Skip Navigation LinksTrillium Health Partners > Patient Services > Diagnostic Imaging

 Diagnostic Imaging

Trillium Health Partners provides patients with the latest in high-quality diagnostic and interventional imaging services and supports every medical department with state-of-the-art equipment, skilled technologists and support staff.

The following services are available to you:

  • Angiography (Intervention Radiology)
  • Bone Mineral Densitometry
  • CT (Computerized Tomography)
  • Mammography
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Radiography (X-Ray)
  • Stomach and Bowel Exams
  • Ultrasound
  • Vascular Lab
  • Women’s Imaging and Assessment Centre
  • 3rd Party Paid Exams

Diagnostic Imaging Booking Offices

To book your appointment, please contact the corresponding number below:

Credit Valley Hospital

  • CT Booking Office – 905-813-4179, Fax 905-813-3807
  • MRI Booking Office – 905-813-4179, Fax 905-813-4172
  • Diagnostic Imaging Booking Office – 905-813-2731, Fax 905-813-4418

Mississauga Hospital/Queensway Health Care Center

  • Central Booking Office is 416-521-4069, Fax 416-521-4014


Intervention Radiology

Specially-trained radiologists insert a catheter (narrow small tube), needle, and/or other small instruments through the blood vessels, spine, or other pathways to diagnose or treat disease through the skin.

Intervention Radiology

Interventional Radiology uses fluoroscopy (x-ray) or ultrasound to "see" inside the body, to ensure that your procedure is safe and accurate.

Faster Recovery
Interventional procedures are "minimally invasive" procedures. This typically means less pain, risk and recovery time for patients.

Biopsies and Drainages
Biopsies are medical tests performed by interventional radiologists to gather more information on a lump or mass, or other abnormal condition in the body. We also offer interventional drainage for removal of fluid from organs (e.g. nephrostomy) and other body systems.

Fine Needle Biopsy (FNB)
A fine needle biopsy (FNB) is a diagnostic tool used to evaluate tissue for abnormal cells, disease, cancer, or infection. A common type of FNB is a fine needle aspiration (FNA), which removes fluid and cells through a syringe attached to the needle.
The procedure for FNA and FNB is basically the same, and they are sometimes done together. Fine needle biopsies can be obtained from organs, soft tissues or tumors in many parts of the body including: breast, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate, thyroid, ovary or lymph nodes.

Before Your Procedure

  • Most blood thinners should be stopped 48 hours prior to the procedure depending upon your medication. Contact your doctor prior to discontinuing any medications.
  • Bring prior x-rays or scans with you to your exam, if instructed.
  • Please notify the staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to verify your registration.

During the Procedure

  • A local anesthetic is used to numb area where the needle will be inserted. Sedative medication may also be used.
  • The doctor will position you for easiest access to the area for biopsy.
  • The skin will be swabbed with a cleaning solution and may be draped with surgical towels.
  • A thin, hollow needle will be inserted through the skin to the biopsy site.
  • The needle may be inserted more than once for positioning, or to obtain multiple samples.
  • Once the needle is in the proper position, tissue or fluid will be withdrawn for examination.
  • You may feel a pinch, pressure, or nothing at all.

Time Required
A biopsy can take anywhere from a few minutes to 30-90 minute for a deeper biopsy requiring CT or ultrasound guidance.

After the Procedure

  • Depending on where the biopsy was taken you may be monitored for bleeding or other complications.
  • The site will be bandaged and you will be given follow-up instructions.

Follow Up
Pathology reports are returned to your doctor within 24 to 72 hours. Once the test results have been completed and confirmed, your doctor will inform you if any further follow up is required.

Bone Mineral Densitometry

Bone Mineral Density (BMD) Scan

A referral is required from your physician in order to book an appointment for a Bone Densitometry examination. An appointment can be made by calling the Imaging booking desk. Please bring your requisition with you the day of your appointment.

What is Bone Mineral Densitometry?
Bone Mineral Densitometry is the diagnostic process by which a very low dose x-ray instrument measures the bone mineral content (BMC).

Why perform a Bone Density test?
The role of Bone Densitometry identifies those patients with or who potentially will have low bone mineral density (osteoporosis). Treatment can then occur which will aid in the prevention of fractures.

Osteoporosis, which means "porous bones," is a bone-thinning disease that can lead to debilitating fractures, typically in the spine, hip and wrist. Although the condition is often considered a "women's disease," men also are affected.

Many people don't know they have osteoporosis until they have a fracture or have a bone mineral density (BMD) test, also known as a bone density scan. A bone mineral density scan is a simple, non-invasive test that measures a person's bone density or volume of calcium and minerals within bone tissue.

Bone mineral density scans are available through Trillium Health Partners and can help to:

  • Detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs
  • Predict your chance of fracturing in the future
  • Determine your rate of bone loss or monitor the effects of treatment

Who Should Have One Bone Mineral Density (BMD) Scan - Normal Bone - Osteoporotic Bone
Your doctor can help determine if you should have a bone density scan. They are recommended if you are age 65 or older regardless of risk. Routine exams are only performed every three years. If you're under 65 years of age, you should have a bone density scan if you have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Calcium-deficient diet
  • History of amenorrhea - the abnormal absence of menstruation
  • History of malabsorption
  • Moderate to high alcohol intake
  • Poor nutrition
  • Postmenopausal
  • Prolonged treatment with steroids, certain anti-cancer drugs, thyroid hormone and some anti-seizure medications
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Significant caffeine consumption
  • Small-boned frame
  • Smoker

Procedure
A bone density scan is a simple, non-invasive and painless exam to measure bone mass in areas such as your spine and hip The standard test uses a low dose X-ray to detect signs of bone thinning and mineral loss.
A bone density scan takes about 20 minutes, including registration. During the procedure, you will lie on a table scanner for five to eight minutes. A technologist will sit next to you throughout the procedure.

Before Your Procedure
A bone density scan requires little preparation. You may eat normally and take medications as prescribed by your doctor the morning of your test.
The only restrictions are:

  • Do not take any vitamin pills or mineral supplements the morning of your exam.
  • You must not have any exams involving barium or radioisotopes within the last month. (These scans interfere with the bone density results.)

Results

The results of your bone density scan will be available within three to five days. This information will enable your doctor to determine if you're at risk for fractures and require further evaluation. The lower your bone density, the higher your risk for fracture. Test results also help you and your doctor plan the best course of action for your bone health

Computerized Tomography (CT)

A referral is required from your physician in order to book an appointment for a C.T. Scan. Physician's offices can fax requisition to Imaging booking desk to facilitate an appointment

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

What is a C.T.?
A computed tomography (C.T.) scan is a relatively simple study that produces a series of images that can detect many conditions that are not detectable with conventional x-rays.
During the study a thin beam of radiation is focused on the specific body part to be studied. The x-ray tube moves completely around this body part as the table moves the patient through the scanner. This creates multiple cross sectional images which are sometimes compiled into 3D images when necessary. Due to the precision of these studies the patients must lie completely still. Some C.T. scans require the use of a contrast media in the form of a drink or an IV injection. The contrast media helps to outline blood vessels and organs so they can be easily seen.

Who performs a C.T. scan?
The scans are performed by Medical Radiation Technologists who have specialized training in C.T. scanning.

C.T. Test Preparation

CT Head Prep:
Please allow a minimum of 30 minutes for your appointment.
DO NOT drink for 2 hours prior.

C.T. Abdomin/Chest Prep:
Please allow a minimum of 2 hours for your appointment.
DO NOT eat or drink for 2 hours prior.

C.T. Paediatric Prep:
Please allow a minimum of 6 hours for your appointment if your child is being sedated.
Check with your Paediatrician/Family Doctor for specific instructions.

Definition
Computerized Tomography scanning—sometimes called CT scanning —is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-sectional images of the area being studied can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed.
CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular x-ray exams.
CT scanning provides more detailed information on:

  1. head injuries, stroke, brain tumors and other brain diseases
  2. internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels

Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.

How to Prepare for the Exam
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure.
Metal objects including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work.
You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours beforehand, especially if a contrast material will be used in your exam. You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, or "dye," your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
Also inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions, and if you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems. Any of these conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect. Women should always inform their physician and the CT technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

How is the CT Scan Performed?
The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT examination table, usually lying flat on your back or possibly on your side or on your stomach. Straps and pillows may be used to help you maintain the correct position and to hold still during the exam.
If contrast material is used, it will be swallowed, injected through an intravenous line (IV) or administered by enema, depending on the type of examination.
Next, the table will move quickly through the scanner to determine the correct starting position for the scans. Then, the table will move slowly through the machine as the actual CT scanning is performed.
You may be asked to hold your breath during the scanning. Any motion, whether breathing or body movements, can lead to artifacts on the images. This is similar to the blurring seen on a photograph taken of a moving object.
When the examination is completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist verifies that the images are of high enough quality for accurate interpretation.
CT scanning of the body is usually completed within 30 minutes.

What will I experience during and after the procedure?
CT exams are generally painless, fast and easy. With modern CT, the amount of time that the patient needs to lie still is reduced.
Though the scanning itself causes no pain, there may be some discomfort from having to remain still for several minutes. If you have a hard time staying still, are claustrophobic or have chronic pain, you may find a CT exam to be stressful.
If an intravenous contrast material is used, you will feel a slight pin prick when the needle is inserted into your vein. You may have a warm, flushed sensation during the injection of the contrast materials and a metallic taste in your mouth that lasts for a few minutes. Some patients may experience a sensation like they have to urinate but this subsides quickly.
Occasionally, a patient will develop itching and hives, which can be relieved with medication. If you become light-headed or experience difficulty breathing, you should notify the technologist , as it may indicate a more severe allergic reaction. A radiologist or other physician will be available for immediate assistance.
If the contrast material is swallowed, you may find the taste mildly unpleasant; however, most patients can easily tolerate it. You can expect to experience a sense of abdominal fullness and an increasing need to expel the liquid if your contrast material is given by enema. In this case, be patient, as the mild discomfort will not last long.
When you enter the CT scanner, special lights may be used to ensure that you are properly positioned. With modern CT scanners, you will hear only slight buzzing, clicking and whirring sounds as the CT scanner revolves around you during the imaging process.
You will be alone in the exam room during the CT scan. However, the technologist will be able to see, hear and speak with you at all times.
After a CT exam, you can return to your normal activities.

Mammography

A referral is required from your physician in order to book an appointment for a mammogram.

An appointment can be made by calling the Imaging booking desk. Please bring your requisition with you the day of your appointment. If you have had a previous mammogram at another facility, please bring the films with you to your appointment. The Credit Valley Hospital provides the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP).

Women Eligible for Screening in the OBSP:

  • Ontario residents
  • 50 years of age and over
  • No acute breast symptoms
  • No personal history of breast cancer
  • No breast implants

Please note: for patients who have had a previous mammogram through their family physician or are already in the OBSP program, it must have been at least 1 year since their last mammogram to qualify.

Do you provide Digital Mammography?
Yes, there are two digital mammography units at Diagnostic Imaging.

What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a radiograph (x-ray) of the breast. Most commonly done on females ages 40 and up, it is also occasionally necessary for males.

What is it for?
Mammograms are most commonly used as a screening device for early detection of breast disease. Patients who feel a lump in their breast or have an unusual discharge from their nipple should also be evaluated.
Many women have their first screening mammogram in their 40's. Mammograms are recommended once every two years over the age of 50. Some women may be asked to come back in one year instead of two.
A screening mammogram usually requires 4 pictures (2 pictures of each breast) taken in different directions. Because patients come in their own shape and size, extra pictures may be required.
The breast is pulled forward and compressed between the image receptor and a clear plastic compression paddle. When the breast is well compressed, the breast structures can be optimally visualized on the x-ray.
The goal of mammography is to visualize all the breast tissue to ensure the patient receives a thorough examination.

Mammogram Preparation
Please allow a minimum of 30 minutes for your appointment.
DO NOT use deodorant or talcum powder. Wear a 2 piece outfit.
Note: Our hours have now been extended to 19:30 for mammography appointments on Mondays

Definition
Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women, and occasionally men.
An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

Common Uses
Mammograms are used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.

How is the procedure performed?
Mammography is performed on an outpatient basis.

Before the Procedure

  • The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period.
  • Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are usually tender during this time.
  • Always inform your doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.
  • Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
  • Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
  • If possible, obtain prior mammograms and make them available to the radiologist at the time of the current exam.

During the ExamMammography

  • A specially qualified radiology technologist will position your breast in the mammography unit.
  • Your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle (often made of clear Plexiglas or other plastic). The technologist will gradually compress your breast.
  • You will be asked to change positions between images. The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and an oblique side view. The process will be repeated for the other breast.
  • You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.
  • The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine

Why Compress the Breast?

  • Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.
  • Spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities are less likely to be obscured by overlying breast tissue
  • Allow the use of a lower x-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged.
  • Hold the breast still in order to minimize blurring of the image caused by motion.
  • Reduce x-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture.

After the Exam
When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.
The examination process should take about 30 minutes.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI - Magnetic resonance imagingMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a painless, non-invasive diagnostic imaging technology that uses a strong magnetic field and radio frequency (RF) waves to produce images. The scanner creates a magnetic field and sends RF pulses through the body tissues. The tissue response is then measured and an image is created from this information. During the scan loud noises up to 93 dB can be produced, therefore patients must wear ear plugs or a head set to protect their hearing.
MRI scans can provide information about the brain, spine, joints, organs and vessels. MRI can also illustrate differences in tissues that may not be visible with other imaging modalities. Some MR examinations require an injection of Gadolinium to visualize structures more clearly. Gadolinium has a paramagnetic property that makes it appear bright within a magnetic field. It can be helpful in demonstrating vascular structures within tissues.

Booking MRI Appointments:
In order to help us provide efficient MRI services please follow the following guidelines.

  1. All MRI requisitions must be fully completed with the following:
    • patient's full name and date of birth,
    • area of interest to be scanned
    • appropriate clinical information
  2. All MRI requests must include a completed MRI Information & Screening Form. It is important that the patient both completes and signs this form. All previous surgical information must be recorded on the form. Operative reports may be requested to ensure patient safety prior to the booking of an appointment. An MRI may be contraindicated if the patient has surgically implanted devices.
  3. Any patients with a history of exposure to metal fragments in or around the eyes, or exposure to metal dust in the workplace (i.e. welders, metal workers), will require a pre MRI orbital x-ray to ensure there are no metallic foreign objects within the orbit.
  4. If a patient suffers from claustrophobia and requires sedation prior to the MRI, the ordering physician must arrange a prescription for the patient prior to their MRI exam. The MRI department does not provide sedation. If a patient is prescribed sedation they must be accompanied home by another adult. The patient may not drive home after the sedation.

MRI Policies:

Post-op Policy
All MRI requests that are within 6-8 weeks of surgery must be approved by the radiologist. Most surgeries are MRI safe but must all be listed on the screening form. There are some contraindicated implanted devices that should not be placed within a magnetic field. To ensure patient safety all implanted devices should be listed on the screening form including the type and model of implant.

Breast Feeding Policy
Patient who require an injection of gadolinium are advised to express and discard breast milk for 24 hours after the examination.

Pregnancy Policy
There have been no reported adverse effects demonstrated in pregnant women or the fetus; however the FDA guidelines suggest that MRI be used during pregnancy only when there are clear medical indications. Our policy is to avoid an MRI unless requested by a Neurosurgeon or Neurologist and a consent form must be signed with a Radiologist.

Trans-Dermal Medication Patches
All trans-dermal medication patches should be removed prior to the MRI exam. It is important that the ordering physician is aware that the medication patch is being removed so they can instruct their patient when to reapply it.

MRI Safety

Contraindicated Objects & Implanted Devices:

  • cardiac pacemaker
  • cardiac defibrillator
  • neurostimulator
  • pacing wires
  • implanted insulin pump
  • Swan-Ganz catheters
  • implanted infusion pumps
  • shrapnel in a vital organ
  • ferromagnetic foreign body in the eye
  • eye implants (require operative report)
  • intravascular stents, coils, valves (require type and model)
  • ear implants (require operative report)
  • some intracranial aneurysm clips
  • CAD pumps

Relative Contraindications:

  • arterial lines (-the transducer must be removed)
  • surgical staples, (-ideal to remove)
  • previous surgery, (-must be 6-8wks post-op)
  • tattoos, (-may experience a heating effect on the skin due to iron oxide)
  • penile prosthesis, (-most compatible, indicate type and model)

Items That Would Need to Be Removed:

  • hearing aids
  • purses/wallets
  • eye prosthesis
  • coins
  • any implant held in by a magnet
  • trans-dermal medication patches
  • prosthetic limb
  • metal zippers
  • hair pins/clips
  • jewelry
  • wigs
  • dentures
  • eye glasses
  • CAD pumps

Any metallic object can become a projectile within a magnetic field, posing a serious risk of injury to the patient and the technologists. To prevent any possible injuries we ask that all patients change into a hospital gown and place all belongings and valuables in a locker. The key can accompany the patient into the room.

Information for MRI Patients

Registration:
On the day of your exam, please arrive at the Diagnostic Imaging Registration desk on time Please be sure to provide a valid Ontario Health Card.

Preparation:
After the registration in Diagnostic Imaging you will be asked to sit in the MRI waiting room.
An MRI technologist will explain the procedure to you and confirm the information provided on the screening form. It is advised that if you plan on taking sedation, that it is taken after you have registered in Diagnostic Imaging. If you are taking sedation, please be sure to have an adult accompany you home.
Once the procedure has been explained you will be instructed to change into a hospital gown. Lockers are available to lock up your belongings and valuables. When it is time for your exam a technologist will escort you into the room.

Preparation for Specific Exams

Type of Exam Preparation
Abdominal and Pelvic Exams NPO 4 hrs prior ( nothing to eat or drink)
medications can be taken with a small amount of water
Cardiac No Caffeine the morning of the exam. NPO 2 hours prior to your appointment
Brain no prep required
Spine/Extremity no prep required

During the Exam:
After the exam has been explained to you the technologist will provide you with hearing protection . This protection will help reduce the loud thumping sounds which are produced during the scan.
The MR scanner is a large tube shaped magnet with a padded table that moves into the centre of the magnet. The body part being examined will determine if you go into the scanner head or feet first, as well as how far you go in. In most cases equipment called surface coils will be placed on the area we are scanning.
The technologist will give you an Emergency call bell to squeeze if you need to get their attention.
It is very important that you remain relaxed and very still during the exam. Movement can cause non-diagnostic images and they will need to be repeated. In some abdominal exams we may ask you to hold your breath for up to 20secs while the pictures are acquired.
Most exams will take between 30-45 minutes, however there are some that can take up to an hour. Please allow for enough time in your day to accommodate your MRI exam.
Some exams require an injection of contrast media called gadolinium. It is a colorless fluid that is injected into a vein in your arm. Gadolinium is very safe and the risks will be discussed with you by the technologist. If contrast is required it is important that you remain very still as the images before the injection must match the images obtained after the injection.
Once your MRI is completed it will be reviewed by a radiologist and the report will be available to your ordering physician within about 2 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does the MRI scanner work?
Your body is composed of small particles called atoms. Most of the body is composed of Hydrogen atoms that under normal circumstances spin around at random. However, when you are placed within a strong magnetic field, the hydrogen atoms line up and spin in the same direction as the magnetic field. When a radio frequency wave is transmitted through the tissues in the body the Hydrogen atoms produce a signal. These signals are measured to produce an image.

Q: What causes the noise in the scanner?
The noise that the scanner creates is the electrical current rising within the wires of the gradient magnet. The current in the wires are opposing the main magnet field; the stronger the field the louder the gradient noise.

Q: Will it hurt?
No. You will not be able to feel the magnetic field.

Q: What is the difference between MRI and CT?
Both MRI and CT create cross-sectional images of the body. The main difference is that MRI uses a large magnet and radio waves to produce images where as a CT scanner uses ionizing radiation.

Q:Can you scan my entire body while I am in there?
No. The MR scanner can scan almost any part of the body but each scan is limited to a specific area. It can take from 30-60 minutes to scan each area.

Q:Why is my whole body in the scanner if you are only scanning my head?
The area of the scanner that creates the images is located in the centre of the magnet and is called the isocentre. Therefore, in order to scan your head most of your upper body will be in the scanner. The same is true when imaging the spine and upper extremities.

Q: Does the MRI table have a weight and size limit?
Yes, the table weight limit is 300 lbs.with a maximum width of 60cm. For optimal images it is necessary for the area being examined to be within the magnets isocentre which is located directly in the centre of the scanner. For patient specific questions please contact our MRI bookings department.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine imagingA referral is required from your physician in order to book an appointment for a Nuclear Medicine examination. An appointment can be made by calling the Imaging booking desk. Please bring your requisition with you the day of your appointment.
If there is a chance that you may be pregnant or if you are breastfeeding, please inform the technologist and your physician prior to your test.

What is a Nuclear Medicine Study?
A Nuclear Medicine study consists of an injection of a radioactive drug which localizes in a particular organ system depending on the function of that organ system. Different radioactive drugs are used to image various organs.

Is it the same as an X-Ray?
Both Nuclear Medicine and Radiography use ionizing radiation. However, in Nuclear Medicine we use detectors called Gamma Cameras to look at the distribution of the radioactive drug in the body. The Gamma Camera does not emit radiation, it only detects it. The patient emits the radiation that is injected.

Who performs the Nuclear Medicine Procedure?
A registered Nuclear Medicine Technologist.

Which parts of the body can be imaged?
Nuclear Medicine is used to image:

  • the brain
  • kidneys
  • heart
  • gallbladder and biliary tree
  • lungs
  • thyroid gland

For test preparation, please click on the examination you are having done.


Bone Scan:
Please allow a minimum of 3 to 4 hours for your appointment.
No preparation required.

Biliary/Gallbladder Scan:
Please allow a minimum of 1 to 2 hours for your appointment.
Do NOT eat or drink 4 hours prior to the examination.

Thyroid Uptake:
Duration of test 15minutes on 2 consecutive days.
Do NOT eat or drink 4 hours prior to the examination on day 1.
No x-ray contrast media (dye) 4 weeks prior to your scan.
If on thyroid medication, please check with your physician whether you need to discontinue the medication prior to your test.

Parathyroid Scan:
Please allow a minimum of 3 hours for your appointment.
Do NOT eat or drink 4 hours prior to the examination.

Captopril Renal (Kidney) Scan for High Blood Pressure:
Please allow a minimum of 2 hours for your appointment.
Omit breakfast.
If you are taking blood pressure medication, check with your doctor whether you need to discontinue the medication prior to your test. Drink 4 glasses of water during the hour prior to your test. Urinate as needed.
Take a list of the medications that you are currently taking to your test.

Renal (Kidney) Scan: Routine/Diuretic:
Please allow a minimum of 45 minutes for your appointment.
Drink 4 glasses of water during the 1 hour prior to your test.
Urinate as needed.

Lasix Renal Scan:
Please allow 1-2 hours for your appointment. Drink 4 glasses of water during the hour prior to your test. Urinate as needed.

Pediatric Lasix Renal Scan:
Please allow 4 -5 hours for your appointment. All preparation will occur in hospital.

Gallium Scan:
The scan is performed 48 to 72 hours after the gallium injection.
No preparation is necessary prior to the gallium injection.
An abdominal prep may be necessary after the gallium injection. The technologist will inform the patient at the time of the injection. The actual scanning procedure takes about ½ hr - 1½ hours.

Voiding Cystogram:
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour for your appointment.
No preparation required.

Ventilation and Perfusion Lung Scan:
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour for your appointment.
No preparation required.

Whole Body I-131 Scan:
The Scan is performed 2 to 7 days after ingesting the I-131 capsule.
After receiving the I-131 capsule, drink 4 to 8 glasses of water every day.
Eat a high fiber diet. Take a laxative the day before your scan. The actual scanning procedure takes about 1 hour.

Salivary Gland Scan:
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour for your appointment.
Do NOT eat or drink for 4 hours prior to the test.

HMPAO Brain Scan:
Please allow a minimum of 2 hours for your appointment.
No preparation required.

Gastric Emptying Time:
Please allow a minimum of 2 hours for your appointment.
Do NOT eat for 8 hours prior to the test. The patient must not be allergic to egg.

Meckels Diverticulum Scan:
Please allow a minimum of 2 hours for your appointment.
The patient must be fasting for 8 hours prior to the test, 4 hours if it is an infant.
No laxatives or aspirin for at least 5 days prior to the scan.
No x-ray barium studies for at least 48 hours prior to the scan. Premedication with oral Zantac will be arranged by your physician.

Liver and Spleen Scan:
Please allow a minimum of 45 minutes for your appointment.
No x-ray barium studies within 3 days prior to scan.

Hemangioma Scan (RBC Liver Scan):
Please allow a minimum of 3 ½ hours for your appointment.
No x-ray barium studies within the 3 days prior to the scan.

Gallbladder Scan (Biliary Scan):
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour and 15 minutes for your appointment. A delayed image 4 hours after your injection, may be necessary.
Do NOT have anything to eat or drink for at least 2 hours and not more than 12 hours prior to the scan.

Gallbladder Scan with Ejection Fraction:
Please allow 1hour 45 minutes for your appointment. Do NOT have anything to eat or drink for at least 2 hours and not more than 12 hours prior to the scan. An abdominal ultrasound report must accompany your requisition.

DMSA Renal Scan:
Please allow a minimum of 4 hours for your appointment.
Drink 4 glasses of water over the hour prior to the test. Urinate as needed.
It is important to be well hydrated for this study.

Labeled White Blood Cell Study:
A blood sample is drawn early in the day (0800 – 0845). The patient returns 3 – 4 hours later for the injection of labeled white blood cells. Images may be taken 1 hr., 3-4 hours, and 24 hours later.
The timing of images will vary depending on the patient history.
No preparation is necessary.


Definition
Nuclear medicine (also called radionuclide imaging) uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body.
Nuclear medicine procedures are noninvasive and usually painless medical tests that help physicians diagnose medical conditions. These imaging scans use radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers.

Procedure
Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are undergoing, the radiotracer is either injected into a vein, swallowed or inhaled as a gas and eventually accumulates in the organ or area of your body being examined, where it gives off energy in the form of gamma rays. This energy is detected by a device called a gamma camera or probe. These devices work together with a computer to measure the amount of radiotracer absorbed by your body and to produce special pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and tissues.

Common Uses
Physicians use these procedures to visualize the structure and function of an organ, tissue, bone or system of the body.

Nuclear medicine imaging scans are performed to:

  • analyze kidney function.
  • visualize heart blood flow and function (such as a myocardial perfusion scan).
  • scan lungs for respiratory and blood flow problems.
  • identify inflammation in the gallbladder.
  • evaluate bones for fractures, infection, arthritis and tumors.
  • determine the presence or spread of cancer in various parts of the body.
  • identify bleeding into the bowel.
  • locate the presence of infection.
  • measure thyroid function to detect an overactive or underactive thyroid.
  • investigate abnormalities in the brain, such as seizures, memory loss and abnormalities in blood flow.
  • localize the lymph nodes before surgery in patients with breast cancer or melanoma.

Nuclear Medicine Therapies Include:
Radioactive iodine (I-131) therapy used to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland, for example, Graves' disease) and thyroid cancer.

How It Works
With ordinary x-ray examinations, an image is made by passing x-rays through your body from an outside source. In contrast, nuclear medicine procedures use a radioactive material called a radiopharmaceutical, which is injected into your bloodstream, swallowed or inhaled. This radioactive material accumulates in the organ or area of your body being examined, where it gives off a small amount of energy in the form of gamma rays. A gamma camera or probe detects this energy and with the help of a computer creates pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and tissues in your body.
Unlike other imaging techniques, nuclear medicine imaging studies are less directed toward picturing anatomy and structure, and more concerned with depicting physiologic processes within the body, such as rates of metabolism or levels of various other chemical activity. Areas of greater intensity, called "hot spots", indicate where large amounts of the radiotracer have accumulated and where there is a high level of chemical activity. Less intense areas, or "cold spots", indicate a smaller concentration of radiotracer and less chemical activity.
In radioactive iodine (I-131) therapy, radioactive iodine (I-131) is swallowed, absorbed into the bloodstream in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and concentrated from the blood by the thyroid gland where it destroys cells within that organ.

How the procedure is performed
Nuclear medicine imaging is usually performed on an outpatient basis, but is often performed on hospitalized patients as well.
You will be positioned on an examination table. If necessary, a technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm.
Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam you are undergoing, the dose of radiotracer is then injected intravenously, swallowed or inhaled.
It can take anywhere from several seconds to several days for the radiopharmaceutical to travel through your body and accumulate in the organ or area being studied. As a result, imaging may be done immediately, a few hours later, or even several days after you have received the radioactive material.

How prepare for the test

  • You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or you may be allowed to wear your own clothing.
  • Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant or if they are breastfeeding their baby.
  • You should inform your physician and the technologist performing your exam of any medications you are taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements.
  • You should also inform them if you have any allergies and about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
  • Jewelry and other metallic accessories should be left at home if possible or removed prior to the exam because they may interfere with the procedure.

You will receive specific instructions based on the type of scan you are undergoing.

During the Procedure

  • When it is time for the imaging to begin, the gamma camera will take a series of images.
  • The camera may rotate around you or it may stay in one position and you will be asked to change positions in between images.
  • While the camera is taking pictures, you will need to remain still for brief periods of time. It is important that you remain still while the images are being recorded.
  • In some cases, the camera may move very close to your body. This is necessary to obtain the best quality images.
  • If you are claustrophobic, you should inform the technologist before your exam begins.

The length of time for nuclear medicine procedures varies greatly, depending on the type of exam. Actual scanning time for nuclear imaging exams can take from 20 minutes to several hours and may be conducted over several days.

After the Procedure
When the examination is completed, you may be asked to wait until the technologist checks the images in case additional images are needed. Occasionally, more images are obtained for clarification or better visualization of certain areas or structures. The need for additional images does not necessarily mean there was a problem with the exam or that something abnormal was found, and should not be a cause of concern for you. You will not be exposed to more radiation during this process.
If you had an intravenous line inserted for the procedure, it will be removed.
During radioactive iodine (I-131) therapy, which is most often an inpatient procedure, the radioactive iodine is swallowed in capsule form.

What will I experience during and after the procedure
Most nuclear medicine procedures are painless and are rarely associated with significant discomfort or side effects.
If the radiotracer is given intravenously, you will feel a slight pin prick when the needle is inserted into your vein for the intravenous line. When the radioactive material is injected into your arm, you may feel a cold sensation moving up your arm, but there are generally no other side effects.
When swallowed, the radiotracer has little or no taste. When inhaled, you should feel no differently than when breathing room air or holding your breath.
With some procedures, a catheter may be placed into your bladder, which may cause temporary discomfort.
Though nuclear imaging itself causes no pain, there may be some discomfort from having to remain still or to stay in one particular position during imaging.
Unless your physician tells you otherwise, you may resume your normal activities after your nuclear medicine scan. If any special instructions are necessary, you will be informed by a technologist before you leave the nuclear medicine department.

Radioactive Material
Through the natural process of radioactive decay, the small amount of radiopharmaceutical in your body will lose its radioactivity over time. It may also pass out of your body through your urine or stool during the first few hours or days following the test. You may be instructed to take special precautions after urinating, to flush the toilet twice and to wash your hands thoroughly. You should also drink plenty of water to help flush the radioactive material out of your body as instructed by the nuclear medicine personnel.

Radiography (X-Rays)

Definition
An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
Radiography (X-Rays)

How does the procedure work?
X-rays are a form of radiation like light or radio waves. X-rays pass through most objects, including the body. Once it is carefully aimed at the part of the body being examined, an x-ray machine produces a small burst of radiation that passes through the body, recording an image on photographic film or a special digital image recording plate.
Different parts of the body absorb the x-rays in varying degrees. Dense bone absorbs much of the radiation while soft tissue, such as muscle, fat and organs, allow more of the x-rays to pass through them. As a result, bones appear white on the x-ray, soft tissue shows up in shades of gray and air appears black.
For example, on a chest x-ray, the ribs and spine will absorb much of the radiation and appear white or light gray on the image. Lung tissue absorbs little radiation and will appear dark on the image.
Until recently, x-ray images were maintained as hard film copy (much like a photographic negative). Today, most images are digital files that are stored electronically. These stored images are easily accessible and are sometimes compared to current x-ray images for diagnosis and disease management.

Before the Exam

  • You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam.
  • You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
  • Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.

During the Exam

  • Depending on the area to be examined you may be asked to lie on an examination table, sit on a stool or stand.
  • The technologist, an individual specially trained to perform radiology examinations, will position the patient to best demonstrate the area to be examined.
  • You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.
  • The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine.

After the Exam
When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.
Radiography (X-Rays)
The examination is usually completed within 15 - 30 minutes.

What will I experience during and after the procedure?
An x-ray examination itself is a painless procedure. You may experience discomfort from the cool temperature in the examination room and the coldness of the recording plate. The technologist will assist you in finding the most comfortable position possible that still ensures diagnostic image quality.

What is an X-Ray?
An x-ray uses radiation to detect abnormalities in all different parts of the body. Images are obtained electronically and viewed on computers.

Who performs an X-Ray?
A registered medical radiation technologist.

Who reads the X-Rays?
A Radiologist

Types of Appointments

No Appointment Needed:

  • Chest
  • All Skeletal Bones
  • Abdomen
  • Pelvis
  • Skull

Appointment Required:

  • Barium Studies
  • IVP (Intravenous Pyelogram)
  • Cystograms
  • Arthograms
  • Scoliosis

For appointment bookings, call the Imaging booking desk. Please bring your requisition with you on the day of your booked appointment.

For test preparation, please click on the examination you are having done.

Cystogram
Please allow a minimum of 1 to 1 ½ hours for your appointment.
No preparation required.

Esophagus, Stomach & Duodenum G.I. Series
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour for your appointment.
DO NOT eat or drink after 10:00 p.m. the night before your examination.

 

IVP (Intravenous Pyelogram)
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour for your appointment.
Clear fluid breakfast if morning appointment. Regular breakfast and clear fluid lunch if afternoon appointment.

Small Bowel Follow Through
Please allow a minimum of 1-3 hours for your appointment.
DO NOT eat or drink after 10:00 p.m. the night before your examination.

CVH Colon Preparation Diagnostic Imaging
Two days before examination:

  1. Eat light meals for breakfast and lunch. Drink extra water. Begin clear fluid diet at supper (6:00 p.m.) and continue during the evening – water, apple juice, white grape juice, clear energy drinks like Gatorade, black coffee or tea (no milk), pop or clear soup, plain jello. Avoid milk products or anything else that you can't see through.
  2. At pharmacy or drugstore purchse one package of Pico-Salex laxative and also a small package of Dulcolax (bisacodyl) tablets, 5 mgm each. The Pico-Salex contains two sachets of powder inside. Please read enclosed package insert for preparation of the laxative or see below.

One day before examination:

  1. Drink plenty of clear fluids all day water, apple juice, white grape juice, clear energy drinks like Gatorade, black coffee or tea (no milk), pop or clear soup, plain jello. Avoid milk products or anything else that you can't see through.
  2. At about 1:00 p.m. take 4 tablets of Dulcolax (bisacodyl). Drink lots of clear liquids.
  3. At about 4:00 p.m. take first packet of Pico-Salex (prepare as directed – see below).
  4. It is important to drink a large glass (250 ml/8 oz.) of water or clear liquid every hour while this medicine is working.
  5. At about 8:00 p.m. take the second packet of Pico-Salex (prepare as directed – see below)
  6. Continue to drink fluids until bedtime – one large glass (250 ml/8 oz.)of water or clear liquid every hour until bedtime.
  7. Day of the test have a small glass of water in the morning before the test.
  8. Note: Continue to take medication prescribed by your doctor. If you have significant kidney or heart problems or other concerns, consult your doctor before taking the preparation.
  9. You will have a strong urge to have a bowel movement after the Pico-Salex so stay close to a toilet.
  10. Preparation of Pico-Salex:
    1. Empty the contents of the packet into a mug or coffee cup.
    2. Add 150 ml (5 oz.) of cold water
    3. Stir frequently for 2 – 3 minutes to dissolve all the laxative
    4. If the mixture heats up, let it cool before you drink it
    5. Continue to stir while it cools empty the contents of the packet into a mug or coffee cup. add 150 ml (5 oz.) of cold water

Barium Enema (Stomach and Bowel Exams)

Diagaram of gastrointestinal tract Also lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract radiography,called a lower GI, a barium enema, is an x-ray examination of the large intestine, also known as the colon. This includes the right or ascending colon, the transverse colon, the left or descending colon, sigmoid colon and the rectum. The appendix and a portion of the distal small intestine may also be included.
An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
The lower GI uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material called barium or a water soluble iodinated contrast.
Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the lower gastrointestinal tract is filled with barium, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the rectum, colon and sometimes part of the lower small intestine.

Common Uses
A physician may order a lower GI examination to detect:

  • benign tumors (such as polyps).
  • cancer.
  • causes of other intestinal illnesses.

The procedure is frequently performed to help diagnose symptoms such as:

  • chronic diarrhea.
  • blood in stools.
  • constipation.
  • irritable bowel syndrome.
  • unexplained weight loss.
  • a change in bowel habits.
  • suspected blood loss.
  • abdominal pain.

Images of the small bowel and colon are also used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease, a group of disorders that includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Before the Procedure

  • Inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials.
  • Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
  • On the day before the procedure you must not to eat, and to drink only clear liquids like juice, tea, black coffee, cola or broth, and to avoid dairy products.
  • After midnight, you should not eat or drink anything.
  • You must take a laxative (in either pill or liquid form) and use an over-the-counter enema preparation the night before the exam and possibly a few hours before the procedure. Just follow your doctor's instructions.
  • You can take your usual prescribed oral medications with limited amounts of water.

During the Procedure

  • You will be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown.
  • You will also be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
  • Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.

How is the procedure performed?

The lower GI exam is usually done on an outpatient basis and is often scheduled in the morning to reduce the patient's fasting time.
A radiology technologist and a radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, guide the patient through the barium enema.
The patient is positioned on the examination table and the technologist will then insert a small tube into the rectum and begin to instill, using gravity, a mixture of barium and water into the colon. Air may also be injected through the tube to help the barium thoroughly coat the lining of the colon. In some circumstances, the radiologist or referring physician may prefer a water and iodine solution rather than barium. Next, a series of x-ray images is taken.
You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine
The patient may be repositioned frequently on order to image the colon from several angles.
When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.
Once the x-ray images are completed, most of the barium will be emptied through the tube. The patient will then expel the remaining barium and air in the restroom. In some cases, the additional x-ray images will be taken.
A barium enema is usually completed within 30 to 60 minutes.

What will I experience during and after the procedure?
As the barium fills your colon, you will feel the need to move your bowel. You may feel abdominal pressure or even minor cramping. Most people tolerate the mild discomfort easily. The tip of the enema tube is specially designed to help you hold in the barium. If you are having trouble, let the technologist know.
During the imaging process, you will be asked to turn from side to side and to hold several different positions. At times, pressure may be applied to your abdomen. With air contrast studies of the bowel (air contrast barium enema), the table may be turned into an upright position.
After the examination you can resume a regular diet and take orally administered medications unless told otherwise by your doctor. You will be encouraged to drink additional water for 24 hours after the examination.
Your stools may appear white for a day or so as your body clears the barium liquid from your system. Some people experience constipation after a barium enema. If you do not have a bowel movement for more than two days after your exam or are unable to pass gas rectally, call your physician promptly. You may need an enema or laxative to assist in eliminating the barium.

Upper GI Exam

The Upper GI TractDefinition

An upper gastrointestinal tract radiography, also called an upper GI exam, is an x-ray examination of the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine (also known as the duodenum) that uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and an orally ingested contrast material called barium.
An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the upper GI tract is coated with barium, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
An x-ray examination that evaluates only the pharynx and esophagus is called a barium swallow.
In addition to drinking barium, some patients are also given baking-soda crystals (similar to Alka-Seltzer) to further improve the images. This procedure is called an air-contrast or double-contrast upper GI.

Common Uses
An upper GI examination helps evaluate digestive function and to detect:

  • ulcers.
  • tumors.inflammation of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
  • hiatal hernias.
  • scarring.
  • blockages.
  • abnormalities of the muscular wall of GI tissues.

The procedure is also used to help diagnose symptoms such as:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • chest and abdominal pain
  • reflux (a backward flow of partially digested food and digestive juices)
  • unexplained vomiting
  • severe indigestion
  • blood in the stool (indicating internal GI bleeding)

Before Your Procedure

  • Inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials. Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
  • Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby. To ensure the best possible image quality, your stomach must be empty of food. Therefore, you must not to eat or drink anything (including any medications taken by mouth, especially antacids) and to refrain from chewing gum and smoking after midnight on the day of the examination.
  • You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.

How is the procedure performed?
This examination is usually performed on an outpatient basis and is often scheduled in the morning to reduce the patient's fasting time.
A radiological technologist and a radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, guide the patient through the upper GI series.
As the patient drinks the liquid barium, which resembles a light-colored milkshake, the radiologist will watch the barium pass through the patient's digestive tract on a fluoroscope, a device that projects radiographic images in a movie-like sequence onto a monitor. The exam table will be positioned at different angles and the patient's abdomen may be compressed to help spread the barium. Once the upper GI tract is adequately coated with the barium, still x-ray images will be taken and stored for further review.
The patient will be asked to hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.
For a double-contrast upper GI series, the patient will swallow baking-soda crystals that create gas in the stomach while additional x-rays are taken
When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.
This exam is usually completed within 20 minutes.

Ultrasound

  • There is no known harmful effect to adult, child or fetus.
  • No x-rays are used.
  • Examination time usually varies from 30 to 60 minutes.

A referral is required from your physician in order to book an appointment for an Ultrasound.

An appointment can be made by calling the Imaging booking desk.
Please bring your requisition with you to day of your appointment.
Ultrasound

What is an Ultrasound study?
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves that bounce off internal tissues and produce echoes. These echo patterns are shown on the screen of the ultrasound machine forming a picture of the body tissue being examined.

Is it the same as an x-ray?
No. Ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation.

Who performs your ultrasound?
An A.R.D.M.S. registered medical sonographer.

Which parts of the body can be imaged using Ultrasound?
ABDOMEN: liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, major blood vessels
PELVIC: reproductive organs, appendix, bladder
OBSTETRICS: pregnancies – 1st trimester to term, nuchal translucency (11 – 14 weeks), pre amnio, detailed 18 – 20 week study, biophysical profile, fetal growth, cord doppler studies
SUPERFICIAL STRUCTURES: thyroid, breast, scrotum
EXTREMITIES -MUSCULOSKELETAL (tendons and muscles): shoulder, elbow, knee, ankle
ULTRASOUND GUIDED BIOPSIES: liver, kidney, abdominal mass, thyroid, breast

For test preparation, please click on the examination you are having done.
General Abdomen (Gallbladder, Liver, Pancreas, Spleen, Kidney and Aorta)
Kidneys and Bladder only
Obstetrical and Pelvis
Thyroid, Neck, Testicles, Extremities

General Abdomen (Gallbladder, Liver, Pancreas, Spleen, Kidney and Aorta):
Adults: Please allow a minimum of 45 minutes for your appointment.
DO NOT eat or drink anything for 12 hours before your appointment.
Avoid gas producing foods such as beans and carbonated beverages for 24 hours before your examination.
There will be less gas if you refrain from smoking and chewing gum for 12 hours.
Patients on medication may take it with a small amount of water.
Insulin dependant diabetics should take their insulin with dry toast and juice the morning of their examination.
Children 12 years and under: DO NOT eat or drink for 4 hours prior to the examination time.
Infants: STOP FEEDING 2 hours prior to examination time.

Kidneys and Bladder Only:
Please allow a minimum of 30minutes for your appointment.
Your bladder should be full.
Please do not empty your bladder for 3 hours prior to your appointment time. You do not need to drink extra water and you may eat.

Obstetrical and Pelvis:
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour for your appointment.
Your bladder must be full. Please finish drinking 3 – 4 large glasses of water or clear fluids 1 hour before your appointment time to allow time for your bladder to fill.
YOU MAY EAT.

Thyroid, Neck, Testicles, Extremities:
Please allow a minimum of 30 minutes for your appointment.
No preparation necessary.
For information about Ultrasound Guided Biopsy, please see Ultrasound Guided Biopsy page.

Ultrasound (or Sonogram) involves the use of high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs and systems within the body.

How it Works
An ultrasound machine creates images that allow various organs in the body to be examined. The machine sends out high-frequency sound waves, which reflect off body structures. A computer receives these reflected waves and uses them to create a picture. Unlike with an x-ray, there is no ionizing radiation exposure with this test.
The test is done in the ultrasound department. You will be lying down for the procedure. A clear, water-based conducting gel is applied to the skin over the area being examined to help with the transmission of the sound waves. A handheld probe called a transducer is then moved over the area being examined. You may be asked to change position so that other areas can be examined.

Before Your Test
Preparation for the procedure will depend on the body region being examined. You will be given instructions prior to your test.

During the Test
There is generally little discomfort with ultrasound procedures. The conducting gel may feel slightly cold and wet.

Why the test is performedUltrasound
The reason for the examination will depend on your condition or symptoms. Some specific ultrasound exams include:

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Pregnancy ultrasound
  • Vascular ultrasound
  • Thyroid ultrasound
  • Trans-vaginal ultrasound
  • Prostate ultrasound
  • Testicle ultrasound
  • Extremity Ultrasound

Internal Ultrasounds
Most ultrasound examinations are performed in the manner described. However, certain circumstances require that the ultrasound probe be inserted into the body, rather than simply passing it over the skin. Consult your health care provider to determine the specifics of your test.

Ultrasound Guided Biopsy

Ultrasound is commonly used to guide biopsies of organs or masses. When a biopsy is performed a needle is used to remove a few cells or a very small piece of tissue. The sample is then sent to the pathology department for analysis. Analysis of the sample takes approximately 1 week, and the results are sent to your doctor.
Please click on the type of biopsy you are having performed for more information on patient preparation.

  • Kidney
  • Liver, Pancreas or Abdominal Mass
  • Breast
  • Thyroid
  • Transrectal Prostate Biopsy

Kidney Biopsy
Prior to the procedure, your physician will instruct you regarding:

  • necessary blood work – you will need to have current blood work done within 2 weeks prior to your biopsy appointment day.
  • anticoagulant medication (Coumadin, Heparin, Fragmin, Aspirin, Plavix, anti-inflammatories other than ASA) – please contact your physician if you are taking any of this type of medication as they will need to advise you when to stop taking it prior to your biopsy.

You should take your other routine medications the morning of the procedure with small sips of water.
You should fast after midnight the day prior to the procedure. (Diabetics can have a light breakfast before 6 am the morning of the procedure.)
You should check in at the main reception desk in the Diagnostic Imaging Department 30 minutes prior to your procedure. You will then be brought to the Ambulatory Care area in the Imaging Department for preparation for your biopsy. The biopsy is done in the Ultrasound Department, and takes approximately 30 minutes. Afterwards, you will be monitored in the Ambulatory Care area in the Imaging Department until 5-6 pm the day of the procedure. You must make arrangements for someone to drive you home, and for someone to stay with you overnight after your procedure.

Post Kidney biopsy instructions:
You will be required to have bed rest for the remainder of the day after your procedure.

  1. Avoid heavy lifting or physical activity for 5 days post kidney biopsy.
  2. Aspirin or other blood thinners may be resumed post biopsy. Please consult with your family physician regarding restarting these medications.
  3. Pain medication may be taken for post biopsy pain, however moderate to severe pain should be reported to your physician.
  4. If immediate same day post biopsy bleeding occurs please return to the emergency department of Credit Valley Hospital or your nearest emergency department.
  5. Some bruising may occur over the week following the biopsy. If you have any other concerns about the biopsy site please contact your family physician.
  6. If steristrips or bandage has not come off on its own in one week you may remove it.
  7. If you have any other questions or concerns please contact your family physician.

Liver, Pancreas or Abdominal Mass Biopsy
Prior to the procedure, your physician will instruct you regarding:

  1. necessary blood work – you will need to have current blood work done within 2 weeks prior to your biopsy appointment day.
  2. anticoagulant medication (Coumadin, Heparin, Fragmin, Aspirin, Plavix, anti-inflammatories other than ASA) – please contact your physician if you are taking any of this type of medication as they will need to advise you when to stop taking it prior to your biopsy.

You should take your other routine medications the morning of the procedure with small sips of water.
You should fast after midnight the day prior to the procedure.
You should check in at the main reception desk in the Diagnostic Imaging Department 30 minutes prior to your procedure. You will then be brought to the Ambulatory Care area in the Imaging Department for preparation for your biopsy. The biopsy will be performed in the Ultrasound area, and will take approximately 30 minutes. Afterwards, you will be monitored in the Ambulatory Care area in the Imaging Department for another 3- 4 hours. You must be make arrangements for someone to drive you home, and for someone to stay with you overnight after your procedure.

Post Liver, Pancreas or Abdominal Mass Biopsy instructions:

  1. You will be required to have bed rest for the remainder of the day after your procedure.
  2. Avoid heavy lifting or physical activity for 48 hours
  3. Aspirin or other blood thinners may be resumed post biopsy. Please consult with your family physician regarding restarting these medications.
  4. Pain medication may be taken for post biopsy pain, however moderate to severe pain should be reported to you physician.
  5. If immediate same day post biopsy bleeding occurs please return to the emergency department of Credit Valley Hospital or your nearest emergency department.
  6. Some bruising may occur over the week following the biopsy. If you have any other concerns about the biopsy site please contact your family physician.
  7. If steristrips or bandage has not come off on its own in one week you mayremove it.
  8. If you have any other questions or concerns please contact your family physician.

If you have had a recent ultrasound, CT scan or MRI of the organ being biopsied at another hospital, please provide these images prior to the biopsy date. Failure to bring previous relevant imaging may result in cancellation of the biopsy.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Prior to the procedure, your physician will instruct you regarding:
anticoagulant medication (Coumadin, Heparin, Fragmin, Aspirin, Plavix, anti-inflammatories other than ASA) – please contact your physician if you are taking any of this type of medication as they will need to advise you when to stop taking it prior to your biopsy.
You should take your other routine medications the morning of the procedure.
You may eat and drink normally.
You should check in at the main reception desk in the Diagnostic Imaging Department 30 minutes prior to your procedure. Please allow 1 hour for the biopsy procedure.
If you have had a recent mammogram or breast ultrasound at an institution other than The Credit Valley Hospital, or Credit Valley Imaging Associates, please provide these images prior to the biopsy date. Failure to bring previous imaging may result in cancellation of the biopsy.

Post Breast Biopsy Instructions:

  1. Keep the biopsy site clean and dry for 48 hours. After this time you may get the area wet without special precautions.
  2. Use the provided ice pack as needed to help reduce swelling.
  3. Avoid heavy lifting or physical activity for 24 hours.
  4. If steristrips or bandage has not come off on its own in one week you may remove it.
  5. Aspirin or other blood thinners may be resumed post biopsy. Please consult with your family physician regarding restarting these medications.
  6. Pain medication may be taken for post biopsy pain, however moderate to severe pain should be reported to you physician.
  7. If immediate same day post biopsy bleeding occurs please return to the emergency department of The Credit Valley Hospital or your nearest emergency department.
  8. Some bruising may occur over the week following the biopsy. If you have any other concerns about the biopsy site please contact your family physician.
  9. If you have any other questions or concerns please contact your family physician.

Thyroid Biopsy
Prior to the procedure, your physician will instruct you regarding:
anticoagulant medication (Coumadin, Heparin, Fragmin, Aspirin, Plavix, anti-inflammatories other than ASA) – please contact your physician if you are taking any of this type of medication as they will need to advise you when to stop taking it prior to your biopsy.
You should take your other routine medications the morning of the procedure.
You may eat and drink normally.
You should check in at the main reception desk in the Diagnostic Imaging Department 30 minutes prior to your procedure (map). Please allow 1 hour for the biopsy procedure.
If you have had a recent thyroid ultrasound at an institution other than Credit Valley Hospital, or Credit Valley Imaging Associates, please bring these images to the biopsy appointment. Failure to bring previous imaging may result in cancellation of the biopsy.

Transrectal Prostate Biopsy
Please allow a minimum of 1 hour and 45 minutes for your appointment.
Check with your referring physician for complete preparation instructions.
Post biopsy instruction sheet will be given to you at the end of the examination.

Vascular Lab - Duplex and Doppler Ultrasound
Vascular LabA duplex ultrasound (or vascular ultrasound) is a test to see how blood moves through your arteries and veins.

How the test is performed
The test combines traditional ultrasound with Doppler ultrasonography. Regular ultrasound uses sound waves that bounce off blood vessels to create pictures. Doppler ultrasound records sound waves reflecting off moving objects, such as blood, to measure their speed and other aspects of how they flow.

There are different types of duplex ultrasound exams. Some include:

  • Arterial and venous duplex ultrasound of the abdomen: examines blood vessels and blood flow in the abdominal area.
  • Carotid duplex ultrasound: looks at the carotid artery in the neck.
  • Duplex ultrasound of the extremities: looks at the arms or legs.
  • Renal duplex ultrasound: examines the kidneys and their blood vessels.

A computer measures how the sound waves reflect back, and changes the sound waves into pictures. The Doppler creates a "swishing" sound, which is the sound of your blood moving through the arteries and veins.

Ankle Brachial Index
Sometimes during a duplex ultrasound, the health care provider may calculate an ankle-brachial (ABI) index. You will need to wear blood pressure cuffs on your arms and legs for this test.
The ABI number is obtained by dividing the blood pressure in the ankle by the blood pressure in the arm. A value of 0.9 or greater is normal. An ABI of less than 0.5 is linked to peripheral vascular (arterial) disease.

How to Prepare for the Test
Usually, there is no preparation for a duplex ultrasound.
If you are having an ultrasound of your stomach area, you may be asked not to eat or drink after midnight. Tell the person doing the ultrasound exam if you are taking any medicines, such as blood thinners, that might affect the results of the test.

During Your Test

  • You may need to wear a medical gown.
  • You will lie down on a table, and the ultrasound technician will spread a gel over the area being tested. The gel helps the sound waves get into your tissues.
  • A probe, called a transducer, is moved over the area being tested. This wand sends out the sound waves.
  • You need to stay still during the exam.
  • You may be asked to lie in different body positions, or to take a deep breath and hold it.

How the Test Will Feel?
You may feel some pressure as the wand is moved over the body, but there is usually no discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed?
Vascular LabDuplex ultrasound is a less-invasive option to arteriography and venography. A duplex ultrasound can show how blood flows to many parts of the body. It can also tell the width of a blood vessel and reveal any blockages.
A duplex ultrasound can help diagnose the following conditions:

  • Abdominal aneurysm
  • Arterial occlusion
  • Blood clot
  • Carotid occlusive disease
  • Renal vascular disease
  • Varicose veins
  • Venous insufficiency
  • A renal duplex ultrasound can also be used after transplant surgery to see how well a new kidney is working.

Special Considerations
Cigarette smoking may change the results of a duplex ultrasound of the arms and legs because nicotine can cause the arteries to shrink (constrict).

Women’s Imaging and Assessment Centre

Located at Trillium Health Partners’ Credit Valley Hospital, the Women’s Imaging and Assessment Centre provides a coordinated and integrated approach to care where breast out-patients can receive their diagnostic tests in one place. The Women’s Imaging and Assessment Centre provides the following services all in one location:

  • Mammography
  • Ultrasound
  • Breast Biopsy
  • Breast Diagnostic Assessment Program
The Women’s Imaging and Assessment Centre is located across from the Leaf elevators on level one in the F Block of Credit Valley Hospital.  Click here to view the Map.

Third-Party MRI and CT Scans

The Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga Hospital site is one of the largest and fastest providers of third-party payer MRI and CT exams in Ontario. We provide MRI and CT exams at our state-of-the-art facilities located at our Trillium - Mississauga site.

If you want to arrange a third-party MRI or CT exam and wish to know more about our services, you may download our brochure here or call our third-party services at 905-848-7499 ext. 1 or 416-670-9644

What is a Third-Party Exam?

A third-party exam is an MRI or CT scan, the full cost of which is covered by a non- OHIP payer such as:

  • The Workers Safety Insurance Bureau (WSIB)
  • Insurance companies (as part of motor vehicle or optional health insurance coverage)
  • Employers
  • Occupational Health
  • Professional sports associations
  • Schools
  • Assessment companies

Any individual who has coverage from one of the listed providers may request to have their third-party exam at Trillium Health Centre – Mississauga Site.

Individuals with a valid OHIP card or Provincial Health Card cannot directly pay for an OHIP insured exam

What is the approval process for third-party exams?

There are several different processes for approving third-party exams, depending on your provider:

WSIB (for workplace accidents)

  1. Fill out an MRI requisition with your doctor and fax or email it to the WSIB and Trillium Health Centre – Mississauga Site.
  2. Fill out WSIB Form 6 with your doctor and send it to WSIB.
  3. The WSIB will assign a nurse consultant and case manager.
  4. When you receive a claim number, give it to the hospital.
  5. The hospital will call the WSIB for approval.
  6. When the WSIB provides verbal approval, the hospital will call you to book an exam time.

WSIB exams are usually approved within two days of receiving the claim number.

Insurance (for motor vehicle accidents or option health insurance)

  1. Fill out an MRI requisition with your doctor and fax or email it to the WSIB and Trillium Health Centre – Mississauga Site.
  2. You and your doctor fill out form OCF-18 (Treatment Plan – 5 pages).
  3. Your physician emails or faxes the form to Health Claims for Auto Insurance (HCAI) processing – Data Entry Centre (DEC).
  4. The DEC sends it to the insurance company.
  5. The insurance company call the patient with the approval within 10 days.
  6. The patient must ask the insurance company to send to the Trillium Health Centre – Mississauga Site one of the following:
    • OCF-18 Form (signed)
    • Letter from insurance company indicating 100% coverage
    • Trillium third-party service agreement.

Insurance exams are usually approved within 2 to 4 weeks of receiving the OCF-18, letter or Third Party Service Agreement.

Employer/Occupations Health/Professional Sports Association/School
(for returning to work/school/playing field, continuing to work or hiring/school enrollment)

  • Your doctor sends MRI/CT Requisition to Trillium Health Centre – Mississauga Site.
  • You ask your third party provider to cover costs of exam and sign 3rd Party Service Agreement.
  • The third party provider sends the signed agreement to Trillium Health Centre – Mississauga Site by fax or email.

Employer/Occupations Health/Professional Sports Association/School exams are usually approved within one to two days of receiving the request.

Employer Criteria
  • The company must be incorporated, a corporation, or a limited partnership.
  • The signing officer/manager representing company cannot be related to employee receiving treatment.
  • The patient must sign a form at time of registration stating he/she is not paying directly for exam.
  • Personal cheques cannot be used to pay for exams.

How Do Third-Party Exams affect wait times?

By utilizing non-funded hours for third-party exams, we are able to help patients at times when our MRI and CT machines would otherwise be idle. This shortens wait times for all our patients, and provides revenue to improve clinical & diagnostic services.