27 Jul Preparing For Your Diagnostic Procedure
Preparing for your diagnostic procedure is important to ensure safe and accurate results.
Taking the time to do your diagnostic tests may not be your favourite thing to do. However, diagnostics is crucial to personal health and, therefore, making the most out of it is paramount.
There’s nothing worse than taking time off work, arranging for the children to be looked after or simply cutting out a bit of time from your busy schedule to then realise at the diagnostics centre that you forgot to do something important and have to reschedule.
Preparing for your diagnostic procedure is important to ensure safe and accurate results. Make sure you have all the necessary information prior to your appointment, like the results of previous tests, or any medications you are taking.
Depending on the type of procedure you are scheduled for, there may be specific things you need to do before your appointment such as fasting for a period of time, avoiding certain activities or taking changes in medications/dosages. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about any preventive measures you can take prior to arrival at the facility so that your diagnostic procedure has a smoother outcome for both parties involved. In addition, arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to your scheduled appointment in order to provide plenty of time for paperwork and other formalities. When it comes to preparing for a diagnostic procedure, ahead-of-time knowledge is key!
Make sure you have all the necessary instructions prior to your appointment
Because diagnostics tests are of different natures and require specific preparation, the most important thing is to make sure you have received all the necessary instructions for the test you are about to carry out. Typically, your diagnostics centre’s receptionist will provide you with those instructions at the time of your booking.
At Wollongong Diagnostics, we take a step forward and email you/text you a memo with the list of requirements.
Generally speaking, here are some examples of instructions you can expect to receive:
For Mammograms and breast MRIs it’s important to remember that wearing products with metallic substances can inhibit the accuracy of these tests.
Make sure you avoid using deodorant, antiperspirant, powder, lotions, or creams around your breasts and under your arms – as their metallic particles can create inconsistencies in imaging results that could lead to confusion among medical professionals. It’s a simple precaution worth taking to ensure test results are accurate and reliable.
Before going in for any medical diagnostics, it is important to make sure that you do not wear clothes with heavy buckles or metal components.
The metallic components can interfere with certain diagnostic results and be a source of unnecessary confusion during the diagnosis process. It is suggested that you opt for clothes with soft fabric or fabrics with minimal ornamentation before attending these tests.
It is important you let the diagnostics centre know if you have one of the following:
- Pregnancy, breastfeeding or suspects you may be pregnant.
- Taking medications – including glucophage, metformin, glucovance, metaglip, or advandamet.
- Allergies to iodine or other medications.
- Implanted devices such as pacemakers, aneurysm clips, or pumps.
Bring any previous diagnostic images as well as pathology reports to your scheduled appointment.
It is important to bring any previous diagnostic images and pathology reports to your scheduled appointment with your diagnostics centre. These documents can provide insight into the current issue, and an important component of the diagnostics investigation itself.
At Wollongong Diagnostics we try to simplify the diagnostic process – and therefore, most of the time we arrange to request your previous imaging if done in another imaging centre, and we store your imaging within our data-safe archive.
Digital X-rays are standard procedures that typically don’t require any kind of special preparation, other than removing any metal from the body, such as jewellery, piercings and clothes with zippers and buttons.
Sometimes MRI scans require an injection of Gadolinium, which is a contrast dye. This is a highlighting agent, which helps the enhancement of certain structures in the body. If the contrast is required, the receptionist informs you at the time of booking.
Also, remember to remove jewellery or piercings before the scan, as the metal can interfere with the image quality and in some circumstances heat up in the scanner.
For ultrasound of certain parts of the body preparation may be required, and usually, this is for examinations of the pelvic and abdominal area. Fasting periods or having a full bladder are common requests you can expect.
Biopsies And Fine Needle Aspiration
Blood thinning medication may need to be stopped before a biopsy. A receptionist will let you know which medication needs to be stopped and for how long. Please make sure you check with your GP or specialist before stopping any medications.
If you are feeling nervous about the procedure, sometimes it is a good idea to bring along a support person, that can sit with you and drive you to and from the appointment. Just make sure you let the diagnostics centre know that you are bringing someone along.
A Cardiac CT scan is used to visualise the structures of the heart. It provides important information that can be used for diagnosis, guide procedures and indicate treatments. Before a cardiac CT scan, it is important to properly prepare. This includes not eating foods that contain caffeine or drinking alcohol at least 24 hours prior to the scanning process. Additionally, patients are instructed to refrain from eating 4-6 hours before the procedure begins in order to avoid bloating, as well as reduce discolouration of the images on display. Other instructions are to avoid physical exercise 24 hours prior, and no Viagra 24 hours prior. If you are over 70 years old or a Diabetic, you will also be required to have a recent renal function blood test. Furthermore, you should Keep well hydrated the day before and the morning of the scan (water only 4 hours prior).
Completing these preparatory steps will ensure that a successful imaging session is achieved and accurate results will be obtained by the healthcare provider. For more information about Cardiac CT, check out our page here.
Get your next Diagnostic Procedure done with us!
Wollongong Diagnostics provides accessible radiology & imaging services in the Illawarra region and beyond. We are proud to have three established practices in the region, where we offer a full range of radiology services, always running that extra mile to accommodate your needs.
Our team is always working on improvement and we invest everything into the latest equipment and technology to excel in diagnostics.