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What Happens After the Diagnostic Imaging Examination?

Consultation and release: Once the diagnostic imaging exam has been performed, you will have a short wait while the technologist and radiologist determine if the images are of the appropriate clarity, sharpness and orientation. In some cases, the staff may repeat the study or run a different study to gather more information.

There is minimal patient recovery for most diagnostic imaging examinations. However, some exams like x-ray angiography may require a slightly longer recovery period. If you have been given a sedative as part of the procedure, you will need to have someone else drive you home.

Prior to release and departure from the imaging center or department, you may have a brief consultation with the technologist or radiologist. This person will explain to you how the imaging exam went and what the next steps may be in your medical care.

Radiologist and technologist consult
The radiologist and technologist
consult about a patient case.

The Diagnosis: The radiologist performs a detailed study of your images and may dictate her or his findings or diagnosis into a special voice recorder. Such a dictated report is then transcribed and made available to your physicians soon thereafter. If the results are not normal (and many times even if they are normal), the radiologist can consult with your referring physician to share insight on the interpretation of your images and exam. Together the radiologist and your physician will determine the next steps in your diagnosis and treatment.

Updated: August 2010