Chesapeake Imaging
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Frequently Asked Questions

Click below for answers to frequently asked questions.

Q.  What are your age requirements for diagnostic exams?

A.  The age requirement for an exam varies depending on the exam type.  There is no minimum age for ultrasounds and x rays. Some of our longer exams like MRI and CT require a patient to hold still for long periods of time.  We do not scan very young patients in CT and MRI for this reason. It’s best to reach out to us about these cases.

Q.  Is there a weight limit for having an exam?

 A.  The weight limit for equipment we use varies.  Some of our machines can only accommodate patients up to 350 pounds while others accommodate larger patients.   It is best to discuss this with the team member scheduling your appointment. They will then be able to give you an appointment in one of our centers that will best accommodate you.

Q.  Will my whole body and head have to go into the MRI scanner?

A.  This will depend on the body part you are having scanned.  The part of interest has to be placed in the middle of the scanner.  The good news is that our scanners are designed to be claustrophobic friendly.  They are not as long and narrow as what you may have experienced in the past and require much less of your body to be in the machine during your scan.

Q.  Will I be exposed to radiation during the MRI exam?

A.  Not at all.  There is no radiation involved in an MRI exam.

Q.  Why do I need a full bladder for a pelvic ultrasound exam?

A.  The fluid helps the signal travel to the pelvic organs in order to see them clearly.

Q.  Why is it necessary to fast for certain exams?

A.   Some organs behave and look differently with food and liquid in them.  This makes evaluating certain organs difficult to evaluate. Fasting greatly improves the quality of your exam.

Q.  How do I know if labs are needed with my exam prior to contrast?

A.  There is no need to visit the lab before your exam.  We can perform any necessary bloodwork for your test with a quick finger stick right in our office.

Q.  Why am I advised not to use deodorant, lotion, or perfumes for a mammogram exam?

A.  These items can show up on your mammogram images.  We ask that you not wear them or remove them with special wipes  that we provide.

Q.  With a DEXA exam why am I advised to discontinue all calcium supplements and medications?

A.  These items can cause an incorrect reading Calcium can lie over the spine and cause an inaccurate measurement of the calcium that is actually in your spine.

Additional Important Questions

What are the Radiation Exposure Risks?

A physician looking at the results of a scan.Chesapeake Medical Imaging is committed to quality, accurate interpretations.  Our machines are fully accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR sets very high standards to ensure that patients get a high quality exam that uses the lowest possible amount of radiation.  As a result, we are actively involved in understanding and weighing the benefits and risk of our imaging procedures.

Generally, radiation doses from imaging exams are relatively small and the clinical benefit of an exam far outweighs the risks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, most people in the United States receive an annual radiation dose of about 360 millirem (used to measure radiation); 80% of that is from natural sources such as elevation, soil, rocks, radon gas, or plane trips. The descriptions below outline some common imaging procedures and the radiation risks associated with them.

MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging does NOT use radiation to image patients. There is no radiation risk involved in this study.

Ultrasound – Ultrasound does NOT use radiation to image patients. There is no radiation risk involved in this study.

X-ray – A mild dose of radiation is used to perform this study; chest x-ray is comparable to a cross country plane trip.

Mammogram – A mild dose or radiation is used to perform this study. The radiation risk is similar to the annual radioactivity naturally produced by the average person’s body.

CT – A Computed Tomography scan requires more radiation than an x-ray, however, it also provides a more detailed picture. The clinical benefit for diagnosis may outweigh the radiation risk; patients and their referring physician should consider the risks and benefits before proceeding with a CT study. Total radiation exposure varies greatly by procedure; a typical Chest CT is comparable to the radiation exposure from radon gas annually emitted in the average home.

PET – Positron Emission Tomography uses small amounts of radioactive materials which are injected and target the area of the body being pictured. The radiation risk varies by procedure.

Nuclear Medicine Scans – Nuclear medicine scans use small amounts of radioactive materials which are either injected, swallowed or inhaled to help target the area of the body being pictured and diagnosed. The radiation risks are like that of an x-ray.

What efforts has Chesapeake Medical Imaging put in place to limit radiation exposure?

Chesapeake Medical Imaging participates in rigorous programs and has taken several steps to ensure our patients receive only the necessary amounts of radiation needed to achieve a quality image to properly diagnose a patient. These steps include:

  • All our radiologists and technologists are board-certified and have extensive training on techniques that minimize radiation exposure for patients.
  • Our radiologists use the ACR Appropriateness Criteria so that the most appropriate imaging exam is prescribed in order to avoid unnecessary exposure. Recommending procedures that don’t use radiation when  better for a specific condition.
  • Our radiologists are actively involved in the ACR and the American Board of Radiology so that they can monitor new trends for radiation dosing and implement new standards and guidelines quickly when needed.

What steps does Chesapeake Medical Imaging take to ensure my privacy?

Chesapeake Medical Imaging takes every patient’s privacy very seriously.  Our safety committee includes a HIPAA Compliance Officer who works with our sites/staff to ensure that all aspects of the HIPAA law is followed.  All records are stored in password protected servers with software designed for our radiology practice.  When you arrive for your appointment you will be asked to fill out confidential forms. On these forms you will be able to express how and with whom you wish to share your healthcare information.  This keeps your information secure. You may change this information at any time. The written forms are shredded after the information is entered into your electronic chart. You may view our HIPAA Privacy Policy in the office at registration or contact us.

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