What is Computed Tomography?
Computed Tomography (CT) is a test that combines x-rays with computer scans. The scans appear as slices. The result is a detailed picture that may show problems with soft tissue (such as the lining of sinuses), organs (such as kidneys or lungs), and bones. There is a small amount of radiation with CT, but the benefits of this test far outweigh any risk.
BEFORE YOUR SCAN
You may need to make changes in your diet to prepare for your scan. You also may need to drink contrast (a special “dye” that enhances the image) 1 hour before before. Follow instructions carefully. Your scan may need to be canceled if you don’t. A CT scan may take 30 Min to 1 hour.
LET THE TECHNOLOGIST KNOW
For your safety, let the technologist know about any of the following:
Diabetes medication you take
You’re pregnant or think you may be
You ate or drank before the test
DURING YOUR SCAN
You may be asked to wear a hospital gown. You also may be given contrast through an itravenous (IV) line or by injection. The contrast may make you feel warm or give you a strange taste in your mouth. This will pass soon. You will lie on a platform that slides into a doughnut-shaped hole. The technologist will ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds during your scan. You may have to wait briefly to make sure the images are readable.
FOR YOUR COMFORT
Relax and remain a still as you can.
Know that a CT scan is painless.
You may find that focusing on what the technologist says will speed up the process.
AFTER YOUR SCAN
You can get back to your normal diet and activities right away. Any contrast you were given will pass naturally through your body within a day. Your doctor will let you know when the results are in.
What is an MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan.
Your MRI will be scheduled within the next 3-5 working days. We will first contact your insurance company to get an authorization (if required). Next, we will call you to schedule an MRI appointment.
Safety: you cannot have an MRI if you have a neurostimulator or a pacemaker. Ask the technologist about any other implants
What to expect:
On day of appointment arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork.
Wear clothing with little or no metal.
There is no prep for MRI. This means you can eat and drink as you normally do.
Our magnet is open. This makes it easier on you, more comfortable and better for claustrophobic patients.*
Each MRI exam takes 45 minutes to complete. Plan on being here for 1 hour on day of exam.
*If you are claustrophobic, make sure you speak to your doctor about options for medication for anxiety. You will need a prescription for this medication and will need to take it 30 minutes before your MRI exam.
Safety: if you take medication for anxiety you must bring someone to drive you home.
Brain / Carotid
To check for aneurysm or blocked blood vessel
MRI—Protocols for Brain:
Check for herniated disks or
fractures of spine
Bone & Joint
Evaluate tendon, ligament and
muscle tears or bone injuries
BONE DENSITY SCAN
Osteoporosis is the condition of having weak or thin bones, which are more susceptible to a fracture, even with minimal injury.
Osteoporosis can result in vertebral fractures, which causes a stooping-over of the spine. Osteoporosis can also increase the risk of hip fractures, a major problem for older people. Because there are now some treatments to help build up bones in patients who have osteoporosis, it is helpful to have a test that will show how thin a patient’s bones are. This test is the “Bone Density” test, also called “Bone Densitometry”.
Make sure that your doctor and the technologist know if you could be pregnant.
Please DO NOT take your calcium the day of your test.
It is important to wear comfortable clothing such as a “sweat suite” or cotton shirt and slacks with elastic in the waist. Please AVOID clothing with any zippers, metal buttons or brads.
It is also important not to have any type of x-rays which require dye the week prior to your bone density test.
(Examples are: Barium Swallow, Upper GI, Small Bowel Series, CT Scan of the Abdomen or Pelvic X-rays.)
You may be asked your weight prior to scheduling the appointment, due to weight limitations on our equipment. We regret that we are unable to provide scans of your spine or hips for anyone with a weight exceeding 300 lbs.
We will be able to scan your forearm only if your weight exceeds 300 lbs.
To scan your spine and hips, you will be asked to lie on your back on a padded table.
Your feet will be turned inward and strapped to a foot wedge.
The amount of radiation is very small. It is about the amount you get from a cross country flight. This is too small of an amount to be likely to cause you any harm.
You should receive a report in the mail from your doctor within 1-2 weeks after your scan.
Ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of the body. Ultrasound is non-invasive and an effective tool for evaluating many of the body’s organs and soft tissues without exposing the patient to radiation.
A typical exam takes 30 to 60 minutes. Gel is applied to the area to be scanned. You will feel pressure from the transducer on your skin. You may be asked to change your body position or hold your breath to obtain certain images.
In order to achieve the best exam for the radiologist, it is very important that you follow the pre-exam prep instructions, as applicable.
You can eat and drink as normal. (Breast, Carotid, Thyroid, Vascular Extremities, Soft Tissue Ultrasounds)
Eat a low fat meal the night before your exam. Do not eat or drink after midnight. Take your usual medications with a small amount of water. (Abdomen, Gallbladder, Liver, Aorta, Kidney Ultrasounds)
Fasting Prep with Full Bladder Do not eat or drink after midnight. Drink at least 32 oz. of water 1 hour prior to your appointment time. (Pelvic Ultrasound)
Your exam images will be sent to the radiologist following your exam. A report will be sent to the referring physician within approximately 1—2 business days.
If you have any questions or concerns about your appointment or exam please call the Radiology Department at (405) 574-7700.
The SPMC Radiology Specials
(CT) COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY(64Slice)
MRI ( Open)