging physician will watch the flow of the barium on a television screen and will take multiple pictures throughout the process.

As the barium is delivered, you will be asked to turn from side to side. This will help to coat the walls of your colon. After the barium is in, the technologist will take a series of X-rays of your colon.

You will be asked to hold your breath and remain very still for each picture.

It is also important that you try to hold in the barium.

An imaging physician will review the images to make sure that they are sufficient to make a diagnosis. If they are not, more pictures may be taken.

Once the films are complete, the technologist will take you to the bathroom so that you can expel the barium.

Final pictures will be taken to assess if your colon is empty.

Your exam will take approximately 45 minutes. This may be longer if additional pictures are required.

After Your Procedure:

Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours.

The barium may make your stool white for several days.

If you experience constipation, your physician may recommend a mild laxative.

Your study will be read by the imaging physician and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.

Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Barium enema with air contrast may be used to examine the colon to assess symptoms, including: a recent change in bowel habits, abdominal pain or rectal bleeding. Compared to a barium enema, the air contrast examination offers increased sensitivity for the detection of polyps and small masses.

Before Your Procedure:

For a satisfactory exam, your colon must be empty. You will need to follow a restricted diet and to take a laxative the night before your exam. You will need to pick up your prep from the Doctor’s Plaza Pharmacy. You will not need a prescription to get this.

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. (If you are diabetic, please consult your physician about the preparation for this exam.)

If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.

During Your Procedure:

The technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have before your exam.

You will be asked to change into a gown and to lie on the exam table on your back with your arms at your side.

The technologist will take a "scout" film to see if your colon is clean.

Once the scout film has been reviewed by the imaging physician, the technologist will insert a lubricated enema tip into your rectum.

The imaging physician will start the exam by allowing liquid barium to flow through the enema tip, a little at a time. This material allows the visualization of your colon.

The imaging physician will watch the flow of the barium with a fluoroscope and will ask you to turn from side to side while taking pictures of your colon. Turning helps to coat the walls of your colon.

Following initial visualization of the colon with the liquid barium, the imaging physician will introduce air through the same enema tip. You may experience cramping or a sensation of being bloated.

It is important that you do not expel the air or the barium. The air is used to expand the walls of the colon for a more detailed look at the lining of your colon.

After the barium and air is in, the technologist will take a series of X-rays of your colon. You will be asked to hold your breath and remain still during the picture.

An imaging physician will review the images to make sure that they are sufficient to make a diagnosis. If they are not, more pictures may be taken.

Once the films are complete, the technologist will take you to the bathroom so that you can expel the barium.

Final pictures will be taken to assess if your colon is empty.

Your exam will take approximately 45 minutes. This may be longer if more images are required.

After Your Procedure:

Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours.

The barium may make your stool white for several days.

If you experience constipation, your physician may recommend a mild laxative.

Your study will be read by the imaging physician and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Barium Swallow or Esophagram is to assess frequent heartburn (pain), gastric reflux (food/acid comes back up), aspiration, difficulty eating, drinking, or swallowing.

Before Your Procedure:

For a satisfactory exam, your stomach must be empty. It is important that you not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. Additionally, do not use gum, or mints after midnight the night before your exam. If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.

During Your Procedure:

The technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have before your exam. You will be asked to change into a gown. Your exam will be performed on a tilting table that will allow the procedure to be performed with you standing and lying down. You will stand for the first portion of your study and will drink a cup of liquid (barium). The imaging physician will watch the flow of the liquid with a fluoroscope (an X-ray unit combined with a television screen). The liquid will move from your mouth to your stomach. The imaging physician will ask you to turn in different positions while taking pictures. For the second portion of your procedure you will lie on the exam table, on your stomach and drink more liquid. The imaging physician will take additional pictures in this position. Your procedure will take approximately 20 minutes.

After the Procedure:

Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours. The barium may make your stool white for several days. If you experience constipation, your physician may recommend a mild laxative. Your study will be read by a Radiologist and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Barium Swallow - Modified Barium Swallow with Speech (MBS) is done in conjunction with our experts from speech therapy to evaluate the different phases of the swallowing process. Some of the more common indications are unexplained cough, difficult or painful swallowing or suspected aspiration

Before Your Procedure:

No preparation is necessary for this exam.

If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.

As applicable, the speech therapist will take a brief clinical history before the exam.

During Your Procedure:

The technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have before your exam.

Your exam will be performed with you sitting in a chair.

During your study you will be asked to eat and drink barium or barium coated food items.

The imaging physician will watch the flow of food and liquid from your mouth to your stomach with a fluoroscope (an X-ray unit combined with a television screen) and will record the study on a videotape.

Your procedure will take approximately 20-30 minutes.

After Your Procedure:

If applicable, the speech therapist will provide a brief review of the study's findings at the conclusion of your exam.

Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours.

The barium may make your stool white for several days.

If you experience constipation, your physician may recommend a mild laxative.

Your study will be read by the imaging physician and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Hysterosalpingogram is used to study the inside of the uterus and Fallopian tubes.

Before Your Procedure:

On the day of your procedure, you will need to have a blood pregnancy test prior to the exam.

  • *If you have your blood drawn somewhere other than the hospital, please bring your results and let the receptionist know that you have them.
  • *If you are having your blood drawn at the hospital then you will be asked to come in 1 hour prior to your exam time. The Phlebotomist will draw your blood in the Radiology Department.

This procedure needs to be scheduled between 7 - 10 days after the start of your menstrual cycle.

No sexual intercourse after first day of menstrual cycle, not even with protection.

Additionally, it is important that you notify the technologist of any infections you may have prior to your exam.

If you are spotting or bleeding, please call the radiology department

During Your Procedure:

A technologist will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have prior to your exam.

You will be positioned on the exam table as if you were having a pelvic exam.

The imaging physician will place a vaginal speculum (same device as used in a pap smear) into your vagina and clean your cervix (outer end of your uterus) and surrounding area with an antibiotic (betadine).

The imaging physician will place a very small tube in your cervix and inflate a tiny balloon to insure the accuracy of its position.

The imaging physician will then connect a syringe filled with a contrast material (dye) to the tube.The dye will be sent into your uterus and the imaging physician will watch the movement of the dye on the monitor. Numerous X-rays will be taken.

You may be asked to turn your body, as necessary to give the best view of the dye's movement.

This procedure takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

An arthrogram is a series of images of a joint (shoulder, knee, wrist, ect.) after an injection of a contrast medium. The injection is normally done under a local anesthetic such as lidocaine. The radiologist or RPA performs the study using fluoroscopy or x-ray to guide the placement of the needle into the joint and then injects the contrast. Frequently, the exam is ordered in conjunction with a CT or MRI. Injection of the contrast will help highlight areas in the joint that are not seen in a regular scan.

Please let your ordering physician know if you are allergic to Iodine or contrast dye or have any contraindications to having an MRI.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE ARTHROGRAM

  • No Aspirin or blood thinners for 48 hours before your exam. * Please note: If you have any questions about discontinuing aspirin or blood thinners, please contact your treating/prescribing physician (Cardiologist/Primary Care Physician).
  • Hip, Knee and ankle arthrogram procedures must have a driver.
  • It may be easiest to wear comfortable clothing. If applicable, you won’t be allowed to wear anything metallic during the MRI examination, so it is best to leave watches, jewelry or anything made from metal at home.
View Discharge Instructions

Please contact Benefis Radiology if you have questions or concerns.
Monday - Friday 7am - 3:30pm
(406) 731-8400

Upper GI (UGI) tract study uses a special form of X-ray (fluoroscopy) and an orally ingested contrast material, usually barium sulfate to examine the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and duodenum. An upper GI examination helps in the detection of abnormalities of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, including ulcers, scarring, tumors, blockages, hiatal hernia, reflux or inflammation. The procedure is also used to help diagnose symptoms including difficult or painful swallowing, severe indigestion, chest and abdominal pain, blood in stool or unexplained vomiting.

Before Your Procedure:

For a satisfactory exam, your stomach must be empty. It is important that you not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. Additionally, do not use gum, or mints after midnight the night before your exam. If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.

During Your Procedure:

The technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have before your exam. You will be asked to change into a gown. Your exam will be performed on a tilting table that will allow the procedure to be performed with you standing and lying down. You will stand for the first portion of your study and will drink a cup of liquid (barium). The imaging physician will watch the flow of the liquid with a fluoroscope (an X-ray unit combined with a television screen). The liquid will move from your mouth to your stomach. The imaging physician will ask you to turn in different positions while taking pictures. For the second portion of your procedure you will lie on the exam table, on your stomach and drink more liquid. The imaging physician will take additional pictures in this position. Your procedure will take approximately 20 minutes.

After the Procedure:

Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours. The barium may make your stool white for several days. If you experience constipation, your physician may recommend a mild laxative. Your study will be read by a Radiologist and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

A small bowel series is an X-ray examination of the small intestine that uses a special form of X-ray called fluoroscopy and an orally ingested contrast material called barium. In the small bowel series, X-rays are taken at timed increments, to see the barium as it moves through the small bowel.

This exam can take hours to complete; sometimes it can take the entire day.

Before Your Procedure:

For a satisfactory exam, your stomach must be empty. It is important that you not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. Additionally, do not use gum, or mints after midnight the night before your exam. If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you. This procedure can take hours to complete.

We want to make any time you have to wait as pleasant as possible. Please consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.

During Your Procedure:

The technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have before your exam.

You will be asked to change into a gown and to lie on the exam table on your back with your arms at your side.

The technologist will take a "scout" film to make sure that your stomach and upper intestines are clean.

The imaging physician will review your scout film, then begin your exam.

Your exam will be performed on a tilting table that will allow the procedure to be performed with you standing and lying down.

You will be asked to drink liquid barium and then images will be taken at various time increments. Once the barium has reached the colon, you will be taken to a fluoroscopy room where the imaging physician will try to obtain any last imaging for the exam. The imaging physician will ask you to turn in different positions while taking pictures of your stomach and small bowel.

Your procedure will take approximately two to four hours; however, the barium will flow at different speeds in different people. For some, the process of it traveling from the mouth to the colon will take longer, and this will lengthen the time of the procedure.

After the Procedure:

Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours. The barium may make your stool white for several days. If you experience constipation, your physician may recommend a mild laxative. Your study will be read by a Radiologist and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Upper GI with small bowel examination adds the evaluation of the small bowel to the traditional upper GI examination. This exam can take hours to complete; sometimes it can take the entire day.

Before Your Procedure:

For a satisfactory exam, your stomach must be empty. It is important that you not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. Additionally, do not use gum, or mints after midnight the night before your exam. If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you. This procedure can take hours to complete.

We want to make any time you have to wait as pleasant as possible. Please consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.

During Your Procedure:

The technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have before your exam.

You will be asked to change into a gown and to lie on the exam table on your back with your arms at your side.

The technologist will take a "scout" film to make sure that your stomach and upper intestines are clean.

The imaging physician will review your scout film, then begin your exam.

Your exam will be performed on a tilting table that will allow the procedure to be performed with you standing and lying down.

You will be asked to swallow effervescent granules (gas forming crystals) to create gas in your stomach for a better look at your stomach.

You will be asked to drink at least one cup of liquid barium (thick, white fluid) while the imaging physician watches the flow of that material with a fluoroscope (an X-ray unit combined with a television screen).

The imaging physician will ask you to turn in different positions while taking pictures of your stomach and small bowel.

After the imaging physician has completed the initial imaging, the technologist will take more X-rays of your stomach and small bowel.

Following the initial Upper GI study, you will be asked to drink at least one additional cup of liquid barium.

Images of your abdomen will be taken in different time increments until the barium has traveled through your small bowel to your colon (large bowel).

Your procedure will take approximately two to four hours; however, the barium will flow at different speeds in different people. For some, the process of it traveling from the mouth to the colon will take longer, and this will lengthen the time of the procedure.

After the Procedure:

Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours. The barium may make your stool white for several days. If you experience constipation, your physician may recommend a mild laxative. Your study will be read by a Radiologist and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) requires placement of a bladder catheter and is used frequently in children to evaluate the cause of urinary tract infections, including vesicoureteral reflux, bladder or urethral abnormalities.

Before Your Procedure:

For adults and for children no special preparation is necessary before this exam.

If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.

Because you will be asked to change into a hospital gown, please wear clothing that is easy for you to remove and put back on.

During Your Procedure:

You will speak with one of our imaging physicians, who will discuss your symptoms and the procedure with you. Our physician will also answer any questions you may have.

Before your exam, an imaging technologist will discuss the procedure with you and take a scout film of your pelvic area.

One of our imaging technologists will answer any questions you may have prior to placement of the catheter.

Your urethra will be cleaned with an antiseptic fluid and a catheter gently inserted through the urethra and into the bladder.

A bottle of iodinated contrast will be attached to the catheter and allowed to flow into the bladder.

As the bladder is filling the radiologist will take X-rays and you will be asked to move into various positions.

Once the bladder is full, the catheter will be removed and you will need to urinate into a container so that more X-rays may be taken while you void. For children, we may ask that they try to urinate on our table. We will have absorbant pads underneath of them.

This test will take approximately 30 minutes- 1 hour.

After Your Procedure:

Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours.

Your study will be read by the imaging physician and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.

Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Cystogram uses x-rays to produce images of the bladder. This exam is most commonly used post operations and/or due to trauma.

Before Your Procedure:

No special preparation is necessary before this exam.

Because you will be asked to change into a hospital gown, please wear clothing that is easy for you to remove and put back on.

If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.

During Your Procedure:

You will speak with one of our imaging physicians, who will discuss your symptoms and the procedure with you. Our physician will also answer any questions you may have.

Before your exam, an imaging technologist will discuss the procedure with you and take a scout film of your pelvic area.

If you do not already have a catheter in place, our Radiology staff members will place one prior to the exam.

A bottle of iodinated contrast will be attached to the catheter and allowed to flow into the bladder.

As the bladder is filling the radiologist will take X-rays and you will be asked to move into various positions.

This test will take approximately 15 minutes once the catheter is placed into the bladder. You can expect to spend about 45 minutes in the X-ray room.

After Your Procedure:

Drink plenty of liquid for 24 to 48 hours.

Your study will be read by the imaging physician and results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.

Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Myelogram (Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar) is a procedure done to show if there are any abnormalities in the spine, the spinal cord (the nerves in the spine) or the surrounding structures. It involves placing a needle into the spinal canal and injecting an iodine containing contrast agent into the sac that contains the spinal cord and nerve roots, and then taking images. Most of the time, a CT is done after the contrast is injected.

Myelogram procedure:

A Myelogram uses X-rays and a special dye called contrast material to visualize the spaces between the bones in your spinal column. A myelogram may be done to find a tumor, an infection, problems with the spine such as a budging disc, and arthritis. In many cases, the patient is not eligible for an MRI or this exam is used in addition to a MRI for more information.

You will be placed on your stomach, and your back cleaned in a sterile fashion. Then dye is placed into the fluid space with a thin needle, guided by X-ray. The dye flows through the space so the nerve roots and spinal cord can be seen more clearly. Pictures are taken before and after the contrast is injected. CT scans are often done after the X-rays, while the dye is still in your body.

Before Arriving for Your Procedure

There are multiple medications that you will be asked to stop taking prior to your Myelogram procedure. However, if you have any questions or concerns regarding a medication, please use call us at (406) 731-8400.

Please discuss with your physician before making any changes to your medication regimen.

If you have ever been told or know you have a contrast allergy, please tell you primary care physician so that you can start premedication before your procedure. Your primary doctor will order this medication for you.

Please bring a list of your current medications with you on the day of your procedure.

Since you will be unable to drive yourself home, please arrange to have someone drive you home.

We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.

Please wear comfortable clothing. Acceptable items would include:

  • Shorts (no zipper)
  • Sweatpants (no zipper)
  • Sports bras without zippers or metal adjusters

No eating or drinking after midnight; with the exception of necessary medications.

Arriving:

You will need to check into the Ambulatory Care Unit. This is located on the Second floor of the South Tower. The nurses will help you get prepared for the exam and verify your medical history and information. Please keep in mind that this exam is scheduled in a surgery style; the wait time may vary, depending on the procedures scheduled. Once you are ready for the exam, as soon as a doctor becomes available, you will be transported to Radiology (1st floor of the South Tower). Then you will meet the Interventional Radiologist and go over the exam and all medical consents.

During Your Procedure:

You will be asked to lie on your stomach or side on an examination table.

A numbing medicine will be injected into the skin of your back.

A second needle will be used to inject the X-ray dye into your spinal column.

The examination table will be tilted in different ways to help distribute the dye in your spine.

X-rays will then be taken of your back.

A computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance image (MRI) or both may be taken after your myelogram. Due to scheduling issues, these scans do not always happen immediately after a myelogram. You may have to wait anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours between scans.

After Your Procedure:

After the exam, you will be required to remain at the hospital for 1-6 hours. This time is doctor and patient dependent.

You will be encouraged to drink lots of fluids.

This exam is not a treatment, it will not lessen your back pain. It will, however, help your physicians to determine the cause of your pain and decide on a course of treatment.

The results of your myelogram will be sent to your physician who will discuss the results with you.