FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Open MRI systems reduce patient anxiety and claustrophobia and can accommodate the size of larger patients. To provide these advantages, open MRI machines are designed with larger openings compared to standard closed-bore MRI systems.
Some open MRIs might have magnets that do not completely surround your body, and remain open on one-side. But this kind of open MRI cannot do some types of MRI scans. At Open Air MRI of Cen-La, we utilize the Siemens Espree Open MRI system. This machine provides our patients with the comfort of a super-wide and super-short gantry, while compromising on imaging quality or other limitations of lower field-strength open MRIs.
Contrast media is sometimes given to highlight various body parts during certain MRI and CT imaging exams. There are two different types of contrast media that can be administered to a patient depending on the type of scan performed.
Oral Contrast – This type of contrast is given to illuminate the bowel during certain CT scans. It helps to make the internal organs more distinguishable.
IV contrast – This type of contrast is injected into the patient by way of the veinous system. IV contrast agents are sometimes used in MRI and CT imaging studies to illuminate or accent certain anatomical abnormalities or diseases.
To further improve patient comfort and care, we’ve teamed up with CinemaVision to offer an advanced audio and video system for our MRI patients. The benefits of using this technology include:
- Allows MRI patients to watch DVD movies, cable TV or iPad video, or listen to music instead;
- Reduces the need for child sedation during MRI exams;
- Helps to eliminate anxiety and claustrophobia for most MRI patients.
Now patients can relax in a virtual comfort zone and enjoy favorite movies and musical entertainment during their MRI exams. We care about patient comfort and we are proud to offer a state-of-the-art MRI-compatible entertainment system to complement our state-of-the-art scanner.
The risks associated with a PET/CT scan are very slight. The amount of radiation is low and the injected radiopharmaceutical decays quickly so there is no detectable radioactivity after a few hours. In addition to the radioactive decay, the remaining radiopharmaceutical is eliminated from the body through urine. Family members are not at risk for exposure since most of the radioactivity has left the body or decayed before the patient has left the center. The physician ordering your PET/CT scan will explain any associated risks and benefits from a PET/CT exam. Our Chief Technologist will also be able to address any questions you might have about the safety of PET/CT imaging.
Radiopharmaceuticals are used in a wide variety of Nuclear Medicine and PET/CT exams to image and measure how the body functions. In PET/CT imaging the most commonly used radiopharmaceutical is a radioactive form of glucose that allows doctors to image and measure how cells in the body use glucose for fuel. Different diseases increase or decrease the amount of glucose used.
Correct preparation for your imaging study is very important!
Please read the relevant modality-specific exam preparation information found on the Your Exam page.
If you need to reschedule your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible so that we may reschedule your exam for a more convenient time.
In the case of rescheduling PET/CT exams, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible, because the radiopharmaceuticals we use must be ordered in advance and cannot be reused once we receive them.
Yes, any patient scheduled for a MRI and/or CT exam will be screened by a nurse or technologist prior to entering the MRI/CT Suite. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time to complete the screening process.
Please be sure to bring a valid government ID and your insurance card to your exam appointment. It will also be helpful to bring a list of any medications you are currently taking and copies of your most recent X-ray, CT, or MRI exams.
Please be aware that our exam rooms can sometimes be cool, so we suggest that you wear warm comfortable clothing. We also ask that you avoid wearing jewelry or clothes with metal fasteners or zippers.
Upon arrival at the imaging center, our Patient Care Coordinator will review and complete your patient registration information. Afterward, our Technologist will escort you to a comfortable uptake room where you will receive a radiopharmaceutical injection. You will then be asked to relax and remain physically inactive for approximately 60 minutes to allow the radiopharmaceutical to distribute throughout your body.
After this resting period, you will be asked to empty your bladder and then lie down on the scanner bed. The scan takes approximately 15-35 minutes, depending upon the type of scan you are having and the type of scanner being used. It is important that you lie still during this process. If you need pain medication please bring it with you. You should plan on being at the imaging facility for approximately 2 to 3 hours.
If you are on anxiety medication or are claustrophobic, please bring medication with you in order to take it immediately prior to your exam.
For MRI exams of pediatric, physically challenged, or seniors, patients may be accompanied by a parent or support person during the actual testing. Any person accompanying a patient must be screened before entering the MR suite.
For all other exams, we have chairs available in our waiting room for family members to relax while you are having your procedure.
In general, MRI, CT, X-Ray, and Ultrasound interpretive reports will be transmitted to your referring physician within 8 hours of your completed exam. PET/CT and MRI Arthrography reports will generally be sent within 24-48 hours of exam completion. If requested at the time of your exam, we will also send the results to other physicians involved in managing your healthcare.
If you would like any other physician or healthcare provider to receive copies of your imaging results and medical records, we will require your specific and written authorization. We encourage you to utilize a form for such purposes that may be downloaded here.
After your referring physician has discussed with you the results of your imaging exam, you may request and receive personally a copy of your imaging exam results and medical records. In these cases, please call our clinic to make this request and schedule a pickup time that give us sufficient time to duplicate your records. You will also be required to complete and sign a medical release at the time you receive your records. A copy of this release may be downloaded here.
Receiving feedback from our patients regarding their experience with our services and staff is a powerful avenue for us to assess whether we are meeting their needs and allows us to address any shortcomings that might arise.
To facilitate this process, every patient should receives a Patient Satisfaction Survey to complete and return with their thoughts about the entire experience at our imaging center and with our organization. An online version of this survey will be made available soon. In the meantime, you may contact our office if you would like to receive a hard copy of our Patient Satisfaction Survey.
Billing & Payments
We accept Medicare and most insurance and managed care plans. As plans or contracts may change, please contact us if you would like to know whether we currently accept a specific plan.
In you are insured, outstanding deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance will be collected at the time of your exam. If for any reason you will be responsible for all or most of the charges, please contact us to discuss our reduced self-pay fee schedule and explore the payment arrangements available to you.
If you are not currently insured, if your insurance policy does not cover this type of exam, or if for any other reason you will be responsible for all or most of the charges, please contact us to discuss our reduced self-pay fee schedule and explore the payment arrangements available to you.
If you have questions or concerns about the bill you receive for your exam, we encourage you to contact our helpful billing staff at (318) 424-6486. We will be happy to discuss your bill and address any questions or concerns you may have.
Imaging exams involve two separate fees–one for the scan or procedure itself (performed and billed by us) and one for the professional interpretation of the images (performed and billed by a Radiologist). You will likely receive separate bills for each service.