FAQ

Your comfort is our number-one priority. To help you feel at ease, we’ve tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions here. If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed, please feel free to contact us.

What is MRI?


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a procedure that allows doctors to see inside the body without using surgery or any invasive techniques. There is no radiation involved in an MRI, unlike in an X-Ray or a CT Scan. The MRI machine uses magnets to create a noise frequency that is absorbed by a coil on your body that reflects an image back to the computer using sophisticated software. There are no side effects or health risks involved with having an MRI; it is thought of as the safest way to diagnose many ailments of the body.

The MRI scanner is used to scan all parts of the body and is especially used for the brain, all parts of the spine, and all musculoskeletal joints. Each scanned body part takes 15 – 20 minutes on average as long as there are no motion artifacts. Our MRI scanner is open on both ends to provide our patients with complete comfort during their procedure.




Can anyone have an MRI exam?


Patients of all shapes and sizes can have MRI, but MRI is not for everyone. If you have any kind of pacemaker, pain-medication pump surgically placed in your body, aneurysm clips, or intra-occular implants, then you cannot have an MRI because the magnet will disable any batteries used in these devices. If you have any metal in your body, please let our staff know as the magnets could cause stress to these implants. It’s also best to consult your doctor before having an MRI.

There have been no adverse effects of having MRIs during pregnancy, but it is recommended to hold off until at least after the first trimester.




What will I experience during the MRI?


MRI is a noninvasive, painless procedure. During the exam, you will hear different knocking sounds. These sounds come from the magnets creating the noise frequency necessary to produce the images. During this knocking, it is imperative that the patient stay completely still as any movement will distort the images and lengthen the exam.




I'm claustrophobic. Are there any special arrangements for my exam?


Yes. We are happy to accommodate claustrophobic patients and do so on a regular basis. To make you feel more comfortable, you may choose to have your exam in our Open MRI machine.




How should I prepare for my MRI exam?


Generally with MRI, you can go about your day just the same as any other, unless the staff informs you otherwise. We do recommend that if you would not like to change into a gown, wear clothes with no metal on them; women should wear a bra with no metal clips or wiring, such as a sports bra.

Our MRIs range in time from 15 minutes to about 40 minutes and there are no special preparations such as drinking barium or not eating or drinking for a certain amount of time. Simply come as you are and please continue to take any doctor prescribed medications.




What happens after the MRI?


Our radiologist will dictate your report, and it will be transcribed to produce a hard copy. As soon as we have the report, we will fax it to your referring physician’s office before your follow-up appointment.




What are some advantages of MRI?


MRI is ideal for:
• Diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS)
• Diagnosing tumors of the pituitary gland, brain, and IACs
• Diagnosing infections in the brain, spine or joints
• Visualizing torn ligaments in the wrist, knee and ankle
• Visualizing shoulder injuries
• Diagnosing tendonitis
• Evaluating masses in the soft tissues of the body
• Evaluating bone tumors, cysts, and bulging or herniated discs in the spine
• Diagnosing strokes in their earliest stages




What is a CT Scan?


Computer tomography (CT) is like an X-ray except much stronger and more detailed in its imaging capabilities. CT machines often look like a big donut that your body slides through, producing cross-sectional slice images of your anatomy. Each slice is pieced together to produce complete, detailed images of the pinpointed body part. CT is most beneficial for viewing the chest, abdomen, pelvis, sinuses, inner-ear, and some muscoskeletal regions.




Are CT Scans safe for all?


Anyone can have a CT Scan, but it is a Woodlake MRI policy that no pregnant women will be scanned as the radiation levels are high.




What happens during a CT Scan?


CT Scans are very quick and easy. Patients lie on the table and slide through donut-shaped opening while the machine scans. Most procedures take about five to eight minutes because of the state-of-the-art technology of our machines. When scanning certain body parts, the procedure requires the patient to hold their breath for about 20 seconds.




What is a CT Scan with contrast?


Your physician might suspect a certain diagnosis that requires that a certain area be illuminated. Adding iodinated contrast highlights the area of interest, making it easier to detect any tumors, lesions, or other abnormalities. The contrast is administered through an IV placed by our experienced on-site paramedic. Any contrast that is given is usually out of your system within an hour.




How long does a CT exam take?


As far as the time you’ll spend on the table, our CT Scans range from 5 minutes to about 10 minutes, depending on what type of exam you are having and how many you are having. When scheduling your appointment, our friendly staff can inform you of the estimated time the exam will take.




How should I prepare for my CT Scan?


Certain CT Scans require no preparation at all, other than coming in comfortable clothes. For CT exams requiring contrast, we ask the patient to stop eating and drinking five hours prior to the exam. Any scans of the abdomen and/or pelvis require the patient to drink a barium solution before the procedure.




What happens after the CT Scan?


Our radiologist will dictate your report, and it will be transcribed to produce a hard copy. As soon as we have the report, we will fax it to your referring physician’s office before your follow-up appointment.




What information do I need to provide before the exam?


During scheduling we will ask you about your medical history, any previous surgeries, and for any other information relevant to the exam you will be having.





frequently asked questions