It is important that you prepare for your radiology visit by reading the information below. Each technique has different requirements, and if these are not followed, the examination may need to be repeated.
Do let us know if you think you may be pregnant, as this may make certain procedures inadvisable.
Make sure to bring with you
- The referral from the doctor (if you do not have this, please check that we have a copy when making your appointment)
- Your Medicare Card
- Your Healthcare or Pension Card (if you have one)
- Previous X-rays and reports (If not performed at WCR)
No specific preparation is required for a normal X-ray, and you do not need to make an appointment.
You will be asked to remove all jewellery and objects containing metal, and you may be changed into a gown. The radiographer will position you on the X-ray table so the part of the body being examined is in the correct orientation for the receptor, before operating the X-ray machine.
The operator may place a lead apron over certain areas to minimise your exposure to radiation, but X-rays are completely painless, and you will not feel any sensation.
Your preparation depends on the area to be examined. We will explain the details when you book your appointment, but they can be summarised below. If you are at all unsure, please call reception and they can guide you.
ABDOMINAL ULTRASOUND: Fast for six hours before the examination, with nothing to eat, drink or smoke. You can take sips of water as required or if you need to take regular medications.
FEMALE PELVIC ULTRASOUND: One and a half hours before your examination time, empty your bladder. Then immediately start drinking one to one and a half litres of water; finish drinking the full amount one hour prior to the examination, then hold your bladder until the examination.
RENAL (MALE OR FEMALE): Fast for six hours prior to the examination as for the abdominal scan above, and ?ll bladder as for female pelvic ultrasound above.
PREGNANCY/OBSTETRIC SCANS: One and a half hours prior to your examination, empty your bladder. Immediately start drinking one litre of water; finish drinking the full amount one hour prior to the examination, then hold your bladder until the examination.
CT (Computed Tomography)
In most cases there is no need for any preparation, however some CT scans require an injection of contrast medium and in these cases it is best to fast for two hours prior to the examination.
Depending on what part of your body is being imaged, the radiographer will position you accordingly and take several digital images. The procedure is quick, painless and the images available immediately.
OPG’s and Lat Ceph radiographs are taken specifically to view the structures of the mouth especially the jaw and teeth. Patients are asked to stand very still within the OPG machine whilst it moves around the head creating a panoramic x-ray image of the jaw. This procedure is painless and takes only a few minutes. The images are available immediately to be returned to the Dentist.
The sonographer uses a transducer or probe, which they move over the area of interest to attain images. The sonographer will need to place some gel on you (usually warm!) in order for the probe to have good contact on your skin. The sonographer can then view the area of interest in real time (like a video) and take still images (like a photo) of the important structures seen. The sonographer will sometimes ask you to hold your breath.
CT (Computed Tomography)
The CT machine is a donut shaped scanner. Patients lay on a bed which is then moved through the scanner. All the time the table is moving the scanner is taking pictures so it is very important to keep still for the duration of the scan. Sometimes an injection of contrast medium is given in order to highlight the blood vessels within the body. Prior to this a full explanation will be given and a consent form will need to be signed.
The CT scanner takes lots of images which can then be manipulated into 3D images to view the area of interest in different plains. Most CT scans take only a few minutes.