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WHAT TO EXPECT DURING MEDICAL IMAGING

At Mayfair Diagnostics we have 13 clinics offering a variety of services across Calgary, as well as one each in Cochrane, Regina, and Saskatoon. Our services include the more commonly ordered exams, such as X-ray or ultrasound. We also provide bone mineral densitometry, computed tomography (CT), exercise stress testing, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography, nuclear medicine imaging, and pain management procedures.

Each exam has preparation instructions which are important to follow leading up to your appointment. These instructions can be found on the second page of your medical imaging requisition – the paperwork requesting the specific exam and explaining why it’s needed. Mayfair Diagnostics also describes how to prepare for each type of exam on our website, simply go to the service page and choose your exam. For example, go to the ultrasound service page and choose abdomen ultrasound.

If you’ve signed up for email notifications about your appointment, there will also be a link to your preparation instructions in your confirmation and reminder emails.

ON THE DAY OF YOUR EXAM

Usually, we ask that you arrive 10-15 minutes early to give you time to check in with reception, although some exams, such as MRI, may have an arrival time of 30 or more minutes prior to your appointment. Your arrival time will be listed in your email confirmation.

When you check in with reception, you will need to show your provincial health care card and photo identification to confirm your identity. We may also ask to see your requisition, if we don’t already have this on file.

Most exams involve the following:

  • The technologist will confirm your personal information and exam details with you. Your technologist will come get you for your exam and explain what’s going to happen. They will also confirm the reason for your exam, personal details, the area of concern to be imaged, and possibly ask you to fill out a consent form or other paperwork.
  • You may need to change your clothes. Depending on the area of concern to be imaged, you may need to change into a gown, shorts, or scrubs. For a mammogram you may need to remove your top.
  • You will be positioned for imaging. For most exams you will be asked to lie on a table, which may be moved into position. Mammograms and some X-ray exams require the patient to be standing. Please inform your technologist if a certain position causes pain or if you have mobility issues and require assistance getting into position.
  • Images are taken. Ultrasound exams require you to expose the area of concern for imaging. A warm, non-scented, hypo-allergenic ultrasound gel is then applied to the area. Other exams involve the table moving into the imaging equipment, such as during MRI and CT exams.

Please note that some exams are more complicated than others:

  • Some exams involve waiting. Nuclear medicine imaging bone scans are two-part appointments, which occur over the course of one day, booked 2-5 hours apart. Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) exams involve appointments occurring over two days. Also, some MRI and CT exams may require you to drink an oral contrast 90 minutes prior to imaging. If this is the case, you will be asked to arrive one-and-a-half hours prior to your appointment in order to drink the solution that helps enhance your images.
  • Some exams involve needle procedures or intravenous injections. Nuclear medicine imaging exams require the injection of a radioactive material (radiopharmaceutical) into a vein in your arm. Some MRI and CT exams may require an intravenous contrast injection. For pain management treatments, Mayfair radiologists use X-ray and ultrasound technology to precisely inject medication through a small needle, or perform treatment on soft tissues.
  • For certain exams you need to be aware of metal on clothing and jewelry. For all exams that use X-rays, we ask that you not wear metal around the area being imaged. This applies to all bone mineral densitometry, bone scan with SPECT/CT, CT, pain management, and mammography exams. For MRI exams, no metal can be worn (underwire bras, jewelry, clothing, etc.) and you will also be asked about internal metal objects.

PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS

The above preparation descriptions are a general overview of what you can expect during your exam. Depending on the type of exam you are booked for, your experience may be different from what we have outlined in this article.

For specific details about your medical imaging exam, please refer to our services page for a list of our exams. You can also contact the Mayfair Diagnostics Customer Contact Centre via the following options:

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Mayfair Diagnostics

Calgary, Cochrane, Regina, Saskatoon

TOLL FREE: 1-866-611-2665

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