For your convenience, we have provided answers to the most frequently asked questions patients ask. Please contact us if you have any other specific questions not covered on this list and we would be happy to assist you!
Q: What are your office hours?
A: Click here for the Office Hours.
Q: Do I need a referral?
A: Yes, most imaging requests must have a referral from your physician prior to the exam being rendered. we do allow women over the age of 40 to schedule their annual screening mammogram without a physician's referral.
Imaging Procedures & Preparation
Q: What is the difference between Interventional Radiology and Diagnostic Radiology?
A: Interventional Radiology involves the treatment of medical problems. Diagnostic Radiology involves identifying potential health problems using various types of imaging.
Q: Do you participate with my insurance carrier?
A: You should obtain the most recent participating provider directory from your insurance carrier. Click here for Valley Radiology list of participating insurance carriers.
Q: Do I need an authorization to obtain an MRI or CT?
A: Most insurance carriers require an authorization for MRI or CT imaging performed on a non-emergency basis. It's best to check with your insurance carrier prior to having the exam performed. Your referring physician's office should obtain authorization prior to scheduling your appointment with CRR.
Q: Why are subspecialty-trained Radiologists important to me?
A: Subspecialist radiologists have additional years of advanced training in modalities such as MRI, CT, and PET/CT. They also have clinical expertise in body parts such as brain, head/neck, spine, soft tissue, shoulder, elbow, hand/wrist, knee and foot/ankle.
Q: What are the advantages of digital mammography compared to conventional mammography?
A: Conventional mammography uses film, whereas digital mammography can use either CR (Computed Radiography) or DR (Direct Digital Radiography) equipment, and images are sent to a computer. Advantages of digital mammography include:
- Allows for better visualization of patients with dense breast tissue.
- Provides greater magnification for the radiologist when dealing with calcifications.
- With conventional mammography, images sometimes have to be repeated because of density or contrast. With digital mammogram technology, images can be enhanced, eliminating the need to repeat the image. This means less x-ray exposure for the patient.
- Patients' mammograms can be stored permanently in a computerized PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) system, so images are always available for retrieval and comparison. In addition, with PACS, test results are stored digitally, which eliminates the loss or misfiling of films.
Q: What is the difference between CT, MRI and PET?
A: CT scan, also known as a CAT scan or Computed Tomography uses X-rays to produce images of organs and structures of the body. During the procedures, you will be lying down on a table that is fed through the "Gantry." The Gantry is a doughnut-shaped structure with a camera that rotates around your body to produce images. The images are then sent to a computer, which processes all the images, creating a series of images that a Radiologist can review in sequence to diagnose illnesses or injuries. After images are acquired, they are sent to a PACS (Picture Archiving & Communications) system where they can be stored digitally for future review and/or printing.
MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses a strong magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to produce images of organs and other structures in the body. In many cases, MRI is used in conjunction with other imaging methods (i.e. CT, Ultrasound and X-ray) to detect diseases and conditions that may not be easily detected with other methods. During the procedure you will be lying down on a table that is fed into a tube with magnets. You will often hear loud banging and noise which is common to MRI. You will be given earphones or earplugs to decrease the noise while receiving your scan. Most MRI procedures last approximately 30 minutes although some can reach upwards of an hour.
A PET scan (positron emission tomography) is an imaging test that can help reveal how your tissues and organs are functioning. To show this chemical activity, a small amount of radioactive material must enter your body. The precise type of radioactive material, and its delivery method, depends on which organ or tissue is being studied by the PET scan. The radioactive material may be injected into a vein, inhaled or swallowed. More radioactive material accumulates in areas that have higher levels of chemical activity. This often corresponds to areas of disease and shows up as brighter spots on the PET scan. A PET scan is useful in evaluating a variety of conditions - including neurological problems, heart disease and cancer.