When your doctor orders any kind of medical image, it might seem like a big deal. However, a medical digital imaging scan is painless and allows the doctor to see issues that might be going on that lab work or other tests might not be able to detect. An example of digital imaging is an MRI or a CT scan. There are a few ways that you can prepare for a digital imaging scan so that you’re not nervous and so that you won’t have to spend any more time than required at the office or hospital.
You usually don’t have to avoid eating anything the night before like you would if you were having surgery. Sometimes, your doctor might order that you drink more water or that you eat certain kinds of foods to get better results from the scan. The scan might require a dye through your veins to detect if there are any blockages or issues that are present with the vascular system. This usually doesn’t present any issues.
Leave jewelry at home so that you don’t have to keep it in a bag or box while the scan is performed. Tell the technician if you have any kind of joint replacement or any other kind of metal in the body that can’t be removed. You should also tell the technician if you are pregnant or think that you are pregnant. Remove eyeglasses before the scan is performed. It’s also a good idea to remove dentures if you have them.
Most of the time, the digital image that you’ll have performed is an MRI. The machine looks like a long tube with a table that you will lay on for a few minutes. With any scan, you’ll likely be asked to hold your breath at certain points or move in a certain way so that the best images can be taken. At times, you might be sedated for the scan if you have a high level of anxiety. Children are sometimes sedated so that they aren’t afraid of the noise from the machine or the sight of the machine.