PREP & AFTER CARE
What you need to know before and after a Wake Radiology procedure.
Did You Know?
Wake Radiology Rises Above
✔ All images are read and interpreted by a board certified, subspecialty trained radiologist.
*Most local and regional radiology options have 20% compliance with these standards. Public Policy Polling, 2012.
What to Expect
Whether you visit Wake Radiology for a simple chest X-ray or a more complex procedure, we take your comfort and time into consideration. Many studies require little or no patient preparation, but others do require detailed preparation before the study can be performed. It’s important to understand what to expect during a radiology exam. Talking with our scheduling team and your referring provider is the best place to start.
Before a procedure
Our schedulers will inform you of any necessary preparations for your particular exam and/or your physician will review them with you at the time of scheduling. Two days prior to your scheduled exam, you will receive a call from Wake Radiology confirming your appointment time, office location, exam type and any preparations needed. After your exam, a report of our radiologist’s findings will be sent to your physician who will review those with you.
What do I do if I need to reschedule my exam?
Please notify us 24 hours in advance if you are unable to keep your appointment for any reason. If you are calling after hours or on the weekends, please leave a message with your name, appointment time, exam type and the best phone number to reach you. A member of our Scheduling team will return your call during the work week to reschedule your appointment.
Can I download any patient prep or after care instructions?
Additional prep and after care information for adult and pediatric exams are listed alongside information about specific exams in the the Procedures section of our website. You can also call our Scheduling team at 919-232-4700 with questions about preparation instructions.
Can I bring my children to the appointment?
We don’t recommend bringing children who need immediate attention with you to your procedure. Wake Radiology employees are not able to watch unattended children.
Should I bring my insurance information?
Yes. Please bring all insurance information to each visit.
Will I have to pay anything the day of my exam?
Wake Radiology is a contracted, in-network provider for most major managed care insurance plans. For patients whose plans are not within our managed care network, we also file claims on their behalf. Importantly, most of these insurance plans (including UnitedHealthcare) have out-of-network benefits that help cover Wake Radiology imaging fees. Learn more
If you have insurance, you will not need to make a payment on the day of your exam unless you have an account in collections. Wake Radiology will file the claim on your behalf and simply bill you for any remaining balance after insurance has processed your claim. Learn more
Should I take my medicine on the day of my exam?
Most radiology exams allow you to take your medications as directed. For exams that require that you do not eat or drink by mouth after midnight, we allow you to take your daily medications with a small sip of water.
There are a few exams that will require a change in your medication. For a thyroid scan, the patient would need to stop taking thyroid medications for 2 weeks prior to the exam (6 weeks prior for an IVP). Prior to a bone densitometry scan, please do not take any pills containing calcium for 24 hours prior to the scan.
Our schedulers will review preparations with you at the time of scheduling. Please check with your physician before stopping any medications.
Can I eat the day of my exam?
You will be notified at the time of scheduling if the exam you are scheduled for requires dietary restrictions. Certain studies such as an IVP (intravenous pyelogram, an examination of your kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder), as well as some other studies that involve the abdomen, liver, gallbladder, or pancreas, don’t allow you to eat or drink after midnight. We will give you specific instructions if you are not allowed to eat or drink prior to your study. If you have not been given detailed instructions on what not to eat, you may have a normal day.
Will I feel any pain during my exam?
Most diagnostic procedures are painless and simply require the patient to remain still during the exam to ensure clear images. However, several studies do require the use of an intravenous contrast dye. Most exams are also non-invasive, but those that are minimally invasive are performed under image guidance by an experienced interventional or musculoskeletal radiologist who is trained to make your experience comfortable. You may ask your scheduler to explain any part of the procedure to you.
How long will my exam take?
Depending on the exam, it could last between 5 minutes to 3 hours. For extensive studies, you will be informed of the duration. The average study – from start to finish – is less than 1 hour. Some nuclear medicine exams require imaging at determined intervals and may take longer, but these preparations will be discussed in detail in advance.
Can I go back to work the day of my exam?
In most cases, unless you have been given a sedative, you should be able to return to work after any exam.
Can I resume normal activities after my exam?
Depending on your exam, you may resume normal activities unless you have been given a sedative to reduce any anxiety you were feeling. If you have been given Valium intravenously, you will need to have someone drive you home, as you may not operate an automobile or heavy machinery. The technologist will inform you if there are any restrictions that require additional recovery.