Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prepare for a Full Body Health Scan?
Other than drinking a glass of water for contrast to distend the
stomach, no preparation is necessary, and there are no injections. Before
the exam, you will take 5-10 minutes to fill out a detailed medical
What should I expect in a Full Body Health Scan exam?
You lie on a table and in several short breath-holds, the scanner takes
images from shoulder to pelvis. The entire scan can be completed in 5-10
minutes. The exam is painless, non-invasive, and non-claustrophobic.
Should I have any concerns about the Full Body Health
The unique, innovative technology of dual-slice, helical CT delivers
high-resolution images in a fraction of the time of conventional CT
scanners with less radiation. The lung cancer screening portion of the
exam utilizes a low radiation technique.
How do I get a Full Body Health Scan?
The Full Body Health Scan can be ordered by your physician, or you can
schedule it yourself. A brief medical history and any prior imaging
studies should be provided prior to the procedure.
Who should not get a Full Body Health Scan?
If you have existing disease or are experiencing any symptoms, you
should consult your physician first. You should not get a Full Body Health
Scan if you are pregnant.
Is the Full Body Health Scan covered by insurance?
Currently, screening procedures are only partially covered, but check
with your insurance provider.
How does MRI operate?
Magnetic resonance images are formed by the computer processing of
signals that are emitted by body tissue. These signals are generated using
a safe magnetic field in combination with radio waves of a specific
frequency. Different tissue characteristics are revealed through this
process and translated into different contrast levels on the image.
What data supports the Full Body Health Scan?
Henschke. The Early Lung Cancer Action
Program (ELCAP), Radiology, 1998, Vol. 209, P222.
Itah, S., et al. Radiat Med 1998
Mar-Apr; I6(2): 75-83 "Screening helical CT for mass screening of lung
cancer; application of low-dose and single-breath-hold scanning."
Conclusion: Screening helical CT with low-dose and single-breath-hold
scanning shows promise for lung cancer screening.
Swenson. Low Dose Spiral CT Screening of
Women for Common Causes of Death. Radiology 1998, Vol. 209, P222.
Wexler, L., et al. American Heart
Association Medical/Scientific Statement 1996. "Helical CT has
considerably faster scan times than conventional CT. Overlapping sections
also improve calcium detection."
How do I prepare for a DEXA Bone Densitometry exam?
This is not an examination that requires you to have an empty stomach,
drink a certain amount of water, or any other such pre-examination
preparation on your part.
What should I expect in a DEXA Bone Densitometry exam?
The exam requires about 15 minutes. Generally, DEXA scans of your
lumbar spine and hip are obtained. The computer then calculates the
average density of bone in the vertebral bodies or hip and compares it
with a normal range. Your score is then compared with "normal for age"
values in a chart and the result stated in standard deviations above or
below normal for age.
Why do I need an injection for a CT scan?
The "dye" injection is a clear liquid contrast agent containing iodine.
It enhances the soft tissues and helps to define abnormalities. It is
essential in visualizing the blood supply to internal organs. The contrast
is excreted by the kidneys within several hours. We use only nonionic
contrast, a safe agent with very few side effects.
What preparation is necessary for a CT scan?
You may be asked to drink a flavored liquid that highlights the
intestine and helps to differentiate the intestine from other internal
organs. We also suggest you not eat solid food at least four hours prior
to intravenous contrast injections.
How long does a CT scan exam require?
The dual slice helical CT scan is very fast. Once you are on the CT
table the scans are performed during a single breath-hold, usually 20-30
What should I expect in a Coronary Artery Calcification
The procedure is performed in less than 10 minutes. The data is
actually acquired in a single breath-hold scan, about 20 seconds. The exam
is non-claustrophobic, because your head is outside the scanner at all
times. The radiation dosage is minimal, less than a regular CT.
How do I prepare for a Coronary Calcium Scoring exam?
No preparation is necessary, and there are no injections.
What is the cost of a Calcification Scoring exam?
The exam typically costs $299. Unfortunately, not all insurance
companies cover this procedure. However, many insurance companies will
reimburse for the exam if ordered by a physician. Our policy is that
payment is made at the time of the visit to our facility.
What should I expect in an MRI exam?
The procedure typically will last anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes,
depending on the type of information required by your physician. All that
is required of you is to be as still as possible during the exam. In fact,
some patients fall asleep during their MRI exam. If you choose, you can
have a family member or friend in the scan room with you.
You will be easily seen by the technologist at all times. For your
convenience, an intercom system is built into the magnet so that if you
should need anything at all, the technologist will be right there.
In certain instances, a contrast agent may be administered to enhance the
study. There are no extra precautions should the doctor require this.
Consult the doctor or technologist to answer any questions you may have.
How do I prepare for an MRI?
No special preparation is required prior to an MRI exam. You may eat
normally and go about your daily routine. Continue to take any medication
prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed.
Because of the magnetic field, you will be asked to leave the following
items in a safe place outside the scan room:
- Credit Cards
- Hair Pins
- Other Metal Objects
You may also be asked to remove make-up, dentures and wear a hospital
gown to avoid magnetic interference from belt buckles or zippers.
Once you are situated onto the table, make sure you are comfortable so
that it is easy to keep still. Breathe normally, as there is nothing about
the procedure to make you uncomfortable. The only thing you will notice is
a faint knocking sound which represents the changes in the magnetic field.
Once the exam is over, the technologist will assist you out of the scan
Should I have any concerns about an MRI?
Due to the potential harmful effects associated with all metallic
objects in a magnetic field, you should check with your physician or MRI
technologist if you have had any brain, ear, eye or other surgeries or any
of the following:
- Foreign Metal Objects in the Eye
- Metal Implants
- Neuro-stimulator (Tens-unit)
- Aneurysm Clips
- Surgical Staples
- Implanted Drug Infusion Device
- Permanent Eyeliner
- Shrapnel or Bullet Wounds
If pregnant, you should notify your physician.
How much radiation am I getting from an MRI?
NONE. There is no radiation from an MRI.
I have dental fillings, is an MRI safe?
YES. The magnetic field will not affect dental fillings.
Will I feel anything during an MRI exam?
NO. You can relax and listen to your favorite music; you will feel
How long does an MRI exam take?
20 to 45 minutes is the time required to perform the scan.
Who tells me what the MRI scan shows?
The radiologist interprets the scan and sends a report to your
What does an MRI show that a CT scan doesn't?
MRI is more sensitive to subtle changes in soft tissues, particularly
the brain and spinal cord. It is the primary imaging method for evaluation
of joints, especially the knee, ankle, shoulder, and wrist.
How dangerous are x-rays?
Considerable precautions must be taken with x-rays, since this
radiation can cause damage. All areas of the patient's body outside the
region to be x-rayed are shielded by a material (usually a metal) that
absorbs x-rays. Technicians, nurses, dentists, and doctors must also be
protected by opaque shields to prevent x-ray damage. Most medical
diagnostic x-rays deliver relatively low doses of radiation and their
value in diagnosis is thought to outweigh any possible risks
Ironically, the damaging effects of x-rays can also be put to medical use.
All types of radiation affect rapidly dividing cells more than slowly
developing cells, because the genetic material that controls cell division
is sensitive to radiation. Therefore, doctors sometimes use concentrated
bursts of x-rays to kill cancer cells, which divide rapidly, while
minimizing damage to the surrounding healthy cells that divide more
How do I prepare for an x-ray or fluoroscopy?
UGI - No food or liquid 6 hours prior to the exam.
Barium Enema - The colon must be cleansed either by laxative, water
enemas or both.
IVP - Colon cleansing prior to exam and no solid food 4 hours prior to
When necessary, we provide patients with a colon cleansing kit.
How do I prepare for an arthrogram?
should refrain from eating for 6 hours prior to the procedure.
Clear liquids are fine up to 2 hours before the procedure. Take your
routine medications before the procedure (such as high blood pressure
medications) except stop aspirin and all anti-inflammatory medications
(e.g. Motrin/Ibuprofen, Naprosyn/Naproxen, Aleve, Relafen, Daypro,
Indocin, Celebrex, Vioxx, Trilisate, etc.) 5 days before the
procedure. If you are taking oral (pill form) diabetes medication, DO
NOT take the medication the morning of the procedure. If you are
taking insulin injection, inject only HALF of the usual scheduled dose
the morning of the procedure. If you are taking St. John's Wort,
Ginkgo, Ginseng, or Garlic supplements, you will need to stop these 5
days prior to the procedure. All of your routine medicines and
supplements can be re-started after the procedure on the same day. You
may take your regular pain medicine as needed before/after the
procedure. If you are taking Coumadin/Warfarin, heparin,
Lovenox/Enoxaparin, please call the physician who prescribed the
medication prior to your visit. If you are taking Plavix/Clopidogrel,
Ticlid/Ticlopidine, or Pletal/Cilostazol, you must notify our office
and the physician who prescribed the medication so that the timing of
stopping these medicines can be explained. If you are on antibiotics,
please notify our office, we may postpone the procedure until you have
finished the medicine. If you have an active infection or fever, we
will not perform the procedure. If you are a woman of childbearing age
and you know or suspect that you may be pregnant, we will not perform
the procedure. If you have a known allergy – rash, hives, or
anaphylaxis – to iodinated contrast agents, please contact our office
1 week prior to your procedure. You may need to bring a driver
you. You may return to your current level of activities the next day,
including return to work.
How do I prepare for
If you are allergic to
Iodine or Shellfish you may not be able to have a
CAT SCAN with contrast. In some cases premedication may be necessary to
prevent an allergic reaction prior to CAT SCAN.
A blood test called BUN and Creatnine must
be done at least 30 days before having a CAT SCAN with contrast. The
results must be normal.
If you are currently taking Glucophage you
must stop your does for 48 hours after your CAT SCAN. Repeat BUN and
Creatnine at 48 hours. You may resume your normal dose of Glucophage if
results are normal. If results are abnormal please contact your Primary