UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

General Radiology

What is a General Examination?

Your physician has requested a General Examination to assist in evaluating your health status. This examination is done in the Radiology Department and involves the use of x-rays to examine views of any part of the body. The usual General Examinations are short in duration and takes just a few minutes.

Preparation for the General Examination

For most examinations, patients will walk in to the exam room and have a chest, extremity, or abdominal examination and walk out several minutes later.

With an IVP (Intravenous Pyelogram) you will receive IV contrast material (also known as x-ray dye or iodine contrast). This test usually takes 90 minutes to complete. IV contrast is given through a vein in the arm to highlight your kidneys. You will be asked to sign a consent form for this contrast. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything 4 to 6 hours before the scan. Sometimes, blood may be drawn prior to your exam to check your kidney function.

If you know you are allergic to iodine contrast or are diabetic or hypertensive, please advise your physician and the technologist before your IVP. Let the technologist know if you are, or suspect you might be pregnant before your General Examinations.

During the examination

It is very important that you remain still when the images are being taken so that the images are not blurred or information is not missed. You may be asked to hold your breath for the pictures. More specific instructions will be given to you at the time of your scan. While your examination is being checked for clarity, you may be asked to wait. If additional images are needed, they will be taken at that time.

After the Examination

Previous activities may be resumed unless otherwise instructed by your physician or nurse. Your images will be reviewed by a Radiologist and a report will be sent to your doctor in approximately 3 days. Your physician will discuss the results with you. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your test results and their impact on your health. If you have any questions, please ask your physician.

Most patients are able to return to a normal diet and activities immediately following the exam. If a contrast material is used, it is naturally eliminated from your system.