Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a diagnostic test that uses high frequency soundwaves to image the body. Unlike an x-ray, an ultrasound exam does not use radiation. Instead, a small microphone-like transducer is placed on the area of interest. High frequency soundwaves are emitted and produce echoes from the internal tissues and organs. The transducer converts the echoes to electric signals to create an image.
How long does the exam take?
The length of your ultrasound will depend on the type of exam your physician has ordered. Abdomen, gallbladder, kidney, pelvis, breast, thyroid, and testicular ultrasounds usually take thirty minutes or less. Obstetrical ultrasounds take approximately forty-five minutes. Doppler exams, which evaluate the blood flow in your vessels, last from forty-five minutes to one and one-half hours, depending on which blood vessels are studied.
How is X-Ray procedure performed?
You may be asked to lie down on a table, sit in a chair or stand. A technologist will help you by positioning you properly. The X-Ray will take only a fraction of a second and is completely painless and invisible to your eye.
Is the procedure safe?
Radiation is used to make an X-Ray picture. We use the minimum amount of radiation needed to make your X-Ray picture. We believe that in almost all cases, the medical benefits of an X-Ray far outweigh the very small radiation risk. We monitor all requests for X-Ray to be sure all our patients get the most accurate diagnosis with the least possible radiation exposure.
How long will the procedure take?
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your exam time to verify registration information and prepare for the procedure. Allow 15 minutes for the exam, even though an X-Ray exposure typically takes less than one second.
What can I expect after the procedure?
There are no known immediate after effects of having a medical X-Ray.
When will my doctor get the results?
One of our radiologists will study the images and send a written report to your physician within one or two business days. Quicker results will occur if your doctor makes your request urgent.
What is a MRI?
MRI is short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI is an advanced technology that lets your doctor see internal organs, blood vessels, muscles, joints, and more-without x-rays, pain or surgery. MRI is very safe; in fact, it makes use of natural forces and has no known harmful effects! It is important to know that MRI will NOT expose you to any ionizing radiation and does not involve any pain.
Why get a MRI exam?
MRI provides exquisitely detailed images of your body unobtainable through other procedures. MRI can provide very early detection of many conditions, so treatment can be more effective. The excellent quality of MRI images can provide the best possible information if surgery is required. If there is an abnormality (positive exam findings) MRI can show the location, size and extent of these abnormalities.
How do I prepare for My MRI exam?
Prior to your MRI appointment, follow your normal daily routine, including meals and any prescribed medication. Please be prepared to remove ALL metallic objects including jewelry and clothing. The technologist will show you a secure place to store your personal belongings. It is critical that you arrive at our MRI center 30 minutes prior to your scheduled start time. Although the actual test will typically last 15-20 minutes per area examined, plan for one hour in your schedule since there are “before and after protocols” that MUST be followed for your safety. Wear comfortable clothes and no jewelry. Our technologist will then prepare you for your examination and answer any questions you may have. The MRI unit is optimized for your comfort. Pillows and pads are available to make you comfortable on the table, which help you lay still, resulting in sharper pictures. You may listen to music through special headphones we provide, and you are welcome to bring your favorite CD’s, tapes, or choose a radio station. The technologist will have you in full view at all times, and you will be able to communicate at anytime via a 2-way intercom.
Are there any risks involved with CT scan?
During the CT scan, you are briefly exposed to radiation, so CT scan risks are similar to those of conventional X-rays.
What are Contrast Agents?
Contrast agents are used to image tissues and structures that are not normally seen, or not seen very well. Intravenous contrast agents are used to enhance organs and visualize blood vessels. Oral contrast agents may be given; these are used to visualize the digestive tract. If intravenous contrast is used, you may feel warm and flush and get a metallic taste in your mouth. These sensations normally disappear after a few minutes. Infrequently, hyper sensitive people may develop hives from the contrast.
How do I find out whether my insurance will cover this test?
We take all major insurance carriers and a majority of minor plans. Please contact Radiology & Imaging at 361-888-8875 for further determination.
Will I have to miss any work?
As most of our procedures are simple and noninvasive, you will likely be able to return to work immediately after your appointment. However, depending upon your health and the type of examination you will be receiving, there may be exceptions. Your physician will be able to answer any questions you might have about this.