Frequently Asked Questions
Please choose from the following questions to learn more:
- What is MRI?
- What is a CAT Scan?
- What is an Ultrasound?
- When will the results of my examination be available?
- What if I am unable to keep my appointment?
- Does the clinic accept my insurance plan?
- How do I prepare for my exam? (Patient Prep Instructions)
What is MRI?
MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, is a method used by physicians to visualize internal organs of the human body and obtain diagnostic information. These images are produced without the use of radiation. MRI is a noninvasive procedure and there are no known side or after effects. The procedure is painless. You won't see or feel anything during the exam. A faint knocking sound will be heard, which is the imaging process in operation.
The benefits of magnetic resonance imaging are vast, and new applications are continually being developed through ongoing research. MRI imaging is used for virtually all parts of the body. It is the primary imaging modality for evaluation of diseases of the brain and spine. It is effective in depicting abnormalities of the eye, paranasal sinuses, throat, salivary glands, and the thyroid. MRI is the method of choice for imaging of the musculoskeletal system and is widely used for evaluation of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle. It can also accurately depict abnormalities within the bone marrow. It has many applications in the cardiovascular system. The display of blood vessels known as MR angiography is an accurate, noninvasive means of obtaining information about arteries of the head, neck, and body.
What is a CAT Scan?
A CT or CAT scan is a medical imaging device that combines the use of x-rays with computers to produce images that allow physicians to look inside a patient's body. Unlike conventional radiographs, a CT scan can produce clear, extremely detailed pictures of the body's internal structures. It can separate bone from muscle and fat in the part of the body being examined. Much like a conventional radiograph, x-rays pass through the person's body and a computer then reconstructs the information into cross sectional images. These cross sectional images allow the radiologist to evaluate the internal organs as though we looked at the body separated into a series of thin "slices". Having a CT scan can assist your doctor in helping make a diagnosis so he/she can adequately treat your problem. The radiologist performs and interprets the examination and relays the information in a report which is then sent and discussed with your physician. Your physician will then, in turn, discuss the report with you.
What is an Ultrasound?
Diagnostic ultrasound is an established method of diagnostic medical imaging using a high frequency sound wave and the principle of sonar. Because ultrasonic waves cause no damage to human tissues, they are an important tool utilized for both diagnosis and treatment of disease. It is a reliable, cost effective means of evaluating many internal organs, including the liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, aorta, gallbladder, ovaries, uterus, prostate, testicles, and thyroid. It is routinely used to evaluate fetal growth and complications of pregnancy. Ultrasound is very patient friendly --there are no injections. Only a small instrument (transducer) will be in touch with the body.
When will the results of my examination be available?
Results are generally available within 48 hours. The radiologist interprets each examination and dictates a report. The report is transcribed and sent to your physician's office as soon as available by fax, internet, and US Mail. Please contact your physician directly for information about your results.
What if I am unable to keep my appointment?
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call the clinic and your physician will be notified and your examination rescheduled. If transportation is an issue, the clinic will help make arrangements for you.
Does the clinic accept my insurance plan?
Preferred Imaging accepts Medicare, Medicaid, PIP, Letters of Protection and almost all insurance and managed care plans. We offer cash discounts and payment plans for those patients with a demonstrated financial hardship. Co-payments and deductibles are expected at the time of service.
How do I prepare for my exam? (Patient Prep Instructions)
- Patient must be NPO 4 hours prior to your exam.
- Patients must arrive 1 hour early for contrast.
- For patients 60 or older, we must have lab values on B.U.N./Creatinine.
MRI Scan - No Preparation Required
- For comfort, wear loose clothing without metal buttons or closures.
- Patients with pacemakers or other surgically implanted devices should consult with the imaging center prior to the exam.
Follow directions above and patient must be NPO 6 hours prior to exam.
Ultrasound - Abdomen Sonogram
- Nothing to drink after midnight the night before the exam.
- For all pelvic/OB sonograms, drink at least 4 glasses of water or juice one hour before the exam.
- Do not urinate before the exam because a full bladder is required.
- Xray - No preparation required