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Frequently asked questions

HealthCenter - The Imaging Center

How long does a CT scan take?
The length of the exam depends on the type of study being performed. Scan times vary from 5-30 minutes.

Will I need to have blood work done before my CT scan?
Labs are drawn on patients with the following criteria:
• If the Patient is over 60 years old. We can use Lab work that shows the BUN & Creatinine levels that are less than one month old.
• If the Patient is diabetic.
• If the Patient is in renal failure.

Can I take my daily medications?
You may take your prescribed medication(s). If you're diabetic and receiving I.V. contrast and you take Gluchophage or Metformin you will be asked to hold these medications for 48 hours after your injection. Consult with your physician if an alternate medication is needed.

What type of clothing should I wear for a CT scan?
Please wear clothing that is comfortable & metal free (i.e., metal free bra, t-shirt, shorts or sweat pants)

What is a CTA?
A CTA is a (Computed Tomography Angiogram). This is an examination that uses x-rays from a CT scanner and contrast media injected into a vein to visualize blood flow in arterial vessels throughout the body. CTA scans can be on arteries serving the brain to the arteries bringing blood to the lungs, kidneys, and arms and legs. The CT scanner that is used at Advanced Imaging is a MDCT (Multiple detector computed tomography) scanner. A MDCT scanner combines the use of x-rays with computerized analysis of the images. Beams of x-rays are passed from a rotating x-ray tube through the area of interest in the patient's body from several different angles, creating axial cross-sectional images. A technologist then reformats these images into coronal, sagittal, MIP's (Maximum Intensity Projections), and 3D images of the area being studied. Compared to catheter angiography, which involves placing a catheter and injecting contrast material into an artery, a CTA scan is a much less invasive and more patient-friendly procedure. A CTA involves contrast material being injected into a peripheral vein rather than an artery. CTA scans are used to screen large numbers of individuals for arterial disease. Patients can have a CTA scan without being admitted to a hospital.

How is an MRI different from a CT?
CT uses ionizing (x-ray) radiation, and MRI does not. Instead, MRI creates high-quality images through the combination of a strong magnetic field and radio waves. MRI can detect certain diseases much earlier than other medical imaging techniques can, making it the diagnostic tool of choice for many physicians.

Is it safe to have a CT?
CT scanners use x-rays, X-rays are forms of radiant energy that can penetrate the body. Radiologists and x-ray technologists are trained how to use the least amount of radiation or x-rays to obtain diagnostic images. Your physician has determined that the benefits of a CT scan out weigh the risks of the radiation exposure. CT scans provide valuable information about your health and play an important role in helping your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Great care is taken to produce the best images with the lowest possible radiation.

Both of our CAT scan machines are ACR (American College of Radiology) accredited. We currently have

• 64 slice GE VCT Discovery PET CT scanner and
• 64 slice GE VCT Lightspeed CT scanner

The ACR accreditation means that we have met the very high standards the ACR has set. The American College of Radiology is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists and medical physicists with programs for focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology, and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

The ACR awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of its practice. Evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. They assess the qualifications of the personnel and the adequacy of facility equipment. The surveyors report their findings to the ACR's Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the facility with a comprehensive report.