• About your visit to the Prairie Diagnostic Center
    For your convenience we have listed below some information that will help you know what to expect when you visit the Prairie Diagnostic Center for a cardiac catheterization, cardiac CT angiography or vascular ultrasound testing.

    Cardiac Catheterization
    A cardiac catheterization is a procedure during which X-ray motion picture films are taken of your heart and the arteries that supply it with much needed oxygen rich blood. Generally, the procedure is not painful. If needed, your cardiologist may order a mild sedative.

    How does the testing work? 

    • A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin in the groin or arm area and a very small incision or “puncture” is made.
    • A thin plastic tube “catheter” is placed into the leg or arm artery and the cardiologist passes a catheter to your heart and releases dye into the arteries. X-ray pictures are then taken and will show if and where there are any blockages in your arteries.
    • You may experience a warm sensation in your chest when the X-ray dye is injected.

    What can I expect after the testing is complete? 

    • You will be taken back to your room and pressure will be applied to the groin or arm puncture until oozing stops.
    • Stitches are sometimes required in the arm.
    • You will lay flat for two to four to minimize bruising and prevent bleeding from the puncture site. Once it is determined that the puncture site is sealed you will gradually move to an upright position and walk with assistance.
    • You will be encouraged to drink and offered food. 

    Preparing for your cardiac procedure 

    Your cardiologist’s office staff will schedule your testing at the Prairie Diagnostic Center at St. John’s Hospital. Once this is completed you should pre-register by contacting the Prairie Diagnostic Center at (217) 527-3700 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. or pre-register online If we do not hear from you we will be contacting you within 48 hours of your scheduled procedure date. 

    You will be asked the following questions 

    • Do you have any known allergy to X-ray dye or seafood?
    • Do you have kidney disease?
    • Who will accompany you to and from the procedure?
    • Do you need a “hotel” room?
    • Are you taking aspirin or a blood thinner such as Coumadin?
    • Are you taking medication for diabetes?
    • Did you physician tell you to continue taking any other medications that you are currently taking? 

    What you may be asked to bring with you the day of the procedure

    • Pre-certification letter from your insurance company.
    • Insurance cards.
    • Results of all lab tests performed within 14 days prior to the procedure.
    • Tests include electrolyte panel, blood count, urinalysis and a ProTime if taking a blood thinner.
    • Your cardiologist will discuss with you all testing requirements and if repeat testing is necessary.
    • List of all medications that you are currently taking and include dosage and the times taken.
    • You will be asked to leave any valuables or money at home or give them to the person coming with you to and from the procedure. 

    The day of your procedure 

    • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night prior to your procedure unless directed to do so by your cardiologist or his/her nurse.
    • Wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing.
    • Leave jewelry, valuables, and money at home.
    • Bring with you those items discussed in the “What you may be asked to bring with you the day of the procedure” section.
    • Arrive to the Prairie Diagnostic Center at St. John’s Hospital Reception Desk 90 minutes before to your scheduled procedure time.

    Results from your testing 

    Your cardiologist will discuss the results of your cardiac catheterization and provide a treatment plan for you before leaving the Prairie Diagnostic Center at St. John’s Hospital.

    Philips machine 

    Cardiac CT scan  

    Computed Tomography (CT) System, also known as a “CAT Scan” is a medical diagnostic tool that creates images of your body’s internal structures. These images are combined to form a three-dimensional view of your anatomy for your physician to analyze and then determine the presence of any cardiovascular disease. Dye and specific medications may be prescribed for certain CT procedures.

    If you are having a procedure with dye you can expect the following:

    • A needle will be inserted into your arm at the time of testing.
    • Your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored.
    • Prior to your test beginning the supervising physician may prescribe some additional medication to assist in getting the best pictures. Your test may be delayed to allow this medication to take effect.


    What do do BEFORE testing 

    • STOP using ALL caffeine products, (including coffee, colas, “decaf” products, tea, and chocolate) for 24 hours prior to scheduled test.
    • No food or dairy products for 2 hours prior to your scheduled arrival time.
    • Drink 2 large glasses of water before your arrival time.
    • Take your prescribed morning medications, including your heart and /or blood pressure medications.
    • Wear comfortable clothing.
    • A needle will be inserted into your arm at the time of testing.
    • Before your test begins your supervising physician may prescribe some additional medication to assist in getting the best pictures. Your test may be delayed to allow this medication to take effect.
    • If it is necessary to cancel your appointment please notify the doctor’s office at least 24 hours in advance.

    Twenty-four hours prior to scheduled test

    Drink PLENTY of fluids 24 hours prior to your procedure STOP using ALL caffeine products including those labeled "CAFFEINE-FREE.”

    This means:

    • No coffee, cappuccino, or tea; (this includes instant, iced or decaffeinated.)
    • No colas or soft drinks with caffeine, including those labeled “caffeine-free.”
    • No chocolate products, including candies, cocoa, and chocolate milk.
    • No over-the-counter decongestants

    The day of the procedure

    • No food or dairy products two hours before your scheduled arrival time.
    • Drink 2 large glasses of water before your arrival time.
    • Take your prescribed morning medications including your heart and/or blood pressure medicines.

    What can I expect after the testing is complete? 

    If you have received dye and specific cardiac medication during the testing your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored for at least 15 to 30 minutes. The needle will be removed and you may return to normal daily activity. Within 72 hours of your testing your cardiologist will discuss the results of your procedure and provide a treatment plan for you.

    Vascular Ultrasound Testing 

    Vascular ultrasound testing uses high frequency sound waves to look at the arteries and veins in the body. The testing will determine if you have any vascular disease or blockages of the arteries or veins.

    Carotid, Arterial and Venous ultrasound testing: 

    • Take your prescribed morning medications, including your heart and/or blood pressure medicines.
    • Wear comfortable clothing. If having a Carotid ultrasound make sure to wear a shirt that is loose fitting around the neck.
    • Leave all jewelry, valuables and money at home.

    Abdominal ultrasound (Renal, Mesenteric, Aorta and Iliac): 

    • What to do the day before your vascular ultrasound testing:
    • Take an antigas medication such as gas-x before going to bed.
    • No food after midnight.

    The day of your procedure: 

    • No food the morning of the testing.
    • Take your prescribed morning medications with small sips of water.
    • If you take insulin or medicine for diabetes wait and take this after testing.

    What can I expect after the test is over?

    Testing is read by a physician specialized in reading vascular ultrasounds. You may return to normal activity after leaving the Center, unless otherwise directed by your physician. Within 2 to 3 business days your cardiologist will discuss the results of your procedure and provide a treatment plan for you.