Jefferson University Hospitals

Preparing for Your Visit

For Outpatient Care Only

For questions about any of these preps, please contact the Department of Radiology, at 215-955-7212 for more information.

  • If you are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, you should discuss this with your physician. Under most conditions, these examinations will not be done on a pregnant patient.
  • If you are diabetic and taking insulin, you should ask your physician for specific instructions regarding the dosages for the day of your examination.
  • If you are on a medically ordered fluid-restricted diet, have kidney failure or a kidney transplant, you should discuss with your physician the prep you are asked to follow. This may need to be altered. Your physician should inform us if any change is made in the preparation.
  • If your examination is in the afternoon, you may have a glass or a glass and a half (8 to 12 ounces) of water around 7 a.m., otherwise you should have nothing to eat, drink, smoke or chew after the time indicated for each prep.

Critical Medication Exception

The exception to this is for patients who have severe breathing problems or seizures. These patients may take their breathing medicine or seizure medication with a small amount of water. Your physician may make additional exceptions. These medicines should be taken no closer to the examination time than 2 hours.

Day prior to your procedure

Option 1
  • Drink clear liquids only throughout the day. Drink at least 8 ounces (1 cup) every 2 hours during the waking part of your day. Clear liquids include beef, chicken, vegetable broth or bouillon, apple juice, white grape juice, cranberry juice, soda (colas or clear, diet or regular), Jell-O or Popsicles and coffee or tea. Sweeteners are OK; creamer is not.
  • 5 p.m. – Mix the entire container of Miralax (8.3 ounces) with Gatorade (64 ounces), which can be chilled. If you have diabetes, buy a no- or low-calorie drink such as Crystal Light instead. Begin drinking the solution, making sure you have completed all of the mixture within 3 hours.
  • 8 p.m. – Take four Dulcolax tablets by mouth with as much liquid needed to swallow the pills.
  • Continue to drink 8 ounces of clear liquids hourly until bedtime or nothing by mouth after midnight.
Option 2
  • 5 p.m. – Ingest magnesium citrate, 10 ounces.
  • 8 p.m. – Take all four Dulcolax tablets by mouth with as much liquid needed to swallow the pills.
  • Continue to drink 8 ounces of clear liquids hourly until bedtime or nothing by mouth after midnight.

Day of your procedure

  • You should have nothing to eat or drink prior to your procedure other than 16 ounces of water.
  • If you have heart/blood pressure medicine, please take it the day of your procedure and hold the rest of your home medicines until after the procedure.
  • Dulcolax suppository, upon arising in the A.M. prior to procedure.

Patients with severe constipation (one bowel movement per week or less):

  • You will be required to do the prep two consecutive days prior to procedure in order to ensure complete colon cleansing. You will follow the "Day Before Procedure" instructions.
  • People with constipation will not need to do suppositories.

On the day of your exam

  • No caffeine on the day of the exam (i.e. coffee, tea, soda).
  • No solid food for 4 hours prior to the study.
  • You may drink non-caffeinated fluids until 1 hour prior to examination.
  • Your referring physician may prescribe an oral beta blocker (i.e. Metoprolol, 50 mg) to be taken 2 hours prior to the examination. Waiting time will be minimized if you take a beta blocker prior to arriving for the examination

On the day of your CT scan:

  • You are allowed to eat and drink. Fluids are encouraged.
  • Depending on the reason for your exam, you may be given oral contrast upon arrival.

Here's how to prepare for your MRI:

  • No dietary restrictions
  • No pacemaker
  • No electrical pacer wires
  • No defibrillators
  • If you have an aneurysm clip, heart valves, or other implantable devices, please bring documentation about the type, make/model and implant date
  • If you have a neurostimulator, we may be unable to perform your exam. We will make every effort to contact you before your appointment if this is the case.

Prior to Your Exam

  • Nothing by mouth after midnight.
  • If you are diabetic, please consult with your physician about your medication dosing.

If you are scheduled for a stress test at the Jefferson Heart Institute, please read these instructions (PDF) prior to your visit.