What to Expect Patient Prep Tips

What to Expect – CT Scan

A "CT" or "CAT" scan is the term used to describe a radiologic test known as "computerized

tomography" (or computed axial tomography). The CT scanner uses advanced x-ray technology to take pictures of cross-sections of your body, called "slices." CT can see inside the brain and other parts of the body.

Prior to your visit:

• Our staff will contact you prior to your scheduled appointment date to confirm your upcoming visit.

On the day of your visit:

• Please bring a photo ID, your insurance information and the prescription from your physician to your appointment.

• Wear comfortable clothing.

• You may eat, drink and take medications as usual unless you are advised differently. Some tests will require fasting; our staff will advise you if this is necessary.

Following your visit:

• Our radiologists will interpret your images and send a report directly to your doctor. Your doctor will communicate the results of your exam to you.

What to Expect – MRI

MRI is a non-invasive procedure that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to construct pictures of the body. A powerful magnet generates a magnetic field roughly 10,000 times stronger than the natural background magnetism from the earth. A very small percentage of hydrogen atoms within a human body will align with this field.

When focused radio wave pulses are broadcast towards the aligned hydrogen atoms in tissues of interest, they will return a signal. The subtle differences in that signal from various body tissues enables MRI to differentiate organs, and potentially contrast benign and malignant tissue.

Here's what you can expect on the day of your visit.

• The exam takes from 45 minutes to an hour, during which time you will need to lie still on a comfortable padded table.

• We will try to make you as comfortable as possible during your exam. If you experience discomfort at any time, you will be able to communicate with the technologist through an intercom system.

• During the exam, you will hear humming, clicking and thumping sounds coming from the equipment. There is no need for alarm, as these sounds are part of the normal functioning of this type of equipment.

• For optimal imaging quality, it is important for you to remain as still as possible during your exam. Your technologist will provide pillows and pads to help you become comfortably positioned.

•  Wear comfortable clothing that is free from any metal, such as buttons and zippers. If this is not possible, we will provide you with a gown during your exam. Female patients may also wear a sports bra.

• Leave jewelry, hair pins and any metallic objects at home.

• Please notify the technologist of any prior surgeries or injuries where metal may be inside the body.

• Please bring any relevant outside X-rays or other exams for correlation.