How you prepare

Different types of X-rays require different preparations. Ask your doctor or nurse to provide you with specific instructions.

What to wear

In general, you undress whatever part of your body needs examination. You may wear a gown during the exam, depending on which area is being X-rayed. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects because they can show up on an X-ray.

Contrast material

Before some types of X-rays, you're given a liquid called contrast medium. Contrast mediums, such as barium and iodine, help outline a specific area of your body on the X-ray image. You may swallow the contrast medium or receive it as an injection or an enema.


How to prepare for an ultrasound

The steps you will take to prepare for an ultrasound will depend on the area or organ that is being examined. Your doctor may tell you to fast for eight to 12 hours before your ultrasound, especially if your abdomen is being examined. However, you can continue to drink water and take any medications as instructed. For other examinations, you may be asked to drink a lot of water and to hold your urine so that your bladder is full and better visualized.An ultrasound carries minimal risks. Unlike X-rays or CT scans, ultrasounds use no radiation. For this reason, they are the preferred method for examining a developing fetus during pregnancy.


A mammogram is an X-ray image of your breasts used to screen for breast cancer.Mammograms play a key role in early breast cancer detection and help decrease breast cancer deaths.During a mammogram, your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue.Then an X-ray captures black and white images of your breasts that are displayed on a computer screen and examined by a doctor who looks for signs of cancer.


How you prepare

Depending on which part of your body is being scanned, you may be asked to: Take off some or all of your clothing and wear a hospital gown, to remove metal objects, such as a belt, jewelry, dentures and eyeglasses, which might interfere with image results and to refrain from eating or drinking for a few hours before your scan

Contrast material

A special dye called a contrast material is needed for some CT scans, to help highlight the areas of your body being examined. The contrast material blocks X-rays and appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, intestines or other structures.


How you prepare

An orthopantomogram is an X-ray image of your whole mouth, including your upper and lower jaw and teeth. The X-ray machine moves around your head while taking the image. This provides a complete ear to ear image of your mouth and teeth. It is used to: look at impacted wisdom teeth , to help find the cause of dental pain, to view the position of dental implants or to help assess teeth for orthodontic treatment .

Preparing for your orthopantomogram

Before the procedure can take place, you will need to remove glasses, dentures and any jewellery from your head and neck (such as earrings and necklaces) as well as any hairclips. You must tell your doctor or radiographer if you are, or think you could be, pregnant as X-rays aren’t recommended for pregnant women unless there is an urgent medical reason.