Heritage Diagnostic Center provides northern Alabama with the enhanced GE 3T MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and a state of the art CT Scan (Computed Tomography). These diagnostic imaging services produce high resolution results for use in diagnostic and treatment of a wide range of conditions and disorders.
Computed Tomography (known as CT or a CAT Scan/Computed Axian Tomography) is a safe technology that produces detailed images of body tissues and organs. It uses special x-ray equipment to image the body from different angles, then uses computer technology to piece the images together.
CT scans provide great details of head injuries, brain tumors, strokes, and other brain diseases. CT is a fast, safe, and low cost technology that produces high quality images. A Radiologist will interpret the results, presenting them to your physician.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Your 3T MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), as ordered by your physician, evaluates internal body structures using non-invasive computer technology to generate high resolution imagery. Heritage Diagnostics uses advanced GE 3T MRI imaging technology to produce images in as short a time as possible with your comfort and safety in mind. The results will help your physician better diagnose any conditions or health issues.
There are no known risks with your 3T MRI. However, there are certain conditions may that limit the use of a magnetic field. Please notify the technician if you or the person accompanying you:
- Have had brain, eye, ear or other surgeries
- Have had foreign metal objects in your eye or that have been removed from your eye.
- Have ever been a machinist or sheet metal worker.
- Are pregnant
- Have a cardiac pacemaker or artificial heart valve
- Metal plate, pin or other metallic implant
- Have a permanent (tattoo) eye-liner
- Have an intrauterine device
- Have an insulin pump or other infusion pump
- Have any body piercing
Preparing For Your MRI
No special preparations are required. You may eat and drink normally and take all medications as usual. You may wish to avoid coffee/caffeinated beverages before the exam, just to help you relax a bit more. You can be accompanied by a friend or family member but they must notify the technician of any of the conditions stated at left.
What's The Test Like?
You will be asked to lie on a table and remain still for 30 minutes to one hour depending on the required test. You will be asked to remove make-up, eyeglasses, watches, jewelry, credit cards, dentures, hearing aids and any other metal objects that you may be carrying. During the test, the only sound you will hear is a faint knocking which is normal in the procedure. You will experience no bodily sensation. A series of several images will be taken, about 3-7 minutes each in duration.
Will I Need An Injection?
Generally no injections are needed, although in some cases, a safe, FDA approved substance known as a "contrast agent" will be used to help in image development.
Risks & Benefits
There are few risks associated with a CT Scan. Nursing mothers should wait 24 hours after any "contrast" injection before resuming breastfeeding. The risk of allergic reactions to iodine containing contrast material is rare and our CT Technologists are well equipped to help with any reactions. CT does involve radiation exposure but the levels used are safe, FDA approved, and minimal.
CT is the method of choice when high resolution images of precise sections of the body are required by the patients physician. It is highly useful in diagnosing a large variety of medical conditions relating to illness or injury.
Preparing For Your CT
Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. Please remove earrings, eyeglasses, dentures, dental implants or hairpins prior to your session. No other dietary preparations are required. The CT Technologist MAY use a "contrast material" to help enhance the imaging results. If it is used, you will be asked in advance of any known allergies to any medications or contract material reactions that have been experienced in the past and to refrain from eating 4-6 hours prior to the procedure.
The radiologist should also be told if you have asthma, multiple myeloma, disorders of the heart, kidneys or thyroid gland, or if you have diabetes, particularly if you take Glucophage. If you are pregnant, please notify the technologist in advance.
What's The Test Like?
The CT Scanner is a large machine with a center hole similar to a donut. You will be asked to lie on a table that can move up or down, and in or out of the hole. The patients body part of concern will be moved to the center of the hole and the patient will hear a "clicking" sound as images are being acquired. You can speak to the Technologist at different times, but family or friends cannot be in the room with you during the test.
Is There Any Pain?
If contrast material is injected, you may experience a metallic taste that last up to 2 minutes and may develop itching or hives for a few hours after the injection. Medication can relieve these symptoms. If the patient feels any discomfort after or during the injection, please inform the Technologist.