Frequently Asked Questions
Patient Safety and Comfort
You may take your daily medications unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
Many of our patients struggle with small spaces. If you think you might have an issue with an enclosed space, please speak with your primary care physician about a prescription for anxiety medication. If you take medication for anxiety, please make sure you have also secured a driver to get you home safely.
We ask that you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing without metal buttons or zippers. You may be asked to change into a set of scrubs for image quality and safety reasons. While we do have lockers, we recommend that you leave valuables at home, such as jewelry or a watch, so they don’t get misplaced. You may need to remove anything that contains metal, such as eyeglasses, dentures, or hearing aids, during the test.
You should arrive 20-30 minutes before your exam to provide time for our staff to greet you, help you fill out any necessary paperwork, and have you change into a gown, if necessary.
When you arrive, you will be greeted by our staff who will direct you to complete any necessary paperwork and have you change into a gown, if necessary. One of our friendly technologists will guide you to the examination room and assist you in lying down on a padded, motorized examination table that is attached to a machine with a donut-hole-looking opening.
Once you are positioned and comfortable, the motorized table will slowly move into the donut hole and the images will be taken in sequence. After each image is taken, the table will adjust slightly. You must lie still and may be asked to hold your breath while the images are taken to achieve the best results.
During the scan, the technician will be out of the room and communicate with you through an intercom. If the patient is a child, a parent or adult will be allowed to be in the room, but will be asked to wear a lead apron to prevent unnecessary radiation exposure.
The scan is painless, but some patients experience slight discomfort from staying still for a period of time. A mild sedative is available for patients who need it.
It is important for image clarity and the best scan results to hold still during the exam. The technologists will inform you when you may move between scans. Keep in mind a routine exam can take at least 20 minutes.
You will be always in contact with a technologist. Even when he or she is not in the exam room, you will be able to talk to him or her by intercom. If it is safe for both you and them, a family member can stay in the room with you during your scan. We prioritize everyone's safety so if you have questions about your specific situation, please contact the facility and ask one of our team members.
The results will be given to your referring physician as soon as the images are interpreted and analyzed by one of our subspecialty-trained radiologists. Your doctor will share the results with you.
A typical diagnostic CT scan takes 15-30 minutes.
When you arrive, you will be greeted by our team members who will direct you to complete any necessary paperwork and have you change into a gown, if necessary. One of our friendly technologists will guide you to the examination room and assist you in lying down on a padded, motorized examination table that is attached to a machine with a donut-hole-looking opening. Once you are positioned and comfortable, the motorized table will slowly move into the donut hole and the images will be taken in sequence. After each image is taken, the table will adjust slightly. You must lie still and may be asked to hold your breath while the images are taken to achieve the best results.
During the scan, the technician will be out of the room and communicate with you through an intercom. If the patient is a child, a parent or adult will be allowed to be in the room, but will be asked to wear a lead apron to prevent unnecessary radiation exposure. The scan is painless, but some patients experience slight discomfort from staying still for a period of time.
There are no lasting effects from a Diagnostic CT exam. You may move around and drive immediately after your procedure, unless you have taken any anti-anxiety medication.
MRI scans have been performed safely and successfully for more than 20 years. There are no health risks associated with the magnetic field or radio waves.
However, MRI exams are not for everyone. If you have metallic/surgical implants or any of the following conditions please notify your physician or technologist prior to the exam to make sure an MRI scan is right for you.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Aneurysm clips in the brain
- Implanted spinal cord stimulator
- Inner ear (cochlear) implants
- Metal fragments in one or both eyes
- Metallic implants
Also, please alert our staff if you:
- Have dental bridges
- Wear a hearing aid(s)
- Have ever been a metal worker
- Are pregnant or think you might be
The magnet makes a slight rapping sound as images are being taken. In between scans the machine is quiet. You can choose to use our A/V goggles to watch your favorite movie or listen to music. Or, the MRI technologist will provide you with hearing protection, but its use will not prevent you from hearing the technologist if he or she speaks to you during the exam.
The actual scan portion of the exam takes only a few minutes, but each exam is made up of a sequence of scans that vary from study to study. Most scans will average 25 – 40 minutes.
A technologist will escort you into the exam room and help you get comfortable on a padded table. You will have the option to enjoy multi-media goggles and headphones to watch a DVD or listen to music on an iPod or CD. You are welcome to bring your own DVD or music or select from one of our options. To achieve clear images, it is important to lie very still and you may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time. You will hear some humming, buzzing, and/or tapping sounds while the exam is conducted. You will not feel anything except for a light vibration.
There are no lasting effects from an MRI exam. You may move around and drive immediately after your procedure, unless you have taken any anti-anxiety medication.
Yes, MRI scans are safe for children. Some children need medication to help them relax and stay still during the exam. You should speak with your child's physician to obtain a prescription if one is needed. A parent or adult must stay with the child during the exam.
You may eat and drink before your exam unless otherwise instructed by your physician or one of our team members.
Some MRI studies require contrast, which is a fluid injected through a vein that appears brighter on your MRI image to help our radiologists identify certain diseases. Not all MRI procedures require the use of contrast. Check with your doctor to find out if you will receive contrast for your exam.
The entire process of getting a PET/CT exam usually takes 1½ to 2 hours.
When you arrive at the facility, you will be asked to fill out some paperwork prior to the scan. Then our technologist will escort you to an area where you will receive an IV line that infuses a radio-pharmaceutical. After the injection, you will be escorted to one of our quiet private rooms complete with a comfortable recliner to relax for one hour. Once you’re completely relaxed, our technologist will take you to the scanner where you’ll be on the table for about 30 – 45 minutes. The scan itself causes no pain and our staff will be by your side to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.
It is important that you drink water and empty your bladder often for the rest of the day. This will result in a more rapid clearance of radioactivity from your body. You can drive and resume normal activities immediately after leaving our office, unless you have taken any anti-anxiety medication.
Your sonographer will apply a warm water-based gel to the area of examination. This allows the waves to easily pass through the body, while also reducing friction from the transducer. As the transducer is lightly pressed on the area of examination, sound waves are transmitted through the body, and an image is produced that is analyzed by our radiologist.
A typical examination is usually completed within 5-10 minutes.
One of our friendly technologists will position you on the X-ray table and place the X-ray digital recording plate under the table in the area of the body being imaged. A lead apron may be placed over your pelvic or chest area, when feasible, to protect from radiation. To achieve the clearest image possible, you should hold very still and may be asked to hold your breath while the X-ray image is taken. Once you are in the correct position, our technologist will activate the X-ray machine. Depending on the type of scan(s) your physician requested, you may be re-positioned for another view and the process will be repeated. Two or three images (from different angles) will be taken around a joint (knee, elbow or wrist).
A bone X-ray examination is usually completed within 5-10 minutes.
There are no lasting effects from an X-ray exam. You may move around and drive immediately after your procedure.
About our Technology
A CT (Computed Tomography) is a scan that allows doctors to see structures in your body, like bones, organs, and other tissues. It is a non-invasive procedure using a series of X-rays that are taken at different angles around your body. It then uses a computer to create cross-sections or slices of your body. CTs are able to image nearly any part of the body and are often used for diagnosing trauma, bone and joint problems, finding masses, and internal bleeding.
Diagnostic ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging modality that utilizes high-frequency sound waves to create internal images of the body. Ultrasound produces very precise images of your soft tissue (heart, blood vessels, uterus, bladder, etc.) and reveals internal motion such as your heartbeat and blood flow. These images can then be used for diagnosing and treating diseases.
X-ray examinations are among the most widely used medical imaging techniques to diagnose and treat a range of medical conditions. Our advanced digital X-ray equipment enables faster scan processing and requires less radiation than conventional X-ray (radiography) machines.
Each modality images differently. Sometimes it is necessary to image with different modalities in different ways for the best diagnosis. We rely on the experience of your provider to order the right test that will provide the imaging needed for a diagnosis. If additional imaging is needed, the radiologist will recommend it.
Ultrasound uses sound waves, no ionizing radiation, and has no known significant risks.
No. An MRI scan uses a powerful magnet in conjunction with radio frequency waves to generate images of your internal organs and structures. It's one of the least invasive tests that can see inside the body.