Preparing for an exam at Wake Radiology
Whether your visit to Wake Radiology is for a simple chest X-ray or a more complex study or exam, we take your comfort and time into consideration. Many exams require little or no preparation for patients, but then there are some studies that require detailed preparation before the study can be performed at all. Our WR Express Schedulers will inform you of any preparations needed for your particular exam, or your physician will review those with you at the time of scheduling. Two days prior to your scheduled exam, you will receive a reminder call from Wake Radiology that includes your appointment time, the location at which you are scheduled, the type of exam for which you are scheduled, and any preparations needed for your exam.
All radiologic studies are based on an array of imaging technologies controlled and interpreted by our skilled team of physicians and technologists. Radiologists have extensive understanding of anatomy, physiology, and pathology in order to make accurate assessments of the images. A report of our radiologist’s findings will be sent to your physician, who will review those with you.
Common General Questions
1. How do I cancel my exam if I can’t make it?
We kindly ask for 24 hours’ notice to cancel any exam. You may call WR Express Scheduling at 919-232-4700 and ask to be rescheduled. If you are calling after hours or on weekends, call the same number and leave a message with patient name, appointment time, exam type, and best phone number. We will return your call to reschedule the appointment.
2. Should I take my medicine on the day of my exam?
Most radiology exams allow you to take your medications as directed. For those exams that require you to be NPO (nothing to 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 WR Express Schedulers will review preparations with you at the time of scheduling. Check with your physician before stopping any medications.
3. 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.
4. Will I feel any pain during my exam?
Most radiologic exams are painless and just require the patient to remain still during imaging to ensure clear images. Several studies require the use of an intravenous contrast material (dye) that is injected into your veins through a needle stick. 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 pleasant and comfortable. You may ask your scheduler at the time your appointment is made to explain any part of the procedure to you.
5. How long will my exam take?
Depending on the exam, it could take from 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 calm you. 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 you need to be aware of.
8. Will I have to pay anything the day of my exam?
If you have insurance, we will file the claim for you and you won’t be required to make a co-pay, as we will bill you for any remaining balance after insurance has processed your claim. If you have a previous outstanding balance in collections, you will be required to make a payment toward your collections account. For billing inquiries, please call 919-787-8221. Click here to view our accepted insurance plans. Also, view our financial policy.