Fluoroscopy is a special type of x-ray imaging that displays continuous images on a monitor, much like a movie. This allows doctors to observe movement within a variety of systems, including the skeleton, digestive tract, urinary tract, heart and lungs. Like other x-ray imaging techniques, fluoroscopy is safe, painless and non-invasive, and it can be invaluable for spotting problems that still images may miss.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
An MRI is a medical test that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to take diagnostic pictures of the inside of your body. Physicians typically request MRIs to look for infection, tumors, bleeding and other abnormalities. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may order an MRI with or without contrast.
If you’ve ever had an MRI before, you know just how expensive they can be. However, the cost of an MRI is not always the same in every case. Some procedures, such as those that focus on the brain and neck, tend to cost more than others do. You can also expect to pay more for an MRI with contrast than you would for a no-contrast MRI. If you have insurance that covers the test, your provider may pay part of the bill, which lowers your out-of-pocket expense.
Another important factor that affects the cost of your MRI is the facility you choose. Large facilities, such as hospitals, tend to charge more for testing than smaller, stand-alone clinics. The reason for this disparity has nothing to do with quality. Whereas hospitals need to bring in significant amounts of money in order to stay up and running 24 hours a day, stand-alone clinics do not. Because of this difference in overhead, stand-alone clinics can provide the same test at a lower price. At American Health Imaging Centers we offer cost-effective services with best in class quality care.
Unfortunately, you can’t change most of the factors that affect the price of your MRI. The type of MRI performed is your physician’s choice, and it isn’t much you can do about your insurance coverage after the test has already been ordered. However, you can lower the cost of your MRI by choosing the right facility. In fact, it is possible to save thousands of dollars on your test simply by choosing American Health Imaging Centers we offer cost-effective services with best in class quality care.
At a typical hospital, you can expect your MRI bill to cost anywhere from $2,000 to more than $3,000 and it will probably confuse you with multiple bills for the same visit! At American Health Imaging, however, you can complete your exam at a fraction of the price. Our billing process is also simpler than that of a typical hospital; we will send you only one bill.
Even though our charges are significantly lower than what you would expect from a hospital, our results are no less accurate. We use the same caliber of technologically-advanced equipment and expertly-trained, board-certified radiologists as the typical hospital. We also offer superior customer service, compassion, and professionalism.
AHI Centers offers 16 locations in four different states, including Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. We accept Medicaid, Medicare, and most insurance plans, and payment plans are available to patients upon request. We also offer indigent care services, transportation assistance and delivery of all results to your physician in 24 hours or less.
Don’t pay more than you need to for your MRI. Schedule your procedure at an American Health Imaging center and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars!
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a technique to help diagnose and monitor medical conditions, such as heart disease, tumors, injuries, and aneurysms. In the procedure, you lie in a magnetic tube as our radiologist collects digital images. At each of our 16 locations, American Health Imaging Centers provide the best-quality MRI for the lowest possible cost.
To have an MRI, you lie in a large tube containing a strong magnet. Our radiologist uses radio waves that interact with the tube’s magnetic field, causing some of the hydrogen atoms in the tissues in your body temporarily realign. The result of the scan is a 3-dimensional digital image that a physician can review for you. The different amounts of realignment among atoms in different tissues allow us to visualize different types of tissue, such as muscle, fat, and bone, in your body. This can allow your doctor to detect unusual tissues, such as tumors, or damaged tissues, such as torn ligaments. AHI uses the largest and shortest bore (tube) MRI on the market. It is 70 cm wide and 125cm long. Claustrophobia is a major concern for patients but because we have the largest bore MRI available they much prefer to come see us.
Your doctor can order an MRI first, or you may get the recommendation after having another diagnostic procedure, such as an X-Ray, a CT scan, or an ultrasound since an MRI can provide different information. Because of the high MRI cost, MRIs are used only when other methods are not sufficient.
Minimal preparation is necessary for an MRI. Depending on the type of scan you are getting, we may give you a contrast agent through an IV tube. Because the MRI scanner is a giant magnet, we ask you to remove all metallic items from your body and pockets before approaching it. This includes eyeglasses, earrings, belts, keys, credit cards, coins, hearing aids, dentures, and any clothing with zippers or snaps. We can provide a gown if needed. We also need to know if you have any potentially magnetic items in your body, such as artificial heart valves, a pacemaker, or artificial joints. Next, you lie on a flat table that we can wheel into the tube to start the MRI. We provide earplugs to block out the noise of the scanner.
An MRI has no known risks as long as you remove all metal from your body. Some patients get claustrophobic in the MRI scanner but it this condition is far less likely at American Health Imaging because of the wide bore with an opening of 70 cm. Most MRIs take 30 to 60 minutes, and American Health Imaging Centers will send a written report of the MRI to your doctor within 24 hours.
The MRI cost can be quite high, but many insurance providers negotiate different rates with different providers. It can be worth your while to do some comparison shopping before selecting a facility for your MRI. Ask your doctor for the procedure code for your MRI so that you get an accurate quote.
Additional considerations for your MRI are convenience and quality of care. American Health Imaging Centers include 16 locations, and the professionalism and compassion of our staff are unequaled. We make every effort to make you feel comfortable and give you the best possible experience. Call us to discuss your MRI!
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe, painless way for doctors to get a clear look at your internal anatomy. In fact, a scan may be the only way your doctor can get diagnostic information without surgery. The technology produces sharp computerized images of internal body tissues that can’t be viewed through x-rays. Doctors can request an MRI image for your brain, your knee, your spine, or just about any part of your body that needs a diagnosis.
- Aneurysms, stenoses, occlusions, and carotid arteries in the head and neck
- Diseases of the central nervous system, including spinal cord deterioration, tumors of the brain, and multiple sclerosis
- Condition of the heart, liver, kidney adrenal glands, male and female pelvis, and abdominal blood vessels
- Disorders of bones, knees, and joints
- Condition of cartilage, ligaments, bone, muscle, fat and menisci
- Shoulder disorders, including impingement syndrome and rotator cuff tears
Open refers to the equipment, which has a large, non-confining opening. The patient lies on a table with equipment on one side and overhead. Having unobstructed space on three sides allows a pleasant, non-claustrophobic exam. Not being confined in a “tunnel” is much more comfortable for most patients.
Your doctor will decide if an MRI is needed to help diagnose your symptoms. The doctor’s staff will then notify us and schedule an appointment. We will verify your health insurance coverage and obtain pre-certification with your health insurance carrier if necessary. If you do not have health insurance, payment is expected at the time of service.
In most cases, yes. However, please advise our staff if the guest is pregnant or has anything metallic in the body.
Most exams can be completed in 30 to 60 minutes. More time may be required if you need to be sedated, if you need be a contrasting liquid, or if your doctor has ordered more than one scanning test.
There are no special preparations. You should eat normally and follow the normal dosing of your prescribed medications unless your doctor gives instructions to do otherwise. Dress in loose, comfortable clothes with no metal snaps, zippers, etc.
For most people, the MRI is completely safe. However, in most cases, pregnant women should not have MRI scans. Please let the staff know if you are pregnant. MRI does not use any type of radiation but does produce a powerful magnetic field. To assure that you will have no adverse effects from the magnetism, the staff needs to find out if you have any metal in your body.
- You have a cardiac pacemaker or artificial heart valve
- You have a metal plate, pin, surgical staples or clips,
or other metallic implants
- You have aneurysm clips
- You have an inner ear implant
- You have an intrauterine device, such as Copper-T IUD
- You have permanent eyeliner (tattoo)
- You have any metal fragments in your eye or in your body
- You have ever been a metal worker
- You have a biostimulator
Also, if anyone accompanying you during the exam has any of these conditions, please bring it to the staff’s attention.
Is it OK for patients with dental fillings or braces to have an MRI?
Yes. Your teeth will not be affected by the exam.
Most patients do not require sedation and therefore are able to drive immediately after the exam. If you need a sedative to help you relax for the exam, please arrange for a friend or relative to drive you home.
The radiologist will review and interpret your MRI examination upon completion. Within 24 hours, your physician will have a written report and copies of the film for visual inspection of the findings.