Preparing for Your Visit

CT Scans

  • Prepare: Most patients need to drink 64 ounces of water within 12 hours prior to their scan.
  • Arrive: You should arrive 60 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Expect: Most CT scans take 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Visit time: You should plan for your visit to be at least 1½ hours. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • After: Most patients can go back to their normal activities and diet immediately.

More about CT scans and what to expect.

Fluoroscopic Exams

  • Prepare: Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your exam.
  • Arrive: You should arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Expect: Fluoroscopic exams vary in length.
  • Visit time: You should plan for your visit to be at least 1½ hours. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • After: Most patients can go back to their normal activities and diet immediately.

More about fluoroscopic exams and what to expect.

Interventional Procedures

  • Prepare: A nurse will call you with instructions for you to follow before your procedure.
  • Arrive: A nurse will tell you when to arrive.
  • Expect: Interventional procedures vary in length and some require an overnight stay in the hospital.
  • Visit time: A nurse will let you know what to expect for the length of your visit.
  • After: A nurse will provide instructions to follow after your procedure.

More about Interventional procedures and what to expect.

MRI

  • Prepare: You may need to stop eating, drinking or taking your medicine before your scan. Ask your healthcare provider how you need to prepare for your scan.
  • Arrive: You should arrive 60 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Expect: Most MRI scans take 45 minutes (for each body area scanned). In some cases, it may take longer.
  • Visit time: You should plan for your visit to be at least 2 hours. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • After: Most patients can go back to their normal activities and diet immediately.

More about MRI scans and what to expect.

Nuclear Medicine

  • Prepare: You may need to stop eating, drinking or taking your medicine before your scan. Ask your healthcare provider how you need to prepare for your scan.
  • Arrive: You should arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time. If you are having a bone scan, you should arrive 2½ hours before your appointment time.
  • Expect: Most nuclear medicine scans take 2 hours. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • Visit time: You should plan for your visit to be at least 2½ hours. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • After: Most patients can go back to their normal activities and diet immediately.

More about nuclear medicine scans and what to expect.

PET Scans

  • Prepare: Do not eat or drink anything, including water, for at least 6 hours before your scan. You may need to stop taking your medicine. There may be additional instructions you need to follow. Ask your healthcare provider how you need to prepare for your exam.
  • Arrive: You should arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Expect: Most scans take 1½ to 2 hours. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • Visit time: You should plan for your visit to be at least 2½ hours. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • After: Most patients can go back to their normal activities and diet immediately.

More about PET scans and what to expect.

PICC Line

  • Prepare: In most cases, no preparation is needed.
  • Arrive: A nurse will tell you when to arrive. You should arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Expect: PICC procedures vary in length.
  • Visit time: A nurse will let you know what to expect for the length of your visit.
  • After: A nurse will provide instructions for your recovery.

More about PICC procedures and what to expect.

Ultrasound

  • Prepare: Most ultrasound exams do not require preparation.
  • Arrive: You should arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Expect: Most exams take 45 to 60 minutes. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • Visit time: You should plan for your visit to be at least 1½ hours. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • After: Most patients can go back to their normal activities and diet immediately.

More about ultrasound exams and what to expect.

X-ray

  • Prepare: Most X-rays do not require preparation.
  • Arrive: You should arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Expect: Most x-rays take 15-45 minutes. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • Visit time: You should plan for your visit to be at least 1 hour. In some cases, it may take longer.
  • After: Most patients can go back to their normal activities and diet immediately.

More about X-rays and what to expect.