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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

 
What does the staff need to know about me?
           
Besides complete information about your medical history, your doctor and the staff must know if you have any metal in your body which cannot be removed, including:

  • PACEMAKER
  • IMPLANTED INSULIN PUMPS
  • ANEURYSM CLIPS
  • VASCULAR COILS AND FILTERS
  • HEART VALVES
  • EAR IMPLANTS
  • SURGICAL STAPLES AND WIRES
  • SHARPNEL
  • BONE OR JOINT REPLACEMENTS
  • METAL PLATES, RODS, PINS OR SCREWS
  • CONTRACEPTIVE DIAPHRAMS OR COILS
  • PENILE IMPLANTS
  • PERMANENT DENTURES

In most cases, you can be scanned even though you have metal implants. Nevertheless, the radiologist and staff must be aware of them. Also, tell a member of the staff if there is a possibility of you being pregnant, if you are pregnant, and if you are breast feeding.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SCANNED IF YOU HAVE A PACEMAKER OR OTHER IMPLANTED MECHANICALLY, ELECTRICALLY OR MAGNETICALLY ACTIVATED DEVICE. UNLESS SPECIFICALLY ORDERED BY THE RADIOLOGIST, YOU WILL NOT BE SCANNED IF YOU HAVE METAL IMPLANTS IN THE HEAD REGION.


What will happen when I get scanned?

A trained professional will help you into position on the scanner bed. This bed slides directly into the scanner. Ask for a blanket if you are cold. It may be necessary to place a special coil on or around the area to be scanned. This special coil is actually a special antenna that enables the scanner to pick up signals with more clarity from the portion of anatomy that is being scanned. Once you are positioned, all you have to do is relax and lie as still as you can. You will be able to talk to a member of the staff in the next room who will be able to see and hear you during the entire scan. You can have a companion stay in the scanning room with you throughout the scan. Parents are encouraged to be in the room with their children during the scan.

The procedure will take approximately 15 minutes or longer depending on your scan. After the scan you can resume all normal activities immediately. Infrequently, certain types of scans require the use of an injected contrast agent. If your doctor ordered this type of scan, our staff member will explain the contrast agent to you and answer your questions.


Is an MRI scan basically the same as a CT scan?

No, except for the fact that they both use computers and they are both used for medical diagnosis, they really have little in common. One of the most important differences between a CT scan and an MRI is the fact that CT scans use X-ray radiation and MRI scans do not. In other words, CT scans are computerized X-rays. For many studies in particular soft tissues, MRIs are diagnostically superior. There are still some situations in which a CT scan should be performed instead of an MRI. Your physician in consultation with the radiologist will be able to tell you when this is the case and why-for the most part.


Do you need a prescription for a scan?

Yes. If you have a reason to believe that a scan would be beneficial in diagnosing your physical condition more accurately, discuss it with a doctor. If your doctor agrees, he or she will refer you. All studies in exception to non contrast body scans requires a prescription from a referring medical practitioner.


Do I have to lie still when I have a scan?

Yes, it is important to minimize movement in order to achieve the best imaging results. The quiet, restful environments of our scanners are certainly conducive, of course, in helping a patient to be relaxed and to lie quietly. If you follow instructions as closely as possible, in all likelihood your images will be “just what the doctor ordered.”

If you find that you are uncomfortable in any way, the attending technologist will be able to help you find a position in which you can rest comfortably. They will also have a number of “props” at their disposal that will help you “rest easy” and help them obtain the best picture possible.


What if I am claustrophobic?

Most claustrophobic patients have little difficulty with the procedure due to the fact that our MRI scanner is considered Open Bore. This allows more room, than regular MRI scanners. Our CT is open at both ends (like a donut). If you are severely claustrophobic, you may ask your doctor or us for a mild sedative.


What sedatives are used for claustrophobia?

Some patients require a mild sedation which is administrated by our attending physician orally prior to the exam. Our physician determines the dosage based on your weight, age, and medications already being taken.  


Can I be allergic to the contrast/dye?

The contrast material used for an MRI is not the same as that used for a CT examination. You should not experience any adverse symptoms from contrast. It is rare to have any type of allergic reaction to the contrast material. An allergy to CT contrast does not mean that you will be allergic to MRI contrast, and does not preclude you from having a contrast enhanced MRI examination.

Some patients experience a brief warm or flushing sensation with CT contrast. It may also give you a “metallic” taste in your mouth. Infrequently, some patients may experience nausea; therefore we recommend not eating at least four hours prior to your exam. These sensations are not to be considered allergic reactions. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to contrast, just like you can to any medication. Should you have a reaction, it is typically minor and might include itching, rash or hives.


How will I find out about my results?

Your scan will be read by our board certified radiologist who then will report to your physician, and your physician will then discuss the findings with you.


How long before the results are ready?

Preliminary results may be sent immediately or within 2 to 4 hours to your physician as needed. A detailed written report of the procedure, findings, and results will follow typically the same day or within 24 hours. If your exam is considered standard, then the result will be sent within 24 to 48 hours.


How long in advance to I need to arrive for my appointment?

Your appointment includes a 30 minute check in time in order to fill out all paperwork required and prepare for your procedure. To ensure a timely visit your assistance in your preparation and prompt arrival is greatly appreciated.


What if my insurance does not cover services provided?

f your insurance does not cover services provided, please contact our office for cash discounts.  We offer affordable pricing for all of our services to all of our patients.