Frequently asked questions.

How open is an open magnet? What is the weight limit?
The Oasis High-Field 1.2T Open MRI is a Bore-less patient friendly open MRI that provides high image quality.  Bore-less has always been the patient choice.  The Oasis offers an unobstructed view for virtually every exam and is capable of scanning patients up to 660 lbs..  Even the most anxious patients are at ease – whether head or feet first, they can see out.  The Oasis High-Field open MRI system at Longview Radiologists measures 3.5 feet (side to side opening), and 17 inches (top to bottom, height of opening)

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I'm claustrophobic and anxious about having an MRI examination.
The open MRI magnet provides superior patient comfort and a wide open-air design which helps to minimize claustrophobic effect. We also encourage you to have a loved-one or friend accompany you during the exam if this will make you more comfortable.

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Is there any radiation involved in MRI?
There is no radiation involved. MRI uses a combination of radio frequencies and magnetic field to produce images.

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Are there any reasons I can't have an MRI exam?
There are objects, particularly metal objects, that are incompatible with a strong magnetic field and they can have potentially harmful effects. 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: pacemakers, brain aneurysm clips, neuro or bone stimulators, surgical staples, implanted drug infusions devices, shrapnel or bullet wounds, BBs, metal fragments in the eye or permanent eyeliner.

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What will I experience during the MRI? How long will I be in the magnet? Do I have to hold still?
The MRI procedure will typically last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of information required by the physician. The patient is easily observed by the technologist throughout the study and is able to speak to the technologist at any time. The only requirement is that the patient remain as still as possible during the exam. During the scan, the patient experiences nothing unusual. A variety of sounds, such as humming and thumping noises, will be heard as the scan progresses.

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What do I wear?
You may be asked to wear patient scrubs to avoid magnetic interference from belt buckles and zippers. Because of the magnetic field, you will be asked to leave all metal objects outside the room such as coins, jewelry, watches, glasses, credit cards, hearing aides, keys, hair pins, or other metal objects. Secure, locked lockers are provided for our patient's belongings.
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Are x-rays dangerous?
Radiation exposure from x-ray examinations today is minimal. Contemporary x-ray systems deliver a very brief and narrow beam of radiation. Exposure is reduced by limiting beam size and exposure utilizing lead shielding devices when appropriate and limited duration of the exposure.

Though pregnant patients or pregnant personnel are of concern with respect to radiation exposure, the American College of Radiology states that there is no single x-ray procedure that results in radiation exposure intense enough to threaten the well being of an embryo or fetus. When an examination can't be postponed until after delivery, the fetus can be protected by the use of lead shielding and coning techniques. Patients should inform the technologist if there is a possibility of pregnancy before the examination.

If you have concerns regarding the amount of radiation involved in any of the tests we offer, please so not hesitate to contact us at 360-425-5131.

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What is contrast and is it harmful?
It is important to inform the technologist at the time of your examination or procedure if you have any history of reactions / allergies to a contrast agent such as x-ray dye, medications or substances such as latex.

Many X-ray, CT and MRI tests use 'contrast'. There are several different contrasts that improve the image. These may be taken by mouth or injected into a vein. X-ray contrast contains Iodine bound into a special compound. We use this to show blood vessels, kidneys, and other masses much more clearly - some structures cannot be shown any other way.

Unfortunately, there are occasionally some people who are sensitive, or allergic, to contrast. If you are, please let us know; precautions will be taken or an alternative test used. Most people will not be aware of any reaction to the contrast apart from a warm sensation and metallic taste which passes quickly. However, there is a very small subgroup of patients who will react in a more significant way.

Reactions usually will be in the form of a rash, but rarely there can be breathing problems and even cardiac arrest - the risk of the most severe reaction is between 1 in 40,000 and 1 in 100,000, and this can result in death. It is impossible to predict who will react to the contrast (unless you have had a previous reaction to contrast), although some people are at more risk, e.g. asthmatics and generally allergic people. Be assured that the modern contrast agents are among the safest medicines around.

At Longview Radiologists P.S., Inc we are alert to reactions and have emergency drugs available. All staff are trained in resuscitation.

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Do I need to make an appointment?
General diagnostic exams, such as wrist, knees, ankles, etc. do not require appointments. We take these patients on a walk in basis. All other exams do require appointment times.

This allows us to serve you and other patients optimally without pressure. However, as we program into the day sessions for urgent cases, all that may be required is a phone call. We aim to be responsive. [ top of page ]

Do I need an order from my physician to have an x-ray?
You will need a prescription from your physician for all diagnostic services performed at our imaging center.

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Can I compare prices?
Please feel free to compare our prices with other radiology providers. We believe that we provide the best service, given our commitment to high quality equipment and staff.

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Can I bring a friend?
We encourage you to bring a friend or family member. They can be a great comfort to you in a time of stress. However, depending on the exam they may not be able to be in the examination room as they will be exposed to unnecessary radiation. However, it is sometimes helpful for parents to accompany young children into the examination room and if possible we will facilitate that. Our Open MRI suite has a comfortable chair within a spacious room to allow you to be near your friend or family member during MRI examinations. Partners are always welcome to be present during pregnancy ultrasounds. We try to accommodate all requests so please ask and we will try to accommodate your wishes.

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Do I see the radiologist?
This will depend on the type of examination. Some examinations are performed by the radiologist and others are performed by a technologist trained and registered in his/her particular specialty. A radiologist will interpret the films and a report will be sent to your referring physician so the results can be discussed with you.

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Can I discuss the results of my test with the radiologist?
It is preferable that you discuss the results of your x-ray with your referring clinician as your clinician has more knowledge of your illness. He/she can take into consideration your comprehensive clinical symptoms and findings, as well as lab tests and other results.

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What if I need my films to take to a specialist?
At Longview Radiologists, P.S. Inc, not all imaging is processed on film, but we are happy to supply you with a copy of your films on request. However, all examinations are kept indefinitely on a large computer database. Top quality film copy can be produced from this at any stage as required by your specialist. You therefore have the assurance that, even if a set of films are lost in a consultation with a specialist, further copies of the same high quality can be produced from the computer archive. This is our commitment to providing you with a service of unsurpassed quality.

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Can I have a picture of my baby's ultrasound?
We are happy to supply you with a picture of your baby's ultrasound. Longview Radiologists offers 3D fetal images which can be used to help bond parents with their fetus. Seeing their baby's picture for the first time can be a special and lasting moment for expectant parents.

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Do I need to wear special clothes?
It is best to wear loose clothes as some tests require you to disrobe. We will provide you with patient scrubs or dressing gowns for your privacy.

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How will my doctor get the results?
The report is faxed within 24 hours or less to your referring clinician. The original is either delivered by courier or mail depending on your clinician's location.

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How will I find out my results?
It is important to discuss the results of your test with your health care provider after any examination or procedure. The results can then be compared with your overall health condition, which only your physician or practitioner can access for you.

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Can I have a copy of the report?
A report is not usually forwarded to the patient as it is formulated for your clinician and is paraphrased in medical terminology. You are eligible under the Privacy Act to obtain a copy of the report. However, we advise you to obtain a copy from your clinician after discussing the implications of the test results with them.

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