Patient Information

Please arrive approximately 15 min before your appointment to complete your registration.

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About your Appointment

What to bring for your appointment
  • Medicare Card
  • Referral Form – We accept referral forms from all radiology practices and/or referral letter from your doctor/specialist
  • Previous scans – Xrays/Ultrasounds/CT and reports will assist us in understanding your condition better
  • Medication List - especially for Asthma and Diabetes
What you need to tell us

Before you have any imaging studies it is paramount that the following information is given to us to best tailor the appropriate study, protocol and due care for your benefit and safety

  • If you suspect or know that you may be pregnant.
  • If you have ever experienced a severe reaction to a previous injection of contrast agents
  • If you are allergic to any prescribed medication.
  • If you suffer from hay fever, are asthmatic or have kidney disease.
  • If you are a diabetic.
  • If you are on blood thinning medication
  • Any information you believe may be relevant to your test

About your X-Ray


X-rays are a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves. X-ray imaging creates pictures of the inside of your body. The images show the parts of your body in different shades of black and white. This is because different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation. Calcium in bones absorbs x-rays the most, so bones look white. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less, and look grey. Air absorbs the least, so lungs look black.

How is an X-Ray performed

X-rays usually take only a few minutes.

You may be asked to remove your clothing, put on a robe and take off your jewellery before an X-ray. This will depend on the area of your body that is being exposed to the radiation. You will usually be taken to a private cubicle so that you can change.

Your radiographer will help you to get into the right position on the X-ray machine. Y,ou may be asked to lie down on an X-ray table or sit in a chair beside the table. It may take a few minutes to get you into the right position. During the X-ray you will need to keep still. Sometimes, especially if you are having a chest X-ray, you will need to take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds.

Your radiographer will stand behind a screen to use the X-ray machine. They will be able to see and hear you at all times. They may need to take more than one X-ray, or X-rays at different angles. You may have to get into a number of slightly different positions for this.

Risks of X-Rays

The radiation from an X-ray is generally thought to be safe for adults, but children are more sensitive to its effects. Doctors will only refer them for an X-ray if it is entirely necessary. If your child has an X-ray, it is likely that you will be able to go into the X-ray room with them. You will be given a lead apron to wear to protect your body from unnecessary radiation.

Pregnant women are advised not to have X-Rays, as there is a risk the radiation may harm their unborn baby. If you are, or could be, pregnant then please tell your doctor or radiographer.

About your OPG

OPG (No appointment needed)

An orthopantomogram (OPG) is an X-ray image of your whole mouth, including your upper and lower jaw and teeth. The X-ray machine moves around your head while taking the image. This provides a complete ear to ear image of your mouth and teeth. It is used to:

  • look at impacted wisdom teeth
  • help find the cause of dental pain
  • view the position of dental implants
  • help assess teeth for orthodontic treatment

Before the procedure can take place, you will need to remove glasses, dentures and any jewellery from your head and neck (such as earrings and necklaces) as well as any hairclips.

You must tell your doctor or radiographer if you are, or think you could be, pregnant as X-rays aren’t recommended for pregnant women unless there is an urgent medical reason.

How is an OPG performed

The orthopantomogram, will be carried out by a radiographer (a health professional trained to perform imaging procedures). He or she will explain the procedure and make sure that you are happy to go ahead with it. You will be asked to stand in front of the X-ray machine. A peg will be put into a slot on the machine and you will be asked to bite onto this. Below the peg are two handles that you will need to hold to keep your balance as we may need to ask you to lean backwards to get the best possible picture. When you are in the right position, the radiographer will use a clamp to gently hold your head in place and stop it from moving. Once you are in place, the machine starts to move around your head. It usually makes a strange noise. While it is moves, it can touch your shoulders. Try not to move as this will blur the image and may mean the procedure has to be repeated.

The test usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes, but altogether you will be in the radiology department for approximately 30 minutes.

Risks of OPG

Orthopantomograms are a common test performed and are generally safe. Pregnant women are advised not to have X-Rays, as there is a risk the radiation may harm their unborn baby. If you are, or could be, pregnant then please tell your doctor or radiographer.

About your CT Scan

CT scan (Please call for an appointment)

A computerized tomography scan (CT or CAT scan) uses computers and rotating X-ray machines to create cross-sectional images of the body. These images provide more detailed information than normal X-ray images. They can show the soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones in various parts of the body.

During a CT scan, you lie in a tunnel-like machine while the inside of the machine rotates and takes a series of X-rays from different angles. These pictures are then sent to a computer, where they’re combined to create images of slices, or cross-sections, of the body. They may also be combined to produce a 3-D image of a particular area of the body.


A CT scan has many uses, but it’s particularly well suited for diagnosing diseases and evaluating injuries. The imaging technique can help your doctor:

  • diagnose infections, muscle disorders, and bone fractures
  • pinpoint the location of masses and tumors (including cancer)
  • study the blood vessels and other internal structures
  • assess the extent of internal injuries and internal bleeding
  • guide procedures, such as surgeries and biopsies
  • monitor the effectiveness of treatments for certain medical conditions, including cancer and heart disease

The test is minimally invasive and can be conducted quickly.

CT with Contrast

Your doctor may give you a special dye called a contrast material to help internal structures show up more clearly on the X-ray images. The contrast material blocks X-rays and appears white on the images, allowing it to highlight the intestines, blood vessels, or other structures in the area being examined. Depending on the part of your body that’s being inspected, you may need to drink a liquid containing the contrast. Alternatively, the contrast may need to be injected into your arm or administered through your rectum via an enema. If your doctor plans on using a contrast material, they may ask you to fast for four to six hours before your CT scan.

How is the scan performed?

When it comes time to have the CT scan, you’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown and to remove any metal objects. Metal can interfere with the CT scan results. These items include jewelry, glasses, and dentures. Your doctor will then ask you to lie face up on a table that slides into the CT scanner. They’ll leave the exam room and go into the control room where they can see you and hear you. You’ll be able to communicate with them via an intercom.

While the table slowly moves you into the scanner, the X-ray machine will rotate around you. Each rotation produces numerous images of thin slices of your body. You may hear clicking, buzzing, and whirring noises during the scan. The table will move a few millimeters at a time until the exam is finished. The entire procedure may take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour.

It’s very important to lie still while CT images are being taken because movement can result in blurry pictures. Your doctor may ask you to hold your breath for a short period during the test to prevent your chest from moving up and down. If a young child needs a CT scan, the doctor may recommend a sedative to keep the child from moving.

Once the CT scan is over, the images are sent to a radiologist for examination. A radiologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions using imaging techniques, such as CT scans and X-rays. Your doctor will follow-up with you to explain the results.

Risks of CT scans

There are very few risks associated with a CT scan. Though CT scans expose you to more radiation than typical X-rays, the risk of cancer caused by radiation is very small if you only have one scan.

Some people have an allergic reaction to the contrast material. Most contrast material contains iodine, so if you’ve had an adverse reaction to iodine in the past, make sure to notify your doctor. Your doctor may give you allergy medication or steroids to counteract any potential side effects if you’re allergic to iodine but must be given contrast.

It’s also important to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant. Though the radiation from a CT scan is unlikely to harm your baby, your doctor may recommend another exam, such as an ultrasound to minimize risk.

About your General Ultrasound

General Ultrasound (Please call for an appointment)

An ultrasound is a type of scan that uses sound waves to produce images of the inside of your body. It is used to detect changes in the look, size or outline of your organs, tissues and vessels, or to detect abnormal masses such as cancer.

An ultrasound scanner looks a bit like a home computer system. There is a hard-drive, keyboard, display screen, and a small hand-held scanner. The hand-held scanner has a transducer that sends out sound waves. The sound waves bounce off the organs inside your body and are then picked up again by the transducer. The transducer is linked to a computer that creates real-time images from these reflected sound waves. The images are displayed on the screen. The pictures are constantly updated so the scan can show movement.

A technician called a sonographer may carry out your ultrasound. Sonographers have had special training in taking ultrasound. Alternatively, a radiologist may take your ultrasound.

How is an Ultrasound performed

An ultrasound scan can take anything from five minutes to about forty-five minutes depending on why you are having it. The sonographer will explain what is involved. You might need to change into a robe. If you are having a scan of your pelvis or bladder, you may need to come in with a full bladder.

You will usually need to lie on your back on the bed. Your sonographer will put some gel on your skin on the area they are going to examine. The gel allows the sensor to slide easily over your skin and will help to produce clearer pictures. Your sonographer will hold the sensor firmly against your skin and move it over the surface. They may ask you to take some deep breaths or to move into different positions so they can get the best possible images.

An ultrasound is not painful but you may feel some slight discomfort as the sensor is pressed against you, particularly if the area is tender.

Doppler Ultrasound

Doppler ultrasound, also called colour Doppler ultrasonography, is a special ultrasound technique that allows the doctor to see and evaluate blood flow through arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs, neck and/or brain (in infants and children) or within various body organs such as the liver or kidneys. It is used to:

  • monitor the blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body.
  • locate and identify blockages (stenosis) and abnormalities like plaque or emboli and help plan for their effective treatment.
  • detect blood clots (deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in the major veins of the legs or arms.
  • evaluate the success of procedures that graft or bypass blood vessels.
  • determine if there is an enlarged artery (aneurysm).
  • evaluate varicose veins.

Doppler ultrasound images can be used to see and evaluate:

  • blockages to blood flow (such as clots)
  • narrowing of vessels
  • tumors and congenital vascular malformations
  • reduced or absent blood flow to various organs
  • greater than normal blood flow to different areas, which is sometimes seen in infections
Risks of Ultrasound scans

An ultrasound is safe because it does not use any radiation. Unlike other scans like X-rays and CT scans which do use radiation, there are no associated risks. Even so, ultrasound scans should only be done for clear medical reasons.

About your Pelvic Ultrasound

Pelvic Ultrasound (Please call for an appointment)

A pelvic ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to make pictures of the organs inside your pelvis. Your doctor might order this test to diagnose a condition, or to check the health of your baby while still in the womb.

In women, a pelvic ultrasound is used to view the:

  • Cervix
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Ovaries
  • Uterus
  • Vagina
  • Bladder

In men, it's used to view the:

  • Bladder
  • Prostate gland
  • Seminal vesicles (glands that add fluid to semen)
Types of pelvic ultrasounds
Trans-abdominal pelvic ultrasound

A Trans-abdominal pelvic ultrasound is done over your abdomen. You lie on your back on an exam table. The sonographer puts a little bit of gel on the transducer and gently runs the transducer back and forth over the skin of your lowerbelly.

Trans-vaginal ultrasound

In females, a pelvic ultrasound can be done via a Trans-vaginal method. You will need to lie on your back and raise your knees. Your sonographer will then put a slim-line lubricated sensor (like the shape of a tampon) into your vagina. They will put a protective cover over the sensor. It is important to tell your sonographer if you have a latex allergy so they use a suitable cover.

You can still have a trans-vaginal scan when you are having your period. If you do not wish to have a trans-vaginal scan, please let us know and we can discuss alternative options. A trans-vaginal scan is not painful, but you might find it uncomfortable.

Trans-rectal ultrasound

In men, a pelvic ultrasound can be done through the rectum. You lie on your side, facing away from the sonographer. They will place a cover over the transducer and insert it into the rectum to view the bladder and prostate glands more clearly.

About your Pregnancy Ultrasound

Pregnancy Ultrasound (Please call for an appointment)

A pregnancy ultrasound is a test that uses high-frequency sound waves to image the developing baby as well as the mother’s reproductive organs. The average number of ultrasounds varies with each pregnancy. An ultrasoundcan help monitor normal fetal development and screen for any potential problems.

During the first trimester of pregnancy

In the first trimester of pregnancy (weeks one to 12), ultrasounds may be done to:

  • confirm pregnancy
  • check the fetal heartbeat
  • determine the gestational age of the baby and estimate a due date
  • check for multiple pregnancies
  • examine the placenta, uterus, ovaries, and cervix
  • diagnose an ectopic pregnancy (when the fetus does not attach to the uterus) or miscarriage
  • look for any abnormal growth in the fetus
During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy

In the second trimester (12 to 24 weeks) and the third trimester (24 to 40 weeks or birth), an ultrasound may be done to:

  • monitor the fetus’ growth and position (breech, transverse, cephalic, or optimal)
  • determine the baby’s sex
  • confirm multiple pregnancies
  • look at the placenta to check for problems, such as placenta previa (when the placenta covers the cervix) and placental abruption (when the placenta separates from the uterus prior to delivery)
  • check for congenital abnormalities or birth defects
  • examine the fetus for structural abnormalities or blood flow problems
  • monitor the levels of amniotic fluid
  • determine if the fetus is getting enough oxygen
  • diagnose problems with the ovaries or uterus, such as pregnancy tumors
  • measure the length of the cervix
  • guide other tests, such as amniocentesis
  • confirm an intrauterine death
Types of pregnancy ultrasounds
Trans-abdominal Ultrasound

The most commonly used method, the sonographer places a probe over the abdomen to view the uterus and the fetus growing inside the mother. This method is used as a means of monitoring the growth of the baby from 6 weeks of gestation without any inconvenience to the patient.

Trans-vaginal ultrasound

A trans-vaginal ultrasound may be done to produce a clearer image. This ultrasound is more likely to be used during the early stages of pregnancy, when capturing a clear image may be more difficult. It helps with dating the pregnancy from as early as 5 weeks of gestation. For this test, a small ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina. The probe rests against the back of your vagina while the images are captured.

About your Ultrasound Guided Injections

Ultrasound Guided Injections (Please call for an appointment)

An Ultrasound Guided Injection is used to relieve pain, administer medication, and treat an assortment of conditions. The current literature proves that ultrasound guided injections are far superior to “blind” injections in regards to the accuracy of the needle placement. This is very important if the doctor is trying to avoid more painful or dangerous areas, or if the doctor wants to direct the treatment to a very specific area.

In addition the ultrasound allows the radiologist to inject structures that would not normally be possible to hit “blindly” such as nerves, cysts, tendons, and fluid collections which helps increase the effectiveness of treatment and allows for the use of a thinner, less painful needle.


Ultrasound Guided Injections are used to treat a variety of different symptoms and conditions:

  • Pain from arthritis
  • Pain from tendonitis
  • Accurate targeting of a problem area
  • Fluid removal or prevention of fluid collection
  • Pain management prior to surgery

This procedure is most often used in the shoulder, knee, or hip but may also be helpful in other smaller joints.

Care After Your Procedure

You may experience more soreness in the joint after the injection but may also feel better initially due to the local anaesthetic. The anaesthetic will generally wear off after a few hours and you may have more soreness in the joint than before the injection. This soreness may last for 2-3 days after the injection. The steroid will take about 5-7 days to start its effect on reducing the pain. If the pain becomes much worse in the days following the injection, this may indicate either an aggravation of the synovitis by the injection or very rarely an infection of the joint. If this occurs you should contact your referring doctor or give us a call so we can guide you on what needs to be done.

It is important that you keep the injection site dry after the injection for at least 24 hours. You may use an ice pack to help manage the soreness. Limit your activity for at least and ask your doctor when you may resume and how much is allowed. Depending on the treatment received, it will take differing amounts of time until you may see or feel results.

Risks of Ultrasound Guided Injections

Ultrasound guided injections are done in a sterile condition and generally has minimal risks associated with it. However here are some of the possible complications:

  • Infection, which is very small and probably lies between 1 in 20,000 and 1 in 75,000 injections performed.
  • Aggravation of the pain due to irritation of the joint lining by crystals in the steroid solution.
  • Soft tissues damage at the injection site, including atrophy (a weakening) of the skin or subcutaneous fat (found just beneath the skin) and rupture of the tendons around the joint.
  • Bleeding into the joint
  • Allergy to the injected medication (as with any drug) - very uncommon.

You should advise your doctor and the radiologist of any allergies or complication that arises after your procedure.

About your Ultrasound Guided Fine Needle Aspiration / Biopsy

Ultrasound Guided Fine Needle Aspiration / Biopsy (Please call for an appointment)

Ultrasound guided Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA), is a quick and simple procedure to perform, which removes fluid or cells from a cyst or nodule. An FNA is performed to determine the nature of the nodule, and to plan treatment if necessary or to drain a large or painful cyst.

How an FNA or biopsy is performed

You will usually need to lie on your back on the bed or sit up depending on the area. The skin of the area that needs to be biopsied or aspirated is washed with antiseptic and a fine needle is used to give local anaesthetic to numb the area for the FNA/biopsy. A thin needle, similar to a needle used for taking a blood sample is placed through the skin into the cyst/nodule, using ultrasound guidance, to sample the area of interest. The needle stays in the cyst/nodule for a short time, and is gently moved back and forth within the nodule so cells are collected into the needle.

The sample of fluid or cells is smeared on a glass slide and sent to a pathology laboratory to be examined by a specialist doctor (a cytologist) under a microscope.

Care After Your Procedure

After the procedure, the biopsy site may be tender or show some bruising. We suggest taking Paracetamol to reduce discomfort; otherwise, no special care is required.

  • You will be able to leave the clinic shortly after the procedure
  • You may drive yourself home after the procedure
  • ou may resume your normal activities
  • You may remove the adhesive dressing the evening of the FNA

If the area of your FNA or biopsy becomes swollen or tender in the days after your FNA, please see your doctor or contact our clinic to check the FNA site.

Risks of FNA or biopsy

Fine Needle Aspiration and biopsy is a safe procedure. It is common to get a small skin bruise whichmay cause a tender lump. This usually settles in a few days. More significant bleeding or infection is rare.

About your Bone Densitometry Scan

Bone Densitometry Scan (No appointment needed)

Bone Densitometry or DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan measures the density of your bones and how strong they are. You may have one as part of a routine check for low bone-mineral density – a condition that makes bones more fragile.

Your doctor may suggest a DEXA scan if you are at risk of developing osteoporosis. This is a condition where your bones lose their density and become weak, brittleand more likely to fracture (break). DEXA scans can also help spot osteopenia, a similar but less severe condition, which can develop into osteoporosis over time.

Your doctor may recommend a DEXA scan if you fracture a bone after a minor bump, fall or during an everyday activity, like bending over. They may think your bone density should be checked because you are at an increased risk of osteoporosis because of your age or medical history. Becoming more stooped and losing height are signs of fragile bones.

DEXA scans use X-ray equipment but at very low levels of radiation. They are safe, quick and painless. A DEXA scan projects X-rays onto your bones, usually in your hip and spine for the best results. It detects how much radiation is absorbed by your bones, which shows how dense they are.

Some health conditions and medication increases the risk of oeteoporosis. These include:

  • liver disease
  • diabetes
  • respiratory (breathing) problems
  • gastric (stomach) problems
  • eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa
  • kidney disease
  • blood disorders
  • rheumatology problems like arthritis
  • corticosteroids.
  • menopause (especially in younger women)
  • being malnourished and underweight.
How is a DEXA scan performed

The scan will usually take between five and 20 minutes.You will lie on your back on a padded table during the scan. Unlike some other types of scan, you will not be enclosed in any way (in a tunnel, for example).

An X-ray machine sends X-rays from two sources through your bones to a detector. This is a thin metal arm that moves up and down over the area being tested, usually your hips or spine.

A DEXA scan of your hip and spine is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ for diagnosing osteoporosis and predicting future fracture risk.

The detector measures the amount of radiation that comes through the bone and sends this information to a computer. This shows how dense the bone is. It is important to lie very still as each bone is scanned. This ensures the scan produces clear images.

Because DEXA scans use a very low level of radiation, it is safe for the technician doing the scan to stay in the room with you. They may position your body in a certain way to get the best possible image.

Risks of a DEXA scan

During the scan you will be exposed to some X-ray radiation, but at a very low dose that is close to natural daily radiation levels.

Pregnant women are advised not to have a DEXA scan, as there is a risk the radiation may harm their unborn baby. If you are, or could be, pregnant then please tell your doctor or radiographer.

CT Guided Facet Joint Injection

CT Guided Facet Joint Injection (Please call for an appointment)

Facet joints are small joints at each segment of the spine that provide stability and help guide motion. The facet joints can become painful due to arthritis of the spine, a back injury, or mechanical stress to the back.

A cervical, thoracic or lumbar facet joint injection involves injecting a small amount of local anesthetic (numbing agent) and/or steroid medication, which can anesthetize the facet joints and block the pain. Facet joint injections usually have two goals: to help diagnose the cause and location of pain and also to provide pain relief. The injection procedure may also be called a facet block, as its purpose is to block the pain.

The facet joints are paired joints in the back and neck, one pair at each vertebral level (one joint on each side of the vertebrae). These joints have opposing surfaces of cartilage (cushioning tissue between the bones) and a surrounding capsule that is filled with synovial fluid, which reduces the friction between bones that rub together.

Cervical facet joints are located on the back or side of the neck. Thoracic facet joints are in the upper back and lumbar facet joints are in the lower back. Depending on which joints are affected, pain can be located in different areas of the body:

  • Cervical facet joints. Pain caused by cervical facet joints (in the neck) is usually felt in the head, neck, shoulder, and/or arm.
  • Thoracic facet joints. Pain caused by thoracic facet joints (in the upper spine) is typically felt in the upper back, chest, and/or arm (rarely).
  • Lumbar facet joints. Pain cause by lumbar facet joints (in the lower spine) is typically felt in the lower back, hip, buttock, and/or leg.
How is a Facet Joint Injection performed

The procedure is performed without any sedation. However, an IV line can be started if relaxation medicine is needed.The patient lies on a procedure table, and the skin over the area to be tested is well cleansed.

The radiologist treats a small area of skin with a numbing medicine (anesthetic), which may sting for a few seconds and later he/she will use the CT scan to direct a very small needle into the facet joint.A small amount of contrast dye is then injected to confirm that the needle is in the joint and that medication is contained inside the joint.

Following this confirmation, a small mixture of anesthetic (such as lidocaine) and anti-inflammatory medication (steroid/cortisone) is then slowly injected into the joint.The injection itself only takes a few minutes, but the entire procedure usually takes between fifteen and thirty minutes.

Care after your procedure

After the procedure, the patient typically remains resting in the recovery area for ten to twenty minutes and then is asked to perform some movements or activities that would usually provoke their pain.

Patients may or may not obtain pain relief in the first few hours after the injection, depending upon whether or not the joints targeted are the main source of their pain. If the joint or joints being targeted are not causing their pain, a patient will not obtain immediate relief from injection.

On occasion, patients may feel numb or have a slightly weak or odd feeling in their neck or back for a few hours after the injection. The patient will discuss with the doctor any immediate pain relief, and any questions or concerns.

The Day of the Injection

On the day of the injection, patients are typically advised as follows:

  • Avoid doing any strenuous activities.
  • Patients should limit pain medicine within the first four to six hours after the injection so that the diagnostic information obtained is accurate.
  • Avoid driving and if sedation was used, the patient should not drive for 24 hours after the procedure.

Week after the Facet Injection

Patients may notice a slight increase in pain lasting for several days as the numbing medicine wears off and before the cortisone starts to take effect. In the week following the injection, common recommendations include:

  • If the area is uncomfortable in the first two to three days after the injection, carefully applying ice or a cold pack to the general area of the injection site will typically provide pain relief.
  • Patients may continue to take their regular pain medicine after the procedure.
  • On the day after the procedure, patients may return to their regular activities.
  • Patients may be referred for physical therapy or manual therapy after the injection while the numbing medicine is effective and/or over the next several weeks while the cortisone is working.

When the pain is improved, it is advisable to start regular exercise and activities in moderation. Even if the pain relief is significant, it is still important to increase activities gradually over one to two weeks to avoid recurrence of pain.

Risks of doing a Facet Joint Injection

As with all invasive medical procedures, there are potential risks and complications associated with facet joint injections. However, in general, the risk is low and complications are rare.

Potential risks and/or complications that may occur from a facet joint injection include:

  • Allergic reaction to contrast, steroid or local anaesthetic.
  • Bleeding
  • Minor infections (less than 1% to 2% of all injections) Severe infections are rare, occurring in 0.1% to 0.01% of injections.
  • Discomfort at the point of the injection or worsening of pain symptoms.
  • Nerve or spinal cord damage or paralysis – very rare

In addition to risks from the injection, some patients will experience side effects from the steroid medication, such as:

  • Transient flushing with a feeling of warmth ('hot flushes')
  • Fluid retention
  • Weight gain
  • Increased appetite
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • High blood sugar - diabetic patients should inform their primary care physicians about the injection prior to their appointment
  • Transient decrease in immunity
  • Cataracts - a rare result of excessive and/or prolonged steroid usage
  • Severe arthritis of the hips or shoulders (avascular necrosis) - a rare result of excessive and/or prolonged steroid usage

Patients who are on a blood thinning medication or have an active infection should inform their doctor or radiologist, as they may not be able to have this procedure before stopping their medication.Patients should also let their doctor know of any allergies they have to medications that may be used for the procedure.

CT Guided Nerve Root Sleeve Injection

CT Guided Nerve Root Sleeve Injection (Please call for an appointment)

The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae. Between each vertebra is a ‘disc’ that allows the spine to be flexible. In between adjacent vertebrae, there is an opening on each side called a foramen, through which a nerve exits on its way to the hands, thorax and legs. The nerve is surrounded by a ‘sleeve of fat’. Injection of corticosteroid (or ‘steroid’) and/or a local anaesthetic in the fat surrounding the nerve root is called nerve root sleeve injection. Corticosteroid medication decreases inflammation in the nerve root and will often reduce pain caused by nerve root inflammation, irritation of the nerve caused by arthritis or conditions such as disc degeneration or prolapsed disc (where the disc bulges).

Back and/or leg pain can come from compression of the nerve as it passes through the foramen. Compression can come from a damaged, bulging disc or from extra bone that grows as a response to arthritis in the joints between the vertebrae. Inflammation from scar tissue and swelling after surgery on the spine can also irritate the nerves in the lower back.

An injection of corticosteroid around the nerve root may alleviate the pain by reducing inflammation of the nerve. If the pain is suspected to come from a particular root, but it is not certain which one blocking the root with anaestheticconfirms or rules out that particular root as the cause.

How is a Nerve Root Sleeve Injection Performed

You will be asked to change into a robe asked to lie on the CT scanning table on a thin plastic mattress. Plastic tape with small metal markers attached to it will be taped onto your back. The scanning table will be moved into the scanner and CT images or pictures of your spine will be taken. The tape with the markers is used to mark the spot, or level, in your spine where the needle for the lumbar nerve root sleeve injection will enter the skin. The spot will be marked on your skin with a pen and the tape removed.

The skin on the back is cleaned with antiseptic, which is usually very cold. The area is then covered with a sterile drape.The radiologist will inject local anaesthetic into the skin and deeper tissues in your back at the level of the nerve root. This will numb the skin and deeper tissues. This produces a pin prick and a stinging sensation that is uncomfortable for a few seconds. You will be awake and only the area where the nerve root sleeve injection is being carried out will be numb.

When the skin and muscles are numb, a thin spinal needle is then guided into place. CT scanning will be used to guide this so the doctor can confirm accurate placement of the needle.

When the needle is in the correct location, contrast medium (X-ray dye) may be injected to check the needle position. Contrast medium allows the X-ray to show the blood vessels more clearly on the images. A combination of corticosteroid and long-acting local anaesthetic is then injected into the tissue surrounding the nerve root.

The placement of the needle and injection of contrast into the foramen may produce some discomfort if the foramen is very tight from disc problems or a bony spur compressing the nerve root. The long-acting local anaesthetic very rapidly numbs the nerve.

The area supplied by the nerve becomes numbs as well causing you to not feel your arm or legs for a while. This can be worrying when it happens, but you should be aware that the feeling and movement will recover soon.

Because you will be lying on your stomach during the procedure and will be uncomfortable if your stomach is too full, it is advisable to limit food intake to a light meal only, up to 2 hours before the procedure. You should wear comfortable clothes that are easy to remove and leave jewellery at home.

The actual procedure itself takes approximately 15 minutes.

Care after your procedure

You may be monitored for 2–3 hours after the procedure, so please allow for this. You should arrange for someone to take you home after the procedure, as it is not advisable to drive for the rest of the day as you may have numbness, weakness or other temporary side-effects after the procedure.

  • The leg is usually numb for a period of time. If the anaesthetic spreads into the spinal canal, the opposite leg may also be numb for a period of time (minutes to 1–2 hours).
  • There may be an increase in the leg pain when the injection starts, particularly if the root in the foramen is severely compressed. The pain eases off when the anaesthetic spreads around the compressed root.

You may also have your blood pressure and breathing monitored after the procedure.

Risks of doing a Nerve Root Sleeve Injection

As with all invasive medical procedures, there are potential risks associated with nerve root sleeve steroid injections. In addition to temporary numbness of the bowels and bladder, the most common potential risks and complications include:Save

  • Allergic reaction to contrast, steroid or local anaesthetic.
  • Infection - Severe infections are rare, occurring in 0.1% to 0.01% of injections.
  • Dural puncture - A dural puncture occurs in 0.5% of injections, which can cause headaches that usually improves within a few days.
  • Bleeding. Bleeding is a rare complication and is more common for patients with underlying bleeding disorders.
  • Nerve damage. While extremely rare, nerve damage can occur from direct trauma from the needle, or from infection or bleeding.

In addition to risks from the injection, there are also potential side effects from the steroid medication itself which include:

  • Localized increase in pain
  • Non-positional headaches resolving within 24 hours
  • Facial flushing
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
  • Fever the night of injection
  • High blood sugar
  • A transient decrease in immunity
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Severe arthritis of the hips (avascular necrosis)
  • Cataracts

About Your Results

After completing your scans, you can collect your hard copy/disc that contains the images that were taken. You can also access your scan images via a link that will be attached to your report. In most cases, the report of your scan will be sent via an internet-link/fax or email to your referring doctor.

In cases where an urgent report is needed, the radiologist will report the procedure immediately and contact your doctor with the results.


Before performing some scans, you will need to be prepped to enable us in viewing and diagnosing your condition better. Below is the list of preparations needed for the given scan.



Fast for 6-8 hours prior to your procedure (nothing to eat, drink, smoke or chew)

Small sips of clear fluids – water, black tea or coffee is permitted with your medication


Fast for 6-8 hours prior to your procedure (nothing to eat, drink, smoke or chew)

Please drink 1L of water finishing 1 hour prior to your appointment so your bladder is full

Please refrain from going to the toilet

Only have clear fluids – water, black tea or coffee

You can continue taking your medication as per normal with the clear fluids


Please drink 1L of water finishing 1 hour prior to your appointment so your bladder is full

Please refrain from going to the toilet

Only have clear fluids – water, black tea or coffee

You can continue taking your medication as per normal with the clear fluids

Depending on imaging findings at the time of your study, you may be asked if you wish to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound as this can often provide additional information that will help the Radiologist make a more accurate diagnosis.


Dating Scan

Please drink 1L of water finishing 1 hour prior to your appointment so your bladder is full

Please refrain from going to the toilet

Fetal Anatomy Scan (17-22 weeks)

Please drink 2-3 glasses of water finishing 30 mins prior to your appointment so your bladder is full

Please refrain from going to the toilet


Please drink 1L of water finishing 1 hour prior to your appointment so your bladder is full

Please refrain from going to the toilet

Doppler – Renal and Aortic

Fast for 6-8 hours prior to your procedure (nothing to eat, drink, smoke or chew)

Please drink 1L of water finishing 1 hour prior to your appointment so your bladder is full

Please refrain from going to the toilet

Only have clear fluids – water, black tea or coffee

You can continue taking your medication as per normal with the clear fluids


Neck and Chest

Fast for 4 hours prior to your procedure

Abdomen and Pelvis

Please drink 1L of water and finishing just before your procedure

Please refrain from going to then toilet


Nerve Root Sleeve Injections

Please ensure you have someone to drive you after the procedure

Please notify staff when you are booking if you are on blood thinning medication (warfarin) or diabetic

You will need to rest for 2-3 days after the procedure

Facet Joint Injections

Please ensure you have someone to drive you after the procedure

Please notify staff when you are booking if you are on blood thinning medication (warfarin) or diabetic

You will need to rest for 2-3 days after the procedure

Billing Policy

My Radiology Centre is a FULLY BULK BILLED practice. That means all patients referred by a registered medical practitioner will have NO OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES for all Medicare rebateable items.

For Allied Health Care Practitioners (AHP) – Physiotherapist, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Podiatrist and Participating Nurse Practitioners – bulk billing only applies to approved Medicare rebateable procedures (click here to check items that are approved for cover by Medicare for AHP referral)

For patients without a Medicare card or have a non-Medicare rebateable scan, we charge a competitive private fee for the procedures done. Patients will be informed of the charges before having their scan and can make payments via cash, EFTPOS or credit card.

Privacy Policy

My Radiology Centre respects the privacy of our patients. Our policy in regards to the handling of personal information complies with the National Privacy Principles for the fair handling of personal information as set out in the Privacy Act, 1988. We are required to demonstrate these high standards of confidentiality in order to achieve accreditation under the Australian Government’s Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme.

My Radiology Centre will only collect information that is necessary for health purposes as provided by you and your referring doctor, and should not be unreasonably intrusive. We endeavour to ensure that the information provided to us remains private and is used only for the purposes agreed by our patients. We will never sell or disclose confidential/personal information about our patients to drug companies or other health organisations who are not involved in your medical care. In addition to your personal details, the health information that My Radiology Centre collects includes the results of tests conducted by us. These results are usually contained in the report prepared by our radiologists after your examination. This information is then passed on to the referring practitioner.

My Radiology Centre will only use or disclose your health information for the primary purpose for which it was collected, and for related secondary medical purposes which are within your reasonable expectations, or for which you have given consent.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What if I'm not covered under Medicare?

You will be billed as a private patient in which case you will have to pay either by cash or credit card.

If I have Medicare eligibility would I still have any out of pocket expenses?

If you have Medicare eligibility for the scan performed you will have NO out of pocket expenses as it will be wholly covered by Medicare.

How long will a typical scan/injection take?

Depending on the type of scan or injection, typically X-Ray's will take approximately 10 to 20 minutes, Ultrasounds 20 to 45 minutes, and CT scans 15 to 30 minutes. Please bear in mind that these estimates may vary based on the complexities of the study.

How long do I have to wait to obtain the results to my scan?

Urgent scans are reported immediately whereas all other scans are reported by the end of the day. Reports will usually be available to your doctor by the end of the day or on the next working day.

Can I use other request forms instead of MRC's at your practice?

YES! My Radiology Centre accepts request forms from all other practices.

I don't have a request form but I feel like I require a scan. What do I do?

Speak to your general practitioner/specialist/other allied health practitioners and they will provide you with a request form for the appropriate scan if deemed necessary. My Radiology Centre will not perform any studies/scans without request forms.

What do I need to do before a scan?

Refer to the Patients Preparation page. (Please note X-Rays, OPG's and Bone Densitometry scans do not require any preparations)

What is OPG?

OPG also known as Orthopantomogram is a specialised panoramic dental X-ray of the upper and lower teeth and jaw typically requested by a Dentist.

What is CT?

Computed tomography (CT) is an advanced X-Ray scan that employs tomography created by computer processing to obtain high resolution images of various body parts rapidly. The image quality and detail obtained is superior to general X-Rays. Images can also be manipulated to obtain 3-Dimensional visualisation of the organ of interest.