MRI - FAQS

Why am I getting an MRI rather than a CT scan?
A detailed MRI allows physicians to evaluate various parts of the body, and determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods such as X-rays, ultrasounds, or CAT scans. It is important to note that an MRI does not use X-rays.

If there is not any radiation, why should I get a CT scan?
Obtaining MRI images take more time than a CT scan. Areas in the body that move in short periods of time, like your lungs or bowels, may not be ideal for an MRI. Air is largely invisible on an MRI. Remember that lungs are mostly comprised of air. Thus, a CT scan will image parts of the body that are better imaged through other modalities.

Are there any needles? Why do I need a contrast?
Depending on what information your doctor needs, an MRI scan may require the use of a contrast agent, given intravenously, to assist in the visualization of certain anatomical structures in your body.
IV contrast material contains iodine, and it is used to highlight organs and blood vessels that are otherwise difficult to visualize. If an IV contrast material is required for your exam, a small IV will be placed in your arm, or hand, prior to the scan.

I have heard that people cannot have MRI’s. Can I have an MRI?
Please advise your doctors if you have any implanted devices. When you schedule your exam with us, we will ask you if you have any implanted devices, and the make and model of such devices. The reason for these questions is that certain implants may prevent you, for safety reasons, from having your exam. Asking as much information up front will help us make your experience as efficient and as fast as possible. Examples of problematic implants include cardiac pacemakers, old pace maker wires, brain aneurism clips, middle ear prosethesis, and neurosimulators. These are only a few of the implanted devices, so please tell the intake personnel and your technologist if you have any prosthetic device (i.e. hip or knee replacement, etc). As you can see, it is important that we have many checks and balances in place for your scan.Patients should not wear any eye makeup, or hairspray. They contain metal, and can cause problems in a magnetic MRI scanner.

What do I need to bring with me?
Please bring any previous imaging study (X-ray, MRI, and CT), such as reports, films, or CD-ROMs if performed at another facility and are available. On the day of your exam, you will need to bring your prescription, insurance card, and any related insurance forms or pre-approvals. We are able to play a variety of music during your MRI. If you have a preference, simply bring a CD or an IPod.

Do I need to be fasting? Will I have to drink that awful stuff?
If you are having a Cholangiogram (MRCP-Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography), you will have to fast for four hours prior to your exam. If you are having MR-enterography exam, you will be required to drink an oral contrast.

Do I need to have my creatinine level performed before my exam?
If your doctor has ordered an MRI with contrast (Gadolinium), and you have a history of diabetes, kidney (renal) issues, or hypertension, you will have to have your creatinine level obtained prior to your MRI. The blood test must be acquired within six week of your exam.

What should I wear?
Gowns will be provided for your exam. While we have lockers for your clothes and valuables, we recommend that you leave your valuables at home. You will be asked to remove ALL body piercings, jewelry, watches, eyeglasses, hairpins, wallets, and other metallic objects prior to your exam.

When should I arrive for my appointment?
When you schedule your appointment, our scheduling associate will let you know when you should arrive. Depending on the exam, it may be 15-20 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This will allow you enough time to register and complete all the necessary paperwork, forms, or questionnaires. However, it may save you time to download, print, and fill out the necessary forms at home, and bring them with you on the day of your appointment.

What if I might be pregnant?
Please indicate any possibility of pregnancy to your physician and the scheduling office when you book the appointment. Inform the MRI technologist as well when you arrive at the department.

CT SCAN - FAQS

What should I eat or drink?
You may be asked not to eat or drink anything several hours before your exam, especially if a contrast material will be used during your exam. You should inform your physician if you are taking any medications, and if you have any allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. Also, inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions such as a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, or thyroid problems. Any of these conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse affect.

What if I am allergic to IV contrast material?
If you think you may be allergic to IV contrast material, or have experienced a prior reaction to IV contrast material, please notify your referring physician prior to scheduling your CT scan appointment.

What should I wear?
You should wear comfortable, and loose-fitting clothing to your exam. Certain exams may require you to wear a gown, which we will provide. We have lockers for your clothes and valuables, although you may want to leave your valuables at home if you do not need them that day. Metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures, and hairpins may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work.

I am claustrophobic, will I be able to have a scan?
That should not be a problem. A CT scanner is not a tunnel, as opposed to an MRI scanner. You will not be enclosed in a scanner.

What should I bring to my appointment?
In order for us to perform your test, you will need to bring your prescription, insurance card, and any related insurance forms or pre-approvals.

When should I arrive for my appointment?
When you schedule your appointment, our scheduling associate will let you know when to arrive. Depending on the type of exam, this may be 15-20 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. This will allow time for registration, and for you to complete the necessary paperwork, forms, and questionnaires. If you are having a CT scan of your abdomen or pelvis, you may need to arrive one hour before your appointment. You will be asked to drink an oral content material (either barium, iodine, or water) and wait for one hour before the examination, so the oral contrast has enough time to coat your stomach and small intestine. In some medical conditions and types of study, you may be asked to drink one bottle of barium sulfate the night before the study.

Will I have to drink something for my scan and why?
Some abdominal CT scans require the administration of water or oral contrast material to allow the radiologist to evaluate your bowel, and separate the bowel from other important body structures. Oral contrast materials may be made with barium or iodine. Barium-based contrast material is a thick, white flavored drink similar to a milk shake. Iodine-based contrast material is a concentrate, mixed with water or juice. For optimal imagining, a liter of oral contrast material should be consumed an hour before your exam.

What if I might be pregnant?
Women should always inform their physician and the CT technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.

Will I need an IV (Intravenous) for CT scan?
Your physician and the radiologist will determine if IV contrast material will be needed for your CT scan. IV contrast material containing iodine is used to highlight organs and blood vessels that are otherwise difficult to visualize. If IV contrast material is required for your CT scan, a small IV will be placed in your arm or hand prior to the CT scan.

X-RAY - FAQS

What do I need to keep in mind before coming to the exam?
1. Preparation for your X-ray will depend on the type of exam.
2. You must bring your prescription.
3. Please indicate any possibility of pregnancy when you book your appointment with the scheduling office.
4. Please bring any previous imaging study results (X-Ray, MRI, CT, etc.), films, or CD-ROMs, if available.
5. Your arrival time may vary from your appointment time, and our scheduling associate will convey your arrival time to you.

ULTRASOUND - FAQS

What do I need to keep in mind before coming to the exam?
1. Preparation for your ultrasound will depend on the type of exam; our scheduling associate will review with you when you schedule your exam.
2. Wear comfortable clothing. Depending on your exam, you may need to remove clothing and jewelry.
3. Please bring previous imaging study results (X-Ray, MRI, CT, etc.), films, or CD-ROMs, if available.
4. Your arrival time may vary from your appointment time, and our scheduling associate will convey your arrival time to you.