Some of the diagnostic and interventional radiological procedures require special preparation beforehand. These measures are in place to ensure that the study is safe and as accurate and effective as it can be. Adherence to the preparation instructions will ensure that you do not face unnecessary delays during your study. It is also there to ensure that the procedure is performed according to the Australian safety guidelines and quality standards.
At the time of making appointment, our friendly team will advise you if prior preparation is necessary, if any. If you make an appointment online, one of our team members will contact you to discuss procedural preparations.
- Ultrasound scan of the abdomen: Fasting for 6 hours is recommended for adequate visualisation of the abdominal organs.
- Ultrasound scan of the pelvis: Images of the urinary bladder and the pelvic organs are best obtained when there is a full urinary bladder. Please ensure that you drink 1L of water and finish it 1 hour prior to your scan.
- Breast imaging: In most cases the radiologists need to compare your prior imaging in order to make optimal assessments. Please ensure that you bring all relevant prior imaging with you at the time of your appointment.
- X-ray and CT scans: Metal artefacts such as jewellery or personal items interfere with x-ray imaging. It is advisable that you remove all metal personal items such as earrings, necklaces, rings, belts etc where possible. On the day of your examination, it is best to wear clothing that do not have metal buttons or zippers.
- Interventional procedures (injections, biopsies etc): Our doctors employ several safety measures to ensure that the requested procedure is performed as safely and effectively as possible. We request your assistance in this regard. Pre-procedural instructions will be given to you by our staff member well in advance of your procedure. It is important that you adhere to these instructions carefully.Some image guided procedures require you to stop blood thinning medications for a certain period of time before the day of the procedure. At the time of making the appointment, please advise the staff as to what medications you are currently taking. We will advise you if one or more of your medications need to be stopped, and for how long. You can also discuss this with your doctor.We may need to observe you for a period after certain procedures. We advise that you make necessary arrangements and allow enough time on the day. It is generally advisable that you do not go back to work or other heavy manual engagements after your procedure. It is always a good idea to bring someone with you on the day of the procedure.After certain procedures, especially nerve root blocks, you may not be fit to drive a motor vehicle for a few hours. We advise that you make necessary transport arrangements for the day. Our staff will advise if this is applicable to you.
2. What happens on the day
Once you arrive at the practice, please make yourself known at the front desk. If this is a booked appointment, you will have received an electronic patient registration form.
If you have arrived without an appointment, would be asked to fill out an electronic/paper form. Shortly afterwards, one of our imaging staff members will come and greet you in the waiting area. You will be escorted to the relevant imaging area. Here, our imaging staff will advise you of the exact steps of the examination and whether you will require a change of clothing.
Once the examination is finished, generally the staff will give you an examination completion slip for you to present at the front reception.
And that is it! Your examination is now done, and you are free to go!
3. Radiation risk
Many people are generally concerned about radiation, specifically radiation dose received from various diagnostic and interventional imaging procedures.
Ultrasound machines use very high frequency sound waves to produce diagnostic images. There is no radiation involved whatsoever. Ultrasound waves are generally safe for adults and children and has no known long-term side effect. Extensive studies have been performed which have shown that ultrasound waves are also safe for unborn babies.
Ultrasound remains as one of the safest and most effective methods of imaging which is also suitable for pregnant women.
We have brand-new and latest generation CT and x-ray machines. These machines obtain high quality images at an extremely low radiation dose. The harmful effect from a single X-ray examination performed on a modern X-ray machine is almost negligible. The exact radiation dose for a particular examination depends on a number of factors including the body part being examined, patient’s body weight, size, as well as whether multiple acquisions are necessary.
The radiation doses imparted by our machines are some of the lowest in the industry and are well below the reference standards set by Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). However, if you are still concerned, our staff will be very happy to discuss radiation doses with you and answer all your questions.
You can read more about Australian Radiation Standards by clicking here:
In line with the latest industry standards, we aim to be a fully integrated digital medical practice. We strive to minimise use of paper and non-biologic items. In most cases, the results of your examination will be available on the same day. The images and the reports will be digitally delivered to your doctor.
In most cases, your doctor will have access to our online image viewing portal. However, if you require copies of your images, we will be very happy to provide these to you on a CD or, for a small fee, on a USB drive.
In most cases, the result of your examination will be available within the same day. In some exceptional cases, a second expert opinion may be necessary. Sometimes comparison needs to be made to imaging performed at other centres. Occasionally, after reviewing the images it is felt that additional imaging is necessary. In these cases, we will be in touch with you to advise you further. In these cases, there may be some delay in issuing the final report.
5. Contrast injection
Certain CT scans require injection of an intravenous dye which is known as IV contrast medium. This greatly enhances the diagnostic quality of your scan and helps the radiologist accurately visualise the internal organs. In some cases, you will be asked to drink a contrast solution once you arrive at the practice. This helps us visualise the abdominal organs in greater detail.
Modern IV contrasts are one of the safest compounds in common use in modern medicine. In a healthy individual, IV contrast medium does not pose any health risk and does not have any long-term side effect.
The most common side effect of contrast medium is a metallic taste in your mouth and a feeling of warmth throughout the body. Allergic reactions are rare but can be potentially dangerous. IV contrast medium is an Iodine-based compound. If you have Iodine allergy, you will not be able to receive contrast medium.
There are certain precautions in patients with impaired kidney function. In most cases, contrast medium is usually able to be administered with some prior preparation. Therefore, it is essential to get a blood test before receiving contrast medium, especially if you have a history of kidney disease.
For those with abnormal thyroid function tests, contrast medium may interfere with certain medications. If this applies to you, our staff will advise you before the examination.
If you are a diabetic and take Metformin, IV contrast medium may have certain implications. Please advise our staff at the time of booking. Adequate information and precautions will be made available to you.