About Your Appointment
All diagnostic imaging procedures such as an X-ray, MRI, CT scan, Ultrasound, Arthrogram or other advanced imaging should be ordered by your physician. Your physician’s office staff can assist you with your appointment or you can schedule your procedure directly with us. It is very important for you to keep your scheduled appointment. If an emergency prevents you from keeping it, please call the phone number that appears on the location where you are scheduled at least 24 hours prior to your appointment time, to cancel or reschedule. This simple step will prevent unnecessary delays for all of our patients.
Documents to bring to your appointment
You will be asked to arrive before your scheduled appointment to allow time for you to complete the necessary paperwork. You can complete the necessary screening form at home by selecting the appropriate forms listed on this page.
- Script/Order Form – this is the form completed by your physician ordering the exam for you.
- Insurance Cards – you will need to bring all current insurance cards on the date of service.
- Contact Information – Please bring all the contact information for the patient receiving the diagnostic procedure. A current driver’s license can serve as a form of identification to match with your physician’s orders.
- Payment – Payment is required at the time services are rendered if you do not have insurance. For patients with insurance, you will be required to pay any deductible or co-insurance dictated by your insurance plan at time of service. Our staff will call your insurance company to get the best estimate of what you will owe at the time of your procedure. Please remember this is just an estimate. The final payment owed will be determined after your insurance company processes your claim.
Learn about your diagnostic imaging exam
Knowing what to expect at your radiology appointment can ease concerns and help your diagnostic imaging procedure go smoothly. Please view the What to Expect tab for a detailed explanation of your imaging procedure.
Choose Your Exam:
What to Expect During Your MRI
Typically lasting 30 to 60 minutes, MRI exams require very little preparation. Your technologist will simply ask you to remove jewelry, belts and other metal objects, and they will help you lie comfortably on a cushioned table. That table will then slide into the circular MRI machine, where you’ll remain for the duration of the exam. As the technologist collects images, they’ll be able to see, hear and speak to you, alleviating any concerns you may have.
What is MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe, pain-free diagnostic imaging technique that combines magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of your body’s structures. While X-rays are typically used to view bones and joints, MRI is better suited for organs, muscles, and other soft tissues. Ultimately, being able to see detailed images of these tissues allows doctors to diagnose and monitor heart diseases, tumors, and a variety of internal injuries.
What are the advantages of MRI over other diagnostic imaging technologies?
While MRI exams cost more than CT scans and X-rays, they offer a few key advantages. Most importantly, they allow radiologists to spot slight abnormalities in soft tissues, which may indicate the presence of cancer, heart disease, and other serious conditions. Likewise, MRI helps doctors differentiate between healthy and unhealthy tissues.
In addition to its diagnostic benefits, MRI is a radiation-free imaging technique. This is a particularly important advantage for pregnant women and patients with compromised immune systems.
Why has my doctor ordered an MRI exam?
If your doctor has opted for MRI over CT or X-ray, you may be wondering why they have chosen the more expensive exam. Their reasoning will depend upon your specific condition, but generally, physicians order MRI when they need to spot fine details and differentiate between normal and abnormal soft tissues. These abnormalities may include tumors, cysts, and blood vessel obstructions, as well as aneurysms, spinal cord defects, and other nervous system disorders. Over the course of your treatment, your MRI could prove invaluable in making an accurate diagnosis and forming a proper treatment plan.
When should my doctor order an MRI exam?
Some conditions warrant MRI exams right away, but doctors usually order them after viewing the results of CT scans, X-rays or other imaging procedures. Given their higher costs, doctors, and insurers often want to exhaust other options first.
How is an MRI exam performed?
At the start of your MRI exam, your technologist will ask you to remove jewelry, belts, and other metal objects, and they will help you lie comfortably on a cushioned table. That table will then slide into the circular MRI machine, which contains the large magnet necessary to produce detailed images. As your technologist collects images, they’ll be able to see, hear, and speak to you, alleviating any concerns you may have.
To provide for maximum comfort during your exam, American Health Imaging has invested in MRI machines with large openings and slim profiles, which help to prevent feelings of claustrophobia. You won’t feel like you’re entering a narrow tunnel, and depending upon the area of your body being imaged, your head and feet may still be in the open.
What is “open” MRI?
“Open” MRI refers to a specific type of MRI machine with a non-confining opening beside or in front of the patent. During an open MRI exam, the patient sits or stands with magnets positioned to the side or above depending on the brand and model. Compared to traditional MRI, the extra unobstructed space allows for a more pleasant, less confined experience. If your physician has ordered an MRI exam, you may want to check whether an open MRI is an option for the type of imaging study you need.
Is MRI safe?
A painless, radiation-free imaging technique, MRI is completely safe for most patients. However, pregnant women are still advised not to undergo MRI exams. Given the powerful magnets involved, it’s also important to let your technologists know if you have any metal devices on or inside your body, including:
- Cardiac pacemakers
- Artificial heart valves
- Aneurysm clips
- Inner ear implants
- Intrauterine devices
- Permanent eyeliner
- Metal fragments
If a friend or family member is accompanying you to your exam, it’s likewise important to let your technologists know if they have any of these devices.
How do I schedule my MRI exam?
Once your doctor decides MRI is necessary for your diagnosis, their office will typically notify our staff and schedule your appointment for you. We will then verify your health insurance coverage and obtain any necessary pre-certifications. If you don’t have health insurance, or if you’re facing a high deductible, we also offer excellent self-pay rates.
If you want to schedule your appointment on your own, or if you need to change an appointment, you can also call one of our 24 convenient locations. We offer same-day, evening and weekend appointments to ensure your exam fits within your normal schedule.
How should I prepare for my MRI exam?
MRI exams require no special preparation. Eat and drink normally, and follow your prescribed medication dosing unless your doctor advises otherwise. Dress in loose, comfortable clothes with no metal snaps or zippers.
How long will my MRI exam take?
Most exams take just 20 to 60 minutes. However, more time may be required if you need to be sedated, if your exam requires the use of a contrast liquid, or if your doctor has ordered more than one set of images.
Can a friend or family member be the room with me during the exam?
In most cases, yes. However, it is important to advise our staff if your guest is pregnant or has any metallic objects on or inside their body.
Is it safe for patients with dental fillings or braces to have an MRI?
Yes. Your teeth and dental work will not be affected by the exam.
Can I drive home after my MRI exam?
Most patients do not require sedation and will be able to drive immediately following the exam. If you do require a sedative to relax, however, please arrange for a friend or relative to drive you home.
How long will it take for my doctor to get the results of my MRI exam?
Our radiologists review and interpret MRI exams as soon as the results are available. Within 24 hours, your physician will have a thorough written report, as well as copies of the images for their own inspection.
How much will my MRI cost?
Your total costs will depend upon the specific type of exam and the area being imaged. For instance, images of the brain and spinal cord tend to cost more than images of the abdomen and limbs.
MRI costs also vary widely by location. Hospitals and large outpatient facilities typically charge more than smaller, standalone clinics – far more, in some cases. These difference in price aren’t due to differences in quality, however, but different overhead costs. While hospitals must offer a wide variety of services 24 hours per day, dedicated imaging centers can efficiently offer more affordable exams.
To get a better idea of what your exam will cost – and what you might have to pay out-of-pocket – please use our free benefits checker.
How can I reduce my out-of-pocket costs?
Given rising healthcare costs, it only makes sense to shop for the most affordable care. At a typical hospital you can expect your MRI exam to cost between $2,000 and $3,500, and you may face multiple bills for a single visit.
Fortunately, dedicated imaging centers offer a quality alternative at a significantly lower price. At American Health Imaging, we offer the same exams for up to 75% less than hospitals and hospital-owned outpatient facilities. What’s more, you’ll only receive one easy-to-understand bill.
While our services are value-priced, our equipment and staff are top-of-the-line. By focusing only on diagnostic imaging, we’re able to hire specialized, expertly trained radiologists and invest in the newest, highest-quality MRI equipment. We also offer extra amenities you won’t find at hospitals, including curbside parking, same-day scheduling and next-day results.
Don’t pay more than you need to for your MRI. To save hundreds or even thousands of dollars, schedule your procedure at an American Health Imaging center today.
Scheduling an MRI Exam with American Health Imaging
American Health Imaging maintains 24 facilities in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. We accept Medicaid, Medicare, and most insurance plans, and payment plans are available upon request. For patients who are uninsured or facing high deductibles, we also offer competitive self-pay rates.
To schedule your diagnostic imaging exam with AHI, contact one of our 24 conveniently located facilities today.
What to Expect During Your CT Scan
Even faster than MRI, CT scans take just 15 to 30 minutes. You’ll set aside jewelry, belts and other metal objects, and depending upon the body part being scanned, you may be asked to remove your normal clothing and wear a hospital gown.
Some types of CT scans also require a contrast dye, which may be given as a flavorless drink or quick, painless injection. This dye appears bright white on your final images, helping doctors to differentiate between different types of tissue. If your CT scan does require a contrast dye, your doctor, radiologist or technologist may ask you to fast for a few hours before your exam.
Once you’re ready for the exam, you’ll simply lie on a cushioned table, which will slide your body into the circular CT machine. You’ll be able to communicate with your technologist throughout the exam, and they can help to alleviate any concerns you may have.
What is a CT Scan?
For patients with unusual or tough-to-understand symptoms, a computed tomography (CT) scan is one of the best tools for helping physicians make accurate diagnoses. A CT machine uses a rotating series of X-rays to produce cross-sectional pictures of your body. These pictures appear as “slices” of a specific body part, and they offer much greater detail than traditional, flat X-rays.
Like MRI, CT is safe, painless, and noninvasive. While an MRI is most often used to examine muscles, organs, and tumors, CT is generally applied to fractures, blood clots, and abdominal injuries. In all cases, our skilled healthcare professionals will consult with your doctor to determine which scan will deliver the most accurate and informative results.
Why has my doctor ordered a CT scan for me?
If your doctor has ordered a CT scan, they’re likely looking for details that are impossible to spot with traditional X-rays. These details may include small injuries to bones, soft tissues, and blood vessels, any of which may help your doctor determine the underlying causes of your symptoms. Your CT scan may also help to determine the best locations to perform biopsies, detect tumors, or investigate chronic diseases.
What are the advantages of CT over MRI?
A key advantage of CT is its ability to display the details of bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues in the same image – something much harder to achieve with MRI and traditional X-rays. Given its ability to reveal tumors, CT is also one of the best diagnostic imaging tools for cancer patients. Finally, it is commonly used to diagnose vascular diseases, osteoporosis, and traumatic injuries to internal organs.
In addition to its diagnostic imaging benefits, CT is also faster and cheaper than MRI. It also exposes patients to minimal radiation – less than a single traditional X-ray. Overall, the amount of radiation a patient receives from a CT scan is roughly the same as they’d receive from the environment over the course of one year.
How is a CT scan performed?
Unlike MRI, CT does not require your body to be immersed in an imaging machine. Instead, you’ll lie on a table that slides into a donut-shaped scanner, which will be positioned only around the area of your body being imaged. As you lie still, the scanner will rotate around you, allowing multiple X-ray devices to capture a three-dimensional image.
Why are contrast dyes used in CT scans?
Depending upon the body part being imaged and the specific type of CT scan your doctor has ordered, your exam may require the use of a contrast dye. These dyes contain iodine, which illuminates certain tissues and helps radiologists see finer details in organs, bones, and blood vessels.
If your exam does require a contrast dye, it will be administered through an intravenous injection just before your exam, or as an oral solution several hours prior to your exam. These dyes are safe and well-tested, and our staff will examine your medical history to determine whether there is any risk of allergic reaction.
How long does the procedure take?
The newest CT scanning machines can provide a full-body series of images in as little as 30 seconds. Including preparation time, your entire exam will likely take between 15 and 30 minutes.
How should I prepare for my exam?
Your preparation will depend upon your exam type, medical history and whether or not you will need a contrast dye. In all cases, AHI will provide full instruction prior to your exam, offering you ample time to prepare.
Can I drive home after my CT scan?
Absolutely. CT does not require sedatives, and the process is quick and pain-free. Whether your exam requires a contrast dye or not, you’ll be able to drive home immediately.
How long will it take for my physician to get the results of my CT scan?
Your radiologists will review and interpret your CT scan as soon as it’s completed. Within 24 hours, your doctor will receive a written report, as well as copies of the images for their own inspection.
How much does a CT scan cost?
CT scan costs vary widely, and the price of an exam may differ by hundreds of dollars between various hospitals and imaging centers. Typically, the cost is a combination of technical and professional fees. Technical fees include the costs of the imaging procedure itself, and professional fees are paid to the radiologists who analyze the results.
Another important factor is the specific type of CT scan being performed. Some types, such as brain scans, involve a more complex process and thorough analysis. Others, such as abdominal scans, are simpler to perform and assess.
Will insurance cover my CT scan?
If you have health insurance and have met your deductible, you may pay as little as 10 to 20 percent of the total bill. If you have not met your deductible or you are uninsured, however, you’ll be responsible for the full amount.
Fortunately, uninsured patients are often able to negotiate self-pay discounts. You may also be able to lower the costs by paying your part in full at the time of service.
How can I reduce my out-of-pocket costs?
Healthcare costs are rising, and when your doctor orders a CT scan, price will likely be one of your first concerns. Few physicians know their hospitals’ prices, however, and even when you call help lines, it can be tough to get a straight answer.
Fortunately, you can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs by shopping for an affordable imaging center. At American Health Imaging, we charge up to 75% less than hospitals and hospital-owned outpatient facilities for the exact same tests. We also work with most major insurers, and we provide competitive self-pay rates for uninsured patients.
If you’re concerned about the costs of your CT scan, MRI, or any other diagnostic imaging exam, you can rest assured we provide the most affordable imaging at the highest quality in the market. With 24 convenient locations in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas, you won’t have to travel far to receive high-quality care, either.
What to Expect During Your Ultrasound Exam
Quick, convenient and easy, ultrasound exams typically last 20 to 40 minutes. Your technologist will conduct the exam with a transducer, a small handheld device that looks like a wand. They’ll apply the transducer to the body part being examined, along with a gel that helps sound waves pass through your skin. Depending upon the nature of your exam, you may be able to see the images during your exam, on a screen connected to the ultrasound device.
What is ultrasound, and how does it work?
One of the safest, most time-tested diagnostic imaging techniques, ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images. These waves are produced by sending electrical energy through certain types of crystals, which vibrate within a probe called a transducer. The sound waves travel from the transducer into a patient’s body, where they are reflected at varying rates from different tissues.
Once the reflected waves arrive back at the transducer, a connected computer converts them into an image called a sonogram. These images offer invaluable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of conditions, and they can be obtained quickly, conveniently, and at low cost.
Isn’t ultrasound used for pregnant women?
Yes, but fetal imaging is just one of many applications. Ultrasound can be used to image almost any soft tissue in the body, and it is particularly useful for organs in the abdomen and pelvic region. Many physicians also use ultrasound to observe blood flow in veins and arteries, which allows them to quickly diagnose life-threatening blood clots.
What are the advantages of ultrasound over MRI and CT?
Ultrasound is excellent for distinguishing between fluid and solid structures within the body – an important but surprisingly difficult task for radiologists. Ultrasound also costs significantly less than MRI and CT, and it doesn’t require the use of radiation or contrast agents. Depending upon your condition, ultrasound may be used as a standalone imaging technique, or it may be used to complement the findings of an MRI exam or CT scan.
Does ultrasound use radiation?
No, ultrasound does not involve any type of radiation. It uses only high-frequency sound waves, which are not known to have any adverse effects.
How should I prepare for my ultrasound exam?
Ultrasound preparation varies significantly by exam type and body part. For more information about preparing for your exam, contact your American Health Imaging center for complete instructions.
Why am I asked to have a full bladder for my ultrasound exam?
Ultrasound depends upon the transmission of sound waves, and sound travels better through some substances than others. If you’re undergoing a pelvic exam, a full bladder provides an excellent medium for sound (water). Not all ultrasound exams require a full bladder, however. For complete instructions, consult your doctor, or call your American Health Imaging facility.
Why can’t I eat or drink before my ultrasound exam?
Digestion changes the shape and contents of abdominal organs, and eating or drinking too close to your exam may distort your images. Only some ultrasound exams require you to fast, however. For complete instructions, consult your doctor, or call your American Health Imaging center.
How long will my ultrasound exam take?
Ultrasound is one of the fastest, most convenient imaging techniques, and most exams take just 20 to 40 minutes.
Can I get the results of my ultrasound exam from my technologist?
Unfortunately, no. While our ARRT-certified technologists are trained to perform ultrasound exams and collect images, they are not allowed to interpret the results. Our board-certified radiologists will interpret your exam and provide your doctor with a thorough report.
How long will it take for my doctor to receive the results of my ultrasound exam?
One of our board-certified radiologists will review and interpret your ultrasound results immediately. Your doctor will receive a written report and hardcopy images within 24 hours.
What to Expect During Your Breast MRI
During a breast MRI exam, you’ll be asked to wear a hospital gown and remove any jewelry and other metallic objects that could interfere with the machine’s magnets. You’ll lie on your stomach on a cushioned table, with your breasts naturally positioned in a cushioned opening, your head on a headrest, and your arms positioned above your head.
Once you’re in position, the table will slide into the circular MRI machine. During your 60- to 90-minute exam, your technologist will be able to hear, see and speak to you, alleviating any concerns you have may have.
What to Expect During Your Arthrogram Exam
Most arthrograms require the use of an injectable contrast fluid, which helps to highlight a variety of joint structures. Injections may cause a slight burning sensation, but your technologist will use local anesthesia and a thin needle to minimize pain and soreness.
Once the dye is injected, you’ll be taken to an x-ray, MRI or CT machine for imaging, and the procedure should take one hour at most. [link to MRI, CT and x-ray pages in this last sentence for further details]. Each of these imaging methods is safe, noninvasive and pain-free
What exactly is an arthrogram?
An arthrogram is an image of the inside of a joint, such as the wrist, elbow, shoulder or knee. Arthrograms are usually taken with X-rays, using a special contrast dye that highlights ligaments, tendons and other connective tissues.
Why did my doctor order an arthrogram for me?
Physicians use arthrograms to assess tears in the cartilage, ligaments, or capsules within painful joints. It is often these connective structures, rather than muscles or bones, that are the cause of pain and dysfunction. X-ray arthrograms, in particular, help doctors make accurate diagnoses before resorting to more expensive imaging technologies such as MRI.
What should I expect during my arthrogram appointment?
Arthrograms are quick, safe, and pain-free procedures. After changing into a medical gown, you’ll be escorted into an exam room. If you don’t have any prior X-rays of your affected joint, your technologist will begin by taking a “scout” X-ray.
Your technologist and radiologist will then use that initial X-ray to determine the angles, number of images and contrast dye necessary for your study. They may also ask you questions about your medical history, particularly as it relates to recent injuries to the body part being imaged.
Once our staff has determined the course of action, you’ll receive a small injection of contrast fluid into the affected joint. Your technologist will then take several X-rays using a fluoroscope, a camera that displays the joint in real-time, much like a television screen.
How long with my arthrogram appointment take?
Arthrograms do take longer than traditional X-rays, but your exam should be complete within approximately one hour. If your doctor has also ordered an MRI of the joint, however, you’ll need to make additional time.
How long will it take for my doctor to get the results of my arthrogram?
One of our radiologists will review your study as soon as the images are available, and the results will be sent to your doctor within 24 hours of your exam.
How should I schedule my arthrogram?
Your appointment will be scheduled ahead of time by your doctor’s office. However, if you need to cancel, reschedule, or check your appointment time, you can call either your doctor’s office or the specific American Health Imaging center where you’re scheduled.
Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time, so that you can register with AHI and fill out necessary forms.
How should I prepare for my arthrogram?
A quick, noninvasive procedure, an arthrogram requires little preparation. However, it is important that you avoid eating and drinking for two hours before the test. Due to the joint discomfort some patients experience following contrast dye injections, we also recommend an accompanying driver, particularly if you’re getting an ankle arthrogram.
You should also inform your chosen AHI clinic of any allergies and previous reactions to iodine-based contrast dyes. These allergies won’t prevent you from getting an arthrogram, but they will require premedication to prevent further reaction.
What to Expect During Your Fluoroscopy Exam
Your preparation and exam time will depend upon the specific procedure being performed. Abdominal exams require fasting for several hours prior, and you may be asked to drink a contrast dye solution just before the exam. In general, upper GI imaging lasts between 15 minutes and one hour, while imaging the small intestines can take up to three hours.
Once you’re prepared, your technologist will help you lie comfortably on a cushioned table, where you’ll remain for the duration of the exam. The x-ray machine may move to capture images at various angles, but you’ll be able to lie still in an unenclosed space. Your technologist will also be available during the entire exam to answer questions and alleviate any concerns you may have.
What to Expect During Your Myelogram
Like other x-ray imaging techniques, myelograms are safe, painless and minimally invasive. While they do require the injection of a contrast dye, your technologist will use local anesthesia and a tiny needle to eliminate pain and reduce soreness.
You’ll lie on your stomach on a cushioned table during the injection and exam, which typically lasts for a total of 30 to 60 minutes. Throughout the exam, your table will tilt slightly at various angles to allow the radiologist to view the areas where you’re experiencing the most pain or discomfort. Your technologist will also stay by your side during the entire exam, ready to answer questions and alleviate concerns.
What is a myelogram?
A myelogram is a special type of X-ray or computed tomography (CT) exam that uses contrast dye to clearly image the spinal cord, nerve roots, and other tissues found in the spinal canal. When that dye is injected into the subarachnoid space – the area around the spinal cord – radiologists are able to obtain a clearer view of these tissues than they would with other imaging techniques. Like traditional X-rays and CT scans, myelograms are non-invasive, minimally painful, and extremely helpful in forming accurate diagnoses and treatment plans.
What are myelograms used for?
In general, myelograms are excellent for imaging the spinal cord, nerve roots, and meninges – the membranes that cover the nerves. Typically, doctors use these images to assess spinal injuries and abnormalities, including herniated discs, bone spurs, arthritis, and stenosis. In combination with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), myelograms can also be used to find tumors, infections, and inflammation.
Why has my doctor ordered a myelogram for me?
MRI is often doctors’ first choice for evaluating the spine, but there are a few situations in which other methods are necessary. If you have a non-removable medical device, you may not be able to undergo an MRI, and a myelogram may be the next best choice. The same can be true for patients with metal screws, plates, and rods, which can interfere with the MRI machine’s magnets.
Myelograms are also cheaper than MRI, and in some cases, they actually present information that can’t be obtained with any other imaging technique. For these reasons, myelogram is often the top choice for assessing injuries and deciding between surgical and non-surgical treatment.
What should I expect during my myelogram?
At the beginning of your myelogram, you’ll be asked to lie face-down on a cushioned table, where you’ll remain for the duration of your exam. To prevent pain during the contrast dye injection, you’ll first be given a local anesthetic in your lower back. Depending upon the specific site being imaged, you may also be asked to turn onto your side.
Once you’re in position, a needle will be inserted into the subarachnoid space underneath your numbed skin. You may feel pressure and a slight warming sensation during the injection of dye, but the anesthetic will prevent pain.
With the contrast dye in place, the radiologist will tilt the exam table at a variety of angles to allow the dye to flow within the subarachnoid space. They will then use a fluoroscope, a real-time X-ray imaging device, to observe and capture the areas where you’re experiencing symptoms. Once all necessary images have been collected, the table will be returned to its normal position, and you’ll be able to move into a more comfortable position. Your technologist will be standing by throughout the procedure, ready to address any questions or concerns.
How long will my myelogram take?
A myelogram exam typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes, depending upon the specific area and number of images collected.
However, many doctors order a CT scan to be performed immediately following a myelogram, while the contrast dye is still in place. If you need to undergo CT as well, your appointment will take an additional 15 to 30 minutes.
How can I schedule my myelogram?
In most cases, your doctor’s office will notify our staff and schedule your myelogram for you. We will then verify your health insurance coverage and obtain any necessary pre-certifications. If you don’t have health insurance, or if you’re facing a high deductible, we also offer excellent self-pay rates.
If you want to schedule your appointment on your own, or if you need to change an appointment, you can also call one of our four convenient locations. [link to locations map] We offer same-day, evening and weekend appointments to ensure your exam fits within your normal schedule.
How long will it take my doctor to get the results of my myelogram?
Our radiologists review and interpret exams as soon as the images are available. Within 24 hours, your physician will have a thorough written report, as well as copies of the myelogram images for their own inspection.
How should I prepare for my myelogram appointment?
Food in the GI tract may interfere with the imaging process, and it’s important that you avoid solid foods after midnight the night before your exam. However, you may still have water, spritzer, and other clear liquids until three hours before your exam.
There are also several medications that may interfere with the contrast dye. These medications include:
- Plavix: discontinue seven days prior
- Aspirin: discontinue seven days prior
- Lovenox: discontinue 24 hours prior
There are additional considerations for patients taking Coumadin or Heparin. Coumadin must be discontinued seven days prior to your exam.Heparin must be discontinued 4 hours prior to your exam.
Finally, tell your doctor if you have a history of bleeding disorders, or if you are taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or any other blood-thinning medications.
If this seems like too much information to consider, don’t be alarmed. Our staff will contact you at least one week prior to your appointment to ensure you have the specific information you need to prepare for your myelogram. As long as you inform your doctor about your medical history and medications, our staff will be able to advise you on which precautions are truly necessary.
What should I expect after my myelogram?
After your images have been collected, you’ll be escorted to another area of the AHI clinic to rest and recover for at least one hour. While the myelogram procedure isn’t painful, the contrast dye injection is deep enough to be stressful to your body, and the withdrawal of spinal fluid will require rehydration. You’ll be asked to drink additional fluids to avoid headaches, and a member of our clinical team will monitor your blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate.
Once you’re discharged, it’s important to keep an eye out for abnormalities such as numbness and tingling, bleeding at the injection site, trouble urinating, headaches, and achy joints. These symptoms are rare, but if they persist for more than a few hours after your exam, you’ll need to notify your physician.
Finally, you may be instructed to limit physical activity for 24 hours following your exam. Generally, if no complications occur during that time, you’ll be free to return to your normal activities.
Will I be able to drive home after my myelogram?
No, it is not safe to drive immediately following your myelogram exam. Once you are discharged, you must travel with a companion. We also suggest that you limit your activity once you arrive home, and that if you have small children, you get someone to help take care of them for the rest of the day.
What to Expect During Your Fibroscan
Typically lasting 15 minutes or less, Fibroscan is one of the fastest, most convenient imaging methods available. During the procedure, you’ll be asked to lie on your back with the right side of your abdomen exposed. Your technologist will use a small, handheld probing device to emit sound waves along the surface of your skin, which will be immediately analyzed and displayed by a nearby computer.
What is FibroScan?
A safer, non-surgical alternative to liver biopsy, FibroScan is a painless imaging technique that measures the scarring, or fibrosis, caused by many liver diseases. Using a technology similar to ultrasound, FibroScan produces an image of the liver by measuring the speed of sound waves passing through it. The shades of color in that image then allow radiologists to determine the levels and locations of scarring within a patient’s liver.
How does FibroScan work?
FibroScan uses a technology called elastography, which measures the stiffness of the liver. A probe, similar to the probes used in ultrasound exams, is placed at the surface of the skin. That probe then transmits sound waves and measures the speed at which they travel through the liver. The harder, more fibrotic the tissue, the faster the sound waves will travel.
Why has my doctored ordered FibroScan for me?
Fibroscan is excellent for diagnosing and monitoring a variety of liver conditions, including liver cancer, hepatitis, and fatty liver. Because FibroScan directly measures the liver’s stiffness, it offers information that can’t be obtained through blood tests or other imaging techniques.
Ultimately, doctors and their patients can use this information to determine the best treatment plans, particularly in cases where chemotherapy or surgery may be required. For patients with early-stage liver disease, FibroScan may also reveal that invasive procedures are not necessary, and that medications and lifestyle modifications have produced positive results.
What should I expect during my FibroScan exam?
FibroScan exams are safe, quick, and painless. During your procedure, you’ll be asked to lie on your back with the right side of your abdomen exposed. Your technologist will use a small, handheld probe to emit sound waves along the surface of your skin, which will be immediately analyzed and displayed by a nearby computer. There is no radiation, and you won’t need to worry about interference from metallic objects.
How long with my FibroScan appointment take?
One of the quickest, most convenient imaging technologies available, FibroScan exams take just 5 to 15 minutes. Including the time needed to sign in and fill out forms, your entire appointment will likely take 30 minutes or less.
How long will it take for my doctor to get the results of my FibroScan exam?
One of our radiologists will review your images as soon as they’re available and your doctor will receive a full report within 24 hours of your appointment.
How should I prepare for my FibroScan exam?
Because food and excess fluid in the digestive tract could hamper the procedure, simply avoid eating and drinking for 3 hours before your appointment.
What to Expect During Your Digital X-Ray
Taking a digital x-ray is much like taking a traditional x-ray, and if you’ve ever broken a bone, you’re likely familiar with the process. A technologist will help you onto an exam table or chair, depending upon the positions required for the image. A plastic plate called a film cassette will be placed directly under or behind the area of the body to be imaged, and you’ll be asked to hold still for a few minutes while the x-ray is being taken. This process will be repeated for additional views, and the whole procedure will likely take 15 minutes or less.
What is an X-ray?
Like radio waves, microwaves, and even visible light, X-rays are electromagnetic waves. Because they can pass through some substances but not others, they have proven invaluable in medical imaging. When X-rays are transmitted onto a body part, they pass straight through some tissues while absorbing into others. This phenomenon produces the tell-tale, white-on-black images that display bones so well.
What are X-rays used for?
X-rays are most commonly used to view bones and assess fractures. Bones absorb X-rays, while muscle, skin, and other soft tissues do not, allowing for fine detail and stark contrast.
With the right films and developing techniques, X-rays can also be used to find tumors, view internal organs and observe air-filled cavities such as the lungs. Some of these applications can be enhanced with a contrast dye, which absorbs X-rays and helps certain tissues to stand out on film.
What should I expect during my X-ray exam?
X-ray exams are safe, quick, and pain-free. When you arrive, you’ll first change into a medical gown free of zippers and metallic snaps, and your technologist will escort you into an exam room.
Depending upon the body part being imaged, you will then sit, stand, or lie on a table near the X-ray device. Your technologist will position the device to take the most accurate images possible, most likely from several angles. Regardless of the number of images, however, you won’t feel a thing.
Once your initial images are taken, your technologist will quickly review them to determine whether any re-shoots or different positions are required. Once they’ve obtained the images necessary for an accurate, high-quality study, you’ll be free to leave.
How much time should I plan for my X-ray exam?
X-ray exams range from 5 to 25 minutes, depending upon the body part and number of images required. One of our radiologists will interpret the images as soon as they’re ready, and their report will be sent to your physician within 24 hours.
How do I prepare for an X-ray?
Very little preparation is required for an X-ray exam. You may choose to avoid clothing with zippers and snaps, but if your clothes have any metal, you’ll be able to change into a medical gown before your exam. If your exam requires the use of a contrast dye, we will provide additional instructions several days prior to your appointment.
If you are pregnant, or if there is a possibility that you are pregnant, it is important to tell your physician and technologist before your exam.