The first thing to note is that there are two types of MUGAs: A) Non-invasive and B) Invasive.
Non-Invasive MUGAs (also called “non-cardiac” or “no heart”) are those which do not involve any invasive procedures such as cardiac catheterization, coronary artery bypass grafting, stenting, etc. These scans are usually done to screen for certain conditions, but they do not detect disease. They may include things like cholesterol levels, blood pressure, thyroid function tests and other routine lab work.
Invasive MUGAs (also called “cardiac” or “heart”) involve invasive procedures such as coronary artery bypass grafting, stents, angioplasty/artery bypass grafting (AVG), coronary artery surgery and so on. These scans are often used to diagnose patients with diseases, monitor their condition and even perform life saving treatments.
There are several kinds of MUGAs; some of them require less preparation than others. Some of these procedures may have side effects that need to be taken into consideration before getting scanned. Also, the type of procedure performed will affect your recovery time after the scan.
Therefore it is very important to make sure you get all necessary pre-scan testing done if possible!
So, how do you prepare for a MUGA scan?
It depends on which type of test you need. The first thing is to determine what type of scan your doctor has ordered. Then, you can search online to see what the pre-scan testing usually involves.
For most types of non-invasive MUGAs, no special preparations are usually required. In some cases, patients may be asked to fast for a period of time before the procedure.
If you have been scheduled for an invasive MUGA scan, then you will probably have an appointment with a cardiologist or other medical professional to make sure you are healthy enough for the test. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications before the scan. For example, if you take blood thinners such as Warfarin (Coumadin) or Plavix (clopidogrel), you will normally be asked to stop these at least five days before the test.
The following steps are universal suggestions that can be used for any type of scan, not just MUGA scans. These steps may help you prepare yourself mentally and physically:
Make sure your tetnal is up to date, just in case.
Make sure you have someone to pick you up after the procedure.
Believe in yourself! You can do it!
Your doctor should tell you how long the test will take, so you should schedule something to do immediately after the scan.
If you need sedation:
If your doctor has prescribed sedatives for you, you must strictly follow the instructions about when to stop eating or drinking before the test. In some cases, you may need to stop taking certain medications before the procedure.
If you have trouble breathing due to a medical condition, let the staff know this when you arrive for your appointment.
Tell any staff members if you are allergic to any medication or have other medical conditions that could impact your test.
Arrive at the facility early so you can find the correct room and restroom, just in case.
Park as close to the building as possible or take public transportation, especially if you have had to fast before the procedure.
If your doctor told you that you are a good candidate for this procedure, you should be able to weather any difficulties during the test. Just stay positive! Things will turn out fine as long as you do your part.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
Most patients feel a sense of apprehension before a procedure, especially if it is being performed on them for the first time. This is completely normal. If you are experiencing an extreme amount of anxiety, speak to a member of the staff about your feelings so they can help you relax.
If you are having trouble sleeping in the days leading up to the procedure, talk to your doctor. He may suggest something for you to take.
If you are getting an injection of the dye that is used during the procedure, eat a light meal or nothing at all before arriving at the facility. You also should not drink any fluids for at least six hours before the test and you may be asked to not eat anything after midnight on the night before your scan. Your exact requirements will depend on what type of dye is being used in your situation.
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