Preparing For Your Test

Please click on a link below to learn how to prepare and what to expect before, during and after your mammogram, ultrasound, X-Ray or other test.

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Be Informed... Feel Prepared

We've provided some information here about how to prepare for each of the tests we offer. If you still have questions, please contact us. We're here to help.

  • X-Rays

    X-Rays are painless, non-invasive procedures that can help your healthcare team diagnose, monitor, and treat numerous medical conditions. Learn more about X-Rays.

    Before The Test

    Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to register. No preparations are needed for X-Rays. However, if you wish to avoid changing your clothes, make sure you do not have any metal or plastic on your clothes. Make sure there is no jewelry in front of the region that needs to be X-Rayed. (i.e. no necklaces for chest, ribs, thoracic or cervical spine).

    Prior to some types of X-Rays, you may be given a liquid called a contrast medium that will outline a specific area of your body and help us see more details in the images that are produced. You may swallow the contrast medium, or receive it as an enema or injection. These exams are not performed at Premier Imaging and you will need to schedule those appointments with a Hospital. 

    During The Test

    The technologist will position your body according to the views that are required. During the X-Rays, you'll need to remain still and sometimes hold your breath to avoid moving and creating a blur on the recorded image.

    A safe level of radiation will be passed from the machine through your body, to be recorded as an image on a special image receptor. An X-Ray test is painless and non-invasive. 

    The entire procedure should take a few minutes for a simple X-Ray but could require more time if your doctor requests multiple X-Rays. More complex procedures, such as those that require the use of a contrast medium, may take longer.

    If you are bringing a child in for an X-Ray, we may use specific techniques or restraints to ensure he or she stays still. These will prevent us from needing to request a repeat procedure if the child moves during the test, and they will not harm your child. 

    If you choose to remain in the room during the procedure, you'll likely be asked to don a lead apron to prevent unnecessary exposure to radiation. 

    After The Test

    After your X-Rays, you'll be able to get back to your normal activities. Routine X-Rays typically have no side effects.

    However, if you needed to take a contrast medium prior to your X-Ray, drink lots of fluids to help clear it from your body. Contact your doctor if you notice pain, redness, swelling, or other symptoms at the injection site. These types of exams are not performed at Premier Imaging and you will need to schedule those appointments with a Hospital.

    Results

    Because we're able to save your X-Rays digitally to a computer, they can be seen on-screen within minutes.

    Our expert radiologists view and interpret your X-Ray, then send a signed report to your doctor, who will explain the results to you. If your case is an emergency, the results can be sent to your doctor within 36 hours. 

    If follow-up exams are required, your doctor will discuss this with you.

  • Ultrasounds

    Ultrasounds are a minimally invasive diagnostic imaging technique that can be used to help diagnose tissue as well as organ pathology, collection of fluids within your articulations, vascular concerns, or pain in the body's organs and muscles. Learn more about Ultrasounds.

    Before The Test

    For all ultrasound appointments, you must arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to register. Depending on the type of examination you are scheduled to have, preparation instructions may vary.

    For some tests, your doctor may tell you not to eat or drink for as many as 12 hours prior to your appointment. Conversely, for other tests you may be instructed to drink up to 8 glasses of water 1 hour before your exam, and to avoid urinating so that your bladder will be full when the test is performed.

    Wear clothing that's loose-fitting and comfortable. You may be asked to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined. You may also need to wear a gown.

    During The Test

    During the ultrasound exam, the transducer sends inaudible, high-frequency sound waves into the body, which strike an object (such as organs or tissues). Echo waves then bounce back through the transducer and are recorded to allow us to learn about the size, shape and consistency of the organ or tissue.

    We will also be able to detect changes in the appearance of vessels, tissues and organs, and to detect abnormal masses such as tumors.

    The waves are measured by a computer and displayed on a monitor, where we can view a real-time image. Patients do not usually feel any discomfort from the pressure of the transducer, but if the area being examined is tender, you may feel minor pressure or pain.

    Premier Imaging performs ultrasounds on patients from age 13 and up. Preparations may be required for a child's appointment. Parents should ask about this beforehand and make any preparations necessary as requested. The exam generally takes between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on which ultrasound is being done. 

    After The Test

    Once the exam has been completed, you will be provided with a wash cloth to remove the ultrasound gel from your skin. Though some may be left behind, it will usually dry quickly without discoloring or staining your clothing.

    Results

    For most patients, ultrasound tests are fast, painless and easily tolerable.

    If you have a transrectal ultrasound or transvaginal ultrasound - where a probe is attached to the transducer and inserted into a natural opening in your body - you may feel minimal discomfort during or after the procedure.

    Most ultrasounds take about 30 minutes, though more extensive exams may take up to an hour.

    When the test is complete, you may be asked to dress and wait while the technologist reviews the images. You should be able to resume normal activities immediately after your appointment.

    A radiologist will analyze the images, then send a signed report to the doctor who requested the test. Your doctor will then share the results with you. If follow-up tests are needed, your doctor will explain why.

  • Mammogram

    Mammograms are quick X-Ray exams of the breasts. They are minimally uncomfortable and can help us detect early signs of breast cancer. Learn more about Mammogram.

    Before The Test

    Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to register. Please refrain from wearing any powders, deodorants, or perfumes from your axilla (armpit) to underneath both breasts.

    If you’ve had previous mammograms, please obtain the location and date of your most recent study. To further expedite the reporting process, you may bring a copy of your images to us on the day of your appointment. Premier Imaging will request the films on your behalf if you are unable to obtain a copy.

    During The Test

    One breast at a time will be placed between two plates attached to the X-Ray machine. The trained technologist will then position the plates to gradually compress breast tissue. This gradual compression ensures the best quality images are captured. 

    Two images are taken of each breast, once they are positioned; one is captured from top to bottom, while the second is taken from side to side. A mammogram typically takes about 20 minutes.

    After The Test

    After the mammogram is complete, you may notice your breasts feel tender temporarily. However, you will be able to return to your normal activities immediately following your appointment. 

    Results

    Once the radiologist interprets the images from your exam, results will be shared with your referring doctor.

    We recommend scheduling a follow-up appointment with your doctor to discuss the results, and to ensure any questions or concerns you may have are addressed. 

  • Bone Mineral Density

    A bone mineral density test is a quick, painless X-Ray procedure that can help us diagnose osteoporosis. Learn more about Bone Mineral Density.

    Before The Test

    Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. You will be required to fill out the examination questionnaire prior to your study. Please bring a list of your current medications as you will need this information to fill out the questionnaire.

    If you take calcium supplements, please avoid taking them for 12 hours prior to your examination. (For example, If you take calcium supplements every day at 7 am, and you have a bone mineral density scheduled at 2 pm, refrain from taking your morning supplement this day only. You may resume your regular supplement intake after the exam.)

    To avoid changing your clothes, please wear pants with no metal, buttons or zippers. A waistband is preferred. Avoid shirts that have buttons or designs.

    Female patients, avoid wearing a bra with underwire and hooks. If you can, wear a sports bra instead.

    During The Test

    A bone mineral density test is quick and painless. It typically takes about 20 minutes, depending on the number of areas being scanned.

    During the test, you will be asked to lie on the exam table, then placed in the correct position so the technologist can scan your body. 

    The scanner moves over the specific area being examined and uses low-dose X-Rays to transmit data to a computer, which converts the data and displays it on a monitor.

    While the test is being performed, stay very still - you may need to hold your breath. 

    After The Test

    You may need to be evaluated regularly every three years, to monitor for significant changes in bone density - whether an increase or decrease. Your doctor will let you know if any other tests are needed.

    Results

    The higher the mineral content in your bones, the denser your bones are, making them stronger and therefore less likely to break.

    This scan uses a numbered score to measure strength in your bones and can tell your doctor how likely you are to fracture a bone over the next 10 years by using a percentage to calculate your risk.

    The score will be used by your doctor to explain whether you have normal bone mass, low bone mass known as osteopenia, or osteoporosis. 

  • Abdominal, Limited Abdominal Studies, AAA Screening

    An abdominal ultrasound is usually painless and can help your doctor assess the cause of any bloating or stomach pain. A limited abdominal ultrasound is performed when your physician has specific concerns within a specific area or internal organ. Lastly, AAA examinations are ultrasounds targeted to your abdominal aorta. This investigation will demonstrate any abnormality of your abdominal aorta and is often used to monitor aortic aneurysms.

    Before The Test

    Fasting at least 8 hours prior to your appointment. Please do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum. We recommend taking medications after your appointment whenever possible. Should this not be an option, you may take them with a small sip of water but avoid drinking more than necessary to swallow your medication.

    During The Test

    You may be required to lay on your back or roll onto your sides during your examination. The technologist will provide breathing instructions when holding your breath is necessary. This will allow the technologist to obtain high quality images. The radiologist will review the images and send a signed report to your doctor.

    After The Test

    Once the technologist obtained all the images required, you will be given a washcloth to remove the gel from the area that was examined. You may return to your regular diet and activities as soon as the ultrasound is completed. You may experience tenderness in certain areas, but most patients feel no undesirable effects following their examination.

    Results

    Your doctor will receive standard results within 3 to 5 business days. If your physician requested urgent results, they should receive a signed report within 36 hours.

  • Pelvic & Urinary Tract

    A pelvic ultrasound is usually painless and is used to evaluate pelvic organs such as bladder, prostate, uterus and ovaries. Your physician may also request imaging of the urinary tract. In this case, we would perform a targeted ultrasound to evaluate your kidneys as well as your bladder to eliminate concerns within your urinary system. These studies are performed within 30 minutes and are minimally invasive. For female patients, a transvaginal ultrasound may be required in order to obtain a complete study. This will require the technologist to insert a special ultrasound probe a few centimetres through the vagina to obtain high quality images. The procedure will be thoroughly explained and the technologist will provide time for any questions or concerns. 

    Before The Test

    A full bladder is required. We recommend drinking 2 to 4 cups (500mL to 1000mL) of water, 1 hour prior to your appointment. Before you begin drinking, we recommend that you empty your bladder so you do not overfill your bladder.

    During The Test

    The technologist will explain the procedure and ask you to lay on your back. A washcloth will be applied around the waistband of your pants to prevent the gel from getting on your clothes. The technologist will obtain the first few images while your bladder is full. Once these have been obtained, your technologist will send you to the washroom to empty your bladder in order to obtain more images and to finish the examination. 

    After The Test

    Another wash cloth will be provided to you in order to wipe any residual gel from your skin. The technologist will review the images and submit any outstanding notes to the radiologist who will review your examination. The radiologist will provide a signed report to your doctor once all has been reviewed.  

    Results

    Our expert radiologists view and interpret the images from your examination, then send a signed report to your doctor, who may discuss the results with you. If your case is an emergency, the results can be sent to your doctor within 36 hours. 

    If follow-up exams are required, your doctor will discuss this with you.

  • OB - Up to 26 weeks

    Obstetrical ultrasounds are routinely performed during pregnancies. From dating the pregnancy until delivery, ultrasounds are the most utilized diagnostic imaging modality to screen for any abnormality.

    The duration of obstetrical ultrasound will vary depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy and what your physician requested. Most ultrasounds take about 30 minutes, though more extensive exams may take up to an hour.

    Keep in mind that pregnancies of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) may require extra time. If you are expecting multiples, please mention this to our receptionists so we can schedule ample time to perform your ultrasound.

    Before The Test

    A full bladder is required. We recommend that you drink 2 to 3 cups (500mL to 750mL) of water, 1 hour prior to your appointment. Before you begin drinking, we recommend that you empty your bladder so you do not overfill your bladder. 

    If you wish to obtain ultrasound photo's as souvenirs, please advise the technologist. A charge of $5 per photo will be applied. You may pay with cash, credit or debit.

    During The Test

    The technologist will explain the procedure and ask you to lay on your back. A washcloth will be applied to the waistband of your pants to prevent the gel from getting on your clothes. The technologist will obtain the first few images while your bladder is full. Once these have been obtained, your technologist will send you to the washroom to empty your bladder in order to obtain more images and to finish the examination. 

    A transvaginal ultrasound may be required to better visualize certain structures such as cervix, ovaries, etc. The procedure will be explained to you by the technologist and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.   

    After The Test

    Once the ultrasound is completed and the technologist has obtained the images required, you will be given a washcloth to remove any gel left on your skin. 

    Results

    A radiologist will analyze the images, then send a signed report to the doctor who requested the test. Ultrasound results will be available for your doctor within 2 to 3 business days. If your doctor requested emergency results, they should expect to receive a signed report within 24 hours. Your doctor will then discuss the results with you.

    If follow-up tests are needed, your doctor can explain why.

  • OB (26 weeks +) & Saline Infusion / Tubal Patency


    Obstetrical ultrasounds for pregnancies above 26 weeks of gestation are commonly performed to ensure the proper growth of the baby as well as to check for pathological conditions that must be monitored.

    Sonohysterograms and tubal patency ultrasounds are performed to further assess any concerns previously seen on standard pelvic ultrasounds. These procedures are routinely performed between specific days within your menstrual cycle. These examinations are performed by a sonographer as well as a gynecologist. These studies are also useful during the assessment of any fertility concerns. 

    Before The Test

    An empty bladder is required for the OB above 26 weeks and saline infusion (sonohysterogram). We will ask you to empty your bladder prior to your appointment to ensure it is as empty as possible. Taking advil or tylenol an hour prior to your appointment is recommend to reduce the likelihood of any discomforts following the procedure.

    During The Test

    The OB ultrasound remains the same throughout your pregnancy. The technologist may need to perform a transvaginal ultrasound if specific measurements are requested by your doctor. 

    A sonohysterogram, or SIS, is performed by a gynecologist while the technologist assists to obtain the required images of any concerns within your uterus or fallopian tubes. The technologist will explain the procedure and allow time for you to ask any questions. Once she has obtained preliminary images, the gynecologist will enter the room. The doctor will insert a speculum through the vagina to better visualize the cervix opening. A small catheter will be placed through the opening of the cervix where approximately 2mL of saline solution will flush through the uterus and fallopian tubes. Images will be obtained throughout the procedure.

    After The Test

    For the OB ultrasound, the technologist will obtain the images needed to complete your examination and provide them to the radiologist who will review the study. You may return to your daily activities as soon as the examination is completed.

    Following a sonohysterogram, you may experience mild cramping and/or discomforts. These are temporary and should subside within a few hours, if you have any discomforts. You may experience discharge, so we recommend that you bring a sanitary pad/panty liner. Blood-tinged discharge is common following this examination. You may resume your regular daily activities as soon as the procedure is done.

    Results

    Our expert radiologists will review the images obtained during your examination, along with all the sonographer's measurements and exam notes. They will provide a signed report to your OB/GYN or registered Midwife within 48 hours. If your practitioner requests urgent results, our radiologists will provide results within 24 hours.

    Results from procedures such as the saline infusion or the tubal patency are available within 36 hours. The technologist submits the images to the radiologist. In these cases, the gynecologist is also qualified as the reading radiologist. They provide the signed report to your doctor.

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