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Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I bring to my appointment?


  • Bring the prescription from your physician and any insurance information including your referral or pre-certification on the day of your appointment. If you do not bring this information, we will have to reschedule your appointment.


  • Please remember to bring or send any previous test results, films or cd’s.


  • Arrive 15 minutes ahead of time to fill out forms, unless you have already filled them out.


  • We ask many questions about your medical history. This aids the radiologist in making the best diagnosis and determine any health risks.

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Do I have to prepare for an ultrasound?
Ultrasound preparations vary based on the specific exam being done. Below you will see the 4 different preps with the procedures following. If you are unsure which prep is appropriate for you, please call 908.964.0004.

No Preparation Required

  • Renal/Kidneys

  • Carotid with Doppler

  • Testicular with Doppler

  • Thyroid

  • Appendix

  • Pelvic – Trans Vaginal

  • Upper/Lower Extremities (Venous Doppler)

  • Upper/Lower Extremities (Arterial Doppler)

  • Soft Tissue Neck

Fasting 8-10 hours prior to exam

  • Abdominal Complete

  • Abdominal Limited

  • Abdominal Aorta

  • Renal Doppler

  • Abdominal Doppler

Full Bladder Preparation (directions below)

  • Pelvic (If trans-abdominal is check on order)

  • OB Ultrasound

  • Bladder – Trans-abdominal studies only

  • One hour before the test, empty your bladder. Drink 32 oz of water 1/2 hour before your scheduled appointment.

  • Please do not drink carbonated beverages.

  • Once you begin drinking, DO NOT EMPTY your bladder.

  • You should eat.

What is a DEXA SCAN and do I have to prepare for it?


A DEXA scan is designed to measure the density or thickness of your bones in your hip, spine and wrists. This measurement is known as the BMD or bone mineral density, which determines the amount of calcium in your bones. The DEXA scan does use x-rays but in lower doses than you would receive during a chest x-ray. It is painless and requires no sedation. It generally takes only about 15 to 20 minutes to perform the test. The DEXA scan is routinely done once every one to two years. The test results are reported as a number known as a T-score. Normal bone mass will have a T-score of -1 SD (standard deviation). If your score is below -2.5, you are considered to have osteoporosis.



The central DEXA scan machine looks much like a flat padded x-ray table. During use, the arm or scanner portion of the machine is above you and moves slowly overhead from your head towards your feet. Central DEXA scan devices are usually located in hospitals and medical offices.


Preparing for the DEXA scan 

If you are already taking calcium supplements or other medication for osteoporosis, you will be instructed to stop them at least 24 to 48 hours prior to having the scan. This will allow for more accurate results. It is okay otherwise for you to eat on the day of the exam.


You can remain dressed during the exam but you should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing with no zippers, buttons, jewelry or wires. Ladies, do not were a bra with an underwire.


What to expect during the DEXA scan

The technician will record your height and weight and will ask you some preliminary questions, including whether or not you have had any fractures in the past, whether or not you take hormones and whether or not you are a smoker (smoking affects bone growth and healing). You should also report whether or not you have taken any barium or had any other contrast-type x-ray in the previous seven days.


The technician will position you to lie flat on your back with the lower part of your body centered according to pre-marked guidelines on the table. For the initial portion of the test you will be required to have your legs elevated, bent at the knees with a cushion support. For the latter portion of the test your legs will be resting flat on the table. 

You will lie in a relaxed position as the scanner glides overhead and sends the interpretive data to the machine.

How does a Digital X-Ray differ from a traditional x-ray is it safer? 



One obvious benefit of computed radiation is that it is much "greener" than traditional X-ray procedures because used film does not have to be discarded. The use of chemicals to develop the film is eliminated and replaced by laser scanning images saved to a computer hard drive or written to a DVD.

  • "Greener"

  • The entire process takes less time than traditional radiology

  • Darkrooms are not required to produce an image

  • At Radiology Associates of Hartford, we have equipment that operates using the lowest possible amount of radiation necessary for quality images

What are some common uses of digital X-ray?

  • Identifying and treating of bone fractures

  • View, monitor or diagnose joint injuries and infections, arthritis, artery blockages, abdominal pain

  • Locate foreign objects in soft tissue

  • Detection and diagnosis of advanced forms of cancer (i.e. mesothelioma)

  • Please inform the technologist, if there is any possibility, that you are pregnant.

  • No special preparation / instruction is required for most general X-rays

  • You may be asked to change into a gown

  • In some cases, you are provided with a lead apron to protect areas of the body not being examined

What should I expect during this exam?

You will be greeted by our experienced, certified X-ray technologist; an important member of the medical team. The technologist will escort you to the exam room. The X-ray exam usually takes between 5 and 30 minutes.

  • You will be asked to stand near a cassette holder or lie on an exam table for positioning

  • Placement of a cassette is positioned in area of the body to be imaged

  • Pillows may be used to help you hold the proper position

  • The technologist steps behind a radiation barrier and asks you to hold very still, without breathing for a few seconds

  • The X-ray equipment is activated, and radiation exposure to the cassette occurs

  • You may be repositioned for additional views and the process is repeated

  • When your exam is completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist checks the images

What will I experience during an X-ray?

  • X-ray imaging is painless

  • Some discomfort may result from lying on the table, a hard surface that may feel cold

  • To get a clear image of an injury such as a possible fracture, you may be asked to hold an uncomfortable position for a short time. Any movement could blur the image and make it necessary to repeat the procedure.

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