Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a CT scan take?   Approximately 15 minutes at New Hartford Scanner, which is shorter than with many other CT scanners.
Does someone need to drive me home?   No.
Can I drink coffee before a mammogram?   Caffeine does not affect the results of your mammogram, but may increase breast tenderness. Some women's breasts are sensitive to caffeine intake. For those women, breast compression during a mammogram may affect the level of discomfort. It is your choice, but stopping caffeine may decrease discomfort during breast compression.
Do I need an order from my doctor for an xray or medical imaging exam?   Yes, although it is sometimes possible to have a screening mammogram without a doctor's order.
Will insurance cover the exam?   Some insurance plans require that you have a pre-authorization number for exams. The doctor's office that is ordering the exam is responsible for obtaining this number prior to scheduling your appointment. Bring your insurance card with you. When you arrive at the imaging facility, you may be asked to complete forms about insurance and payment so that the facility can submit to the appropriate company on your behalf.
During some MRI exams, why do I need an injection and will it interfere with my medications?   You may need an injection for clarification or to help differentiate between types of tissue during some radiology exams. The "contrast media" injection is a natural substance that works with the magnet and does not contain any dye. It will not interfere with your medications.
Why do I need to bring my previous CT scans, xrays, ultrasounds and MRI films?   The radiologist who reads your MRI exam will want to compare any prior studies of the same body area to your MRI films.
How long does an MRI scan take?   Each scan's length of time varies, usually anywhere from 30 - 90 minutes.
Can I be given some medication before the exam?   If appropriate, your doctor will determine the need for sedatives and order them prior to the exam.
Can someone go into the MRI room with me?   Yes, in most cases they can go into the room if they do not have an implanted medical electronic device, such as a pacemaker.
How long does a PET scan take?   Approximately 2 hours from start to finish.
How does the exam differ from a CT scan?   PET is a functional look at the body and how it absorbs the radioactive sugar. Tumor cells are more active than regular cells and therefore absorb the sugar at a higher rate than surrounding tissue. The PET scanner detects where the radiation has accumulated in the body. CT is a structural look at the body where the size and shape of anatomical structures can be seen, but it cannot determine the function of an organ.
Is there any preparation?   Yes. You can have nothing to eat or drink, other than water, after midnight. Water is the only fluid that you may drink prior to the PET scan. If the test is in the afternoon, you must fast for at least 6 hours prior to the scheduled time of exam. Diabetics should check their sugar level before coming in.
Can an ultrasound exam be done when I am menstruating?   Yes.
How can you tell if the baby is a boy or a girl?   The sex of the baby can be verified if the fetus is positioned so that the sexual organs are visible on the medical image.
Why do I need a full bladder for some exams?   Sound travels best through a distended, or full, bladder. Ideally, the bladder should be as full as tolerable during the exam.



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