Affordable Imaging Centers Near Me | Book Online (2022)

Table of Contents
Your questions answered. What is diagnostic medical imaging? Are radiology centers open during the COVID-19 pandemic? What are those safety protocols? Should I get seen if I’m not feeling well? Which diagnostic imaging scan do I need? Can I get X-rays and diagnostic imaging through Sesame? Is the radiation dangerous? What's the difference between an MRI with contrast and an MRI without contrast? What are contrast agents? How is contrast administered? What are the side effects of contrast agents? What do doctors look for in a mammogram interpretation? What should I know about the price of imaging? What is a CT scan? Why is a CT scan necessary? What happens during a CT scan? What should I expect at my CT scan? How do I prepare for a CT scan? What is an MRI Scan? What is an MRI used for? What is an MRI scan used to diagnose? Can I get an MRI if I'm claustrophobic? What should I expect during my MRI? What happens during an MRI? Is MRI an outpatient procedure? Is MRI safe? How do I prepare for an MRI? What is an fMRI? What is an ultrasound? What types of ultrasounds are there? What can I expect during my ultrasound exam? Why do I need an ultrasound during the first trimester of pregnancy? Why do I need an ultrasound during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy? What are the types of breast exams you can get? What is a mammogram? What is a screening mammogram? What happens during a screening mammogram? What is a diagnostic mammogram? What happens during a diagnostic mammogram? What happens after my diagnostic mammogram? What are 3D mammograms? What are the benefits of mammography? What do doctors look for in a mammogram interpretation? FAQs Videos

Your questions answered.

What is diagnostic medical imaging?

Diagnostic imaging describes technology that doctors use to see inside your body to diagnose and treat medical conditions. Doctors may order an x-ray, for example, to treat a broken arm, or a mammogram to scan for breast cancer. Here are some of the most common diagnostic medical imaging tools that doctors use to care for their patients.

- Doppler ultrasound: A special type of ultrasound that looks at major blood vessels to evaluate blockages in blood vessels, plaque build-up, or detect any congenital defects.

- X-rays: This process uses ionizing radiation that travels by electromagnetic waves to produce an image.

- Mammograms: These x-ray pictures for the breast detect early signs of breast cancer.

- CT Scan: A mix of computer imaging and x-rays that create a more detailed picture of your tissues, bones, and organs.

- MRI: A machine that uses a computer along with radio waves and magnets to produce a detailed image without the use of ionizing radiation.

Health care marketplaces like Sesame make it easier than ever to speak to licensed doctors in who can recommend and schedule the diagnostic imaging procedure that is right for you.

Are radiology centers open during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yep. Radiology centers are open with new safety protocols to keep you safe while you take care of your body.

What are those safety protocols?

Radiology centers have implemented extensive sterilization procedures, provided PPE for staff and patients, and reduced appointment times to minimize contact with other patients and accommodate social distancing guidelines.

Should I get seen if I’m not feeling well?

If you're experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or may have come in contact with somebody infected, you should stay home.

Which diagnostic imaging scan do I need?

CT scans are a form of diagnostic imaging, a set of tools that allow doctors to see directly inside your body to better diagnose and treat conditions. Other common diagnostic imaging tools include:

  • MRI: A machine that uses a computer along with radio waves and magnets to produce a detailed view inside the body, without exposing patients to any radiation exposure.

  • X-rays: X-rays use ionizing radiation, which travels by electromagnetic waves, to produce images of structures inside the body.

  • Mammograms: Mammograms take X-ray images of the breast to detect early signs of breast cancer.

  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound technology allows for real-time sonograms (images) without the use of radiation.

  • Doppler ultrasound: Special type of ultrasound that looks at major blood vessels to evaluate blockages in blood vessels, plaque build-up, or detect any congenital defects.

Your referring health care provider can help you make the right choice when it comes to medical imaging. Now, Sesame makes it easier than ever to book a visit with a radiologist today - no insurance needed.

Can I get X-rays and diagnostic imaging through Sesame?

While our doctors can't offer X-rays, MRIs, or other imaging over video, we do offer affordable imaging services in cities across the country. Save 60% on diagnostic imaging services like X-rays by booking a consult on Sesame with a licensed doctor in .

Is the radiation dangerous?

While ionizing radiation does have the potential to harm living tissue, the amount of radiation used in X-rays is generally far too small to have any adverse effects. A chest X-ray, for example, gives out a radiation dose similar to what you're naturally exposed to from the environment in a 10 day period.

There are a few safety measures you'll want to keep in mind, though. For instance, always be sure to tell the technologist or doctor if you're pregnant or think you may be pregnant. If your child needs an x-ray, you may also want to ask if the X-ray machine settings have been adjusted for children, as children have a higher sensitivity to radiation. Also, keep in mind that risk does increase as the number of exposures adds up over the course of a lifetime. Still, most healthcare providers agree that the diagnostic benefits of X-ray scans significantly outweigh the risks.

What's the difference between an MRI with contrast and an MRI without contrast?

There are two types of MRI scans, one with contrast and one without contrast. The main difference between an MRI with contrast and an MRI without contrast is that one is clearer than the other.

For MRIs with contrast, a type of dye is injected into the body prior to the scan. An MRI without contrast forgoes this injection. MRIs without contrast are preferred for patients for whom dye is not recommended, such as pregnant women and kidney-compromised patients. Your referring clinician will determine which type of MRI is appropriate for you.

What are contrast agents?

Contrast agents are dyes used to help the clarity of scanned images. They are usually swallowed, or injected into a vein.

The most common contrast agents used by radiologists are:
- Iodine
- Gadolinium
- Barium-sulfate materials

These dyes are safe but have been known to cause mild allergic reactions in some cases. Severe reactions are rare.

Tell your doctor in advance about the following:
- Any food, dye, preservative, or drug allergies
- Medications you are taking, including herbal supplement
- Recent illness
- Any medical history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or hayfever
- History of kidney and liver problems or disease

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How is contrast administered?

Contrast agents are usually given right before the test. The substance may be administered 1 of 3 ways:

- Injection: A contrast agent may be injected intravenously through a needle in your arm to highlight blood vessels, tumors, internal inflammation, and the blood supply to internal organs.

- Oral: For scans of the digestive tract, you may be supplied with a contrast agent that is meant to be taken orally - usually in liquid form.

- Enema: A contrast substance may be inserted into the rectum for scans of the intestines.

After the scan, it is recommended that you drink fluids to assist your kidneys in clearing the contrast agent from your body.

What are the side effects of contrast agents?

Adverse effects caused by contrast agents are rare.

Common side effects caused by contrast agents include:
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Rash/ hives
- Itchiness
- Headache

If you experience more severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, abnormal heart rhythms, or confusion, talk to your doctor right away. These are symptoms of an allergic reaction and require immediate treatment.

Before you undergo a CT scan with a contrast agent, talk to your health care provider about your medical history, any conditions that you may be managing, the medication you are taking, and any allergic reactions you have experienced. It is especially important that you detail any allergic reactions you may have had caused by medication, dyes, preservatives, or animal products.

What do doctors look for in a mammogram interpretation?

Doctors generally look at breast density, as some data suggests that women with denser breasts get delayed diagnoses as it's harder to detect breast cancer. They also look for mass lesions and evaluate the symmetry of the glandular tissue, as a lack of symmetry can sometimes be an indicator of an underlying issue. But often the earliest sign can be tiny micro-calcifications, which look like tiny specs of white in a mammogram that may indicate early cancer.

What should I know about the price of imaging?

In many cases, imaging in a hospital system can be up to 3x more expensive than at an outpatient facility or with an independent doctor.

That means imaging with independent facilities and doctors can often save you time and money.

Through insurance, you're subject to a co-pay, deductible, and any co-insurance required on imaging that is often more expensive. But at an independent facility, you can see clear costs upfront and often pay a much better price.

Even with insurance, it may still be better for you to pay cash, especially if you have a high deductible that you don't expect to hit this year. Imaging booked directly with an independent facility or doctor lets you bypass the insurance bureaucracy, mark-ups, and hidden fees - and pay one competitive price for your exam.

What is a CT scan?

A CT scan (computerized tomography scan) is a tool that doctors use to get a cross-sectional view of soft tissue, blood vessels, bones, and other structures inside your body. CT Scans take a series of x-rays of the body and use computer processing to combine them into the cross-sectional images that doctors use to diagnose conditions and develop treatment plans. CT scans are helpful in diagnosing internal injuries, treatment planning and monitoring, and disease detection. While often performed in hospitals' radiology departments, CT scans are generally outpatient procedures. This means that you can go home on the same day that you receive your scan.

CT Scans are performed with contrast and without contrast. Contrast is a dye used to enhance your imaging and is only needed in specific instances. Check with your referring physician if you're unsure which CT scan is right for you.

Why is a CT scan necessary?

CT scans help doctors assess and diagnose abnormalities in soft tissue and bone. CT scans can also detect vascular medical conditions, like coronary heart disease or blood clots.

CT scans also help doctors plan for surgeries, giving them an inside look at the structures on which they intend to operate, as well as facilitating biopsies.

Your doctor may recommend a CT scan to:
- Detect and diagnose bone and muscle disorders
- Detect tumors and blood clots
- Diagnose an internal infection
- Detect and diagnose certain cancers
- Monitor conditions such as heart disease, internal organ problems, and masses developing in the body
- Monitor the progress of cancer treatment
- Detect internal bleeding

What happens during a CT scan?

Before your CT Scan, you may be asked to take a contrast agent, the substance that clarifies the images the CT Scan produces. Contrast material is painless and often taken by mouth or administered by injection. Sometimes, patients experience a metallic taste in their mouths after ingesting contrast material. But don't worry! It's very common.

During the procedure, you will lie on a motorized table that slides through a circular opening of the scanning machine. A CT scan works by emitting X-ray beams from the CT scanner to capture pictures of the body from multiple angles. Your technologist may ask you to hold still, or even hold your breath, to prevent images from blurring.

Once the procedure is complete you will likely be asked to drink fluids to help flush out the contrast material from your kidneys.

What should I expect at my CT scan?

During the procedure, you will lie on a motorized table that slides through a circular opening of the scanning machine. A CT scan works by emitting X-ray beams from the CT scanner to capture pictures of the body from multiple angles. Your technologist may ask you to hold still, or even hold your breath, to prevent images from blurring.

Once the procedure is complete you will likely be asked to drink fluids to help flush out the contrast material from your kidneys.

After the scan, you will be able to go about your daily activities. In most cases, you will get the results from your CT scan within several business days after your appointment. Depending on your results, your doctor may request follow-up testing.

How do I prepare for a CT scan?

The specific preparations for your CT scan will depend on the area of your body being scanned. In some cases - especially those in which the abdomen or intestines are being scanned - you may be asked to fast for 8-12 hours prior to your appointment.

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You may be asked to disrobe and wear a thin, loose-fitting hospital gown before the exam. You will also be asked to remove any metallic items from your person such as piercings and jewelry, as well as eyeglasses and dentures.

What is an MRI Scan?

Magnetic resonance imaging (or MRI) is a non-invasive medical imaging technique that uses powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to take high-quality pictures of your organs and body.

MRI scanners are large magnets that create strong magnetic fields around the part of the body being imaged. The magnetic field made by an MRI scan is used to create a detailed image of the inside of your body that doctors can use to assess and diagnose your condition. In contrast to X-ray machines or computed tomography (CT scan) machines, MRIs do not use X-rays or ionizing radiation.

Save 60% on your next MRI when you book with Sesame. Connect on Sesame with a real, quality radiologist who can administer the procedure and get you the care you need for one affordable, upfront cost - no insurance required.

What is an MRI used for?

MRIs are commonly used to scan the brain, heart, blood vessels, bones, and joints. MRIs detect a variety of conditions, from blocked blood vessels to tumors.

What is an MRI scan used to diagnose?

MRI scans can be used to gather data on many areas of the body. The MRI allows your doctor to see organs, bones, and tissues in your body without surgery. This can help doctors diagnose a disease or injury.

Some conditions an MRI scan may help detect include:
- Brain injury
- Cancer
- Signs of a stroke
- Heart Disease
- Spinal disk problems
- Bone and joint injuries
- Internal organ health
- Soft tissue inflammation

MRI is more capable of assessing bone marrow and soft tissue than X-rays or CT scans. Connect with a doctor on Sesame to see if you may need an MRI scan.

Can I get an MRI if I'm claustrophobic?

Many radiology and imaging centers now have wide-bore/open MRI machines, which are beneficial not only to patients who may suffer from claustrophobia but also for patients who cannot fit into conventional MRI machines.

If you are claustrophobic (have a fear of enclosed spaces), you might be given a drug to help you feel less anxious and possibly a little drowsy. Most people get through the exam without any difficulty.

What should I expect during my MRI?

An MRI scanner is operated by a radiologic technologist and is used for the imaging of a certain part of the body. You can speak to your technologist during the procedure via a microphone in the machine. If you have a history of claustrophobia, you may be given a sedative drug to relieve anxiety during the procedure.

Once you are in the MRI machine, a strong magnetic field is created around you or the part of the body being scanned. The procedure is completely painless. The protons in your body, or the specific area of your body, will line up in a single direction. Short bursts of radio waves will be directed at your body, or a specific area of your body, that will cause these protons to emit radio signals. These signals are then combined like pixels on a computer screen to create detailed imaging of tissue, bone, and organs inside your body.

In some cases, a contrasting agent may be injected through your veins to enhance visual details in your scan. Gadolinium is the most frequently used contrast agent for MRI scans. Side effects of gadolinium are mild but may produce a chilling effect at the injection site or a “pins and needles” feeling. Sesame offers MRI procedures with and without contrast.

The scan can last anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the area of the body being examined, and how many images must be collected. The internal part of the magnet produces noise that can be blocked out with earplugs or music played during the procedure. Connect with doctors on Sesame to determine the MRI procedure that works best for you.

MRI services are completely painless and non-invasive. If you haven't been sedated, you can resume your usual activities immediately after the MRI.

What happens during an MRI?

An MRI scanner is operated by a radiologic technologist and is used for the imaging of a certain part of the body. You can speak to your technologist during the procedure via a microphone in the machine. If you have a history of claustrophobia, you may be given a sedative drug to relieve anxiety during the procedure.

Once you are in the MRI machine, a strong magnetic field is created around you or the part of the body being scanned. The procedure is completely painless. The protons in your body, or in the specific area of your body, will line up in a single direction. Short bursts of radio waves will be directed at your body, or a specific area of your body, that will cause these protons to emit radio signals. These signals are then combined like pixels on a computer screen to create detailed imaging of tissue, bone, and organs inside your body.

In some cases, a contrasting agent may be injected through your veins to enhance visual details in your scan. Gadolinium is the most frequently used contrast agent for MRI scans. Side effects of gadolinium are mild but may produce a chilling effect at the injection site or a “pins and needles” feeling. Sesame offers MRI procedures with and without contrast.

The scan can last anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on need, and how many images must be collected. The internal part of the magnet produces noise that can be blocked out with earplugs or music played during the procedure. Connect with doctors on Sesame to determine the MRI procedure that works best for you.

Is MRI an outpatient procedure?

Yep! MRI services are completely painless and non-invasive. If you haven't been sedated, you can resume your usual activities immediately after the MRI.

Is MRI safe?

An MRI does not use radiation, so there is no risk of exposure to ionizing radiation during the MRI process. However, because the MRI machine is a large magnet, it cannot be used on patients who may have metallic objects in their bodies (such as shrapnel, mesh, plates, or sutures).

MRIs may not be recommended for patients who have the following conditions:
- Pacemakers
- Aneurysm clips
- Some prosthetic devices (like some dental or eye prosthetics)
- Implanted heart defibrillators
- Neurostimulators
- Cochlear implants
- Intrauterine devices

Connect with a real, qualified doctor on Sesame to learn whether an MRI is the appropriate kind of diagnostic imaging for your needs.

How do I prepare for an MRI?

Before an MRI scan, a patient may be able to eat and drink normally, while taking their usual medication, unless advised otherwise. In certain cases, you may be asked not to drink water for up to four hours before the scan; in other cases, you may be asked to hydrate before receiving the contrast agent. These conditions depend on the area of the body being scanned, and the reason for scanning.

During your MRI, you may be asked to disrobe and change into a hospital gown before your scan.

Additionally, you may be asked to remove any metal objects that might interfere with the MRI scan such as:
- Earrings
- Bracelets
- Necklaces
- Rings
- Eyeglasses
- Watches
- Dentures
- Wigs (as some wigs contain traces of metal)
- Body piercings
- Hearing aids
- Underwire bras

What is an fMRI?

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures blood flow during brain activity. An fMRI produces images that detail the areas of the brain that are being used for certain functions to evaluate the effects of brain disease or assess damage from injury. An fMRI can detect abnormalities in the brain that other imaging procedures cannot catch.

Like an MRI scan, a functional MRI scan uses powerful magnets to produce a clear image. An fMRI may help in diagnosing such ailments as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, brain tumors, and chronic pain. They can also help provide insights into lingering effects from a stroke or brain trauma.

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What is an ultrasound?

An ultrasound is a simple, diagnostic tool that doctors use to take a look inside your body. Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to show doctors your internal organs and structures in real-time, helping them detect conditions like blood clots, gallstones, cancer, and more. Ultrasounds are a form of diagnostic imaging, just like x-rays or CT scans.

From physical therapists to obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYN), all kinds of healthcare providers use ultrasound imaging to diagnose and treat their patients. You may sometimes hear doctors call ultrasounds “sonography” or “sonograms.” These terms are interchangeable with “ultrasound” and mean the same thing.

What types of ultrasounds are there?

While all ultrasounds use soundwaves to produce real-time images of organs and internal structures, different procedures are used in different cases. The type of ultrasound you receive is generally determined by the area of the body that needs to be examined. Common ultrasound procedures include:

- Abdominal ultrasound (Transabdominal ultrasound): Used to examine internal organs, including the bladder, kidneys, spleen, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.

- Transvaginal ultrasound: Often used to check for causes of pelvic pain. Though it has a limited field of view, it can produce a more detailed image.

- Pelvic ultrasound: Used to examine internal organs including the ovaries, bladder, testicles, prostate gland, and uterus. This is the very common prenatal diagnostic used to get ultrasound images of gender and check the health of a fetus.

- Thyroid ultrasound: An ultrasound technologist can use this exam to check for over cysts, nodules, and overactive or underactive thyroid glands.

- Carotid and abdominal aorta ultrasound: Can look for blood flow blockages in the arteries of the neck that can cause a stroke.

What can I expect during my ultrasound exam?

Ultrasounds are easy, painless procedures that don’t break the skin or require any injections. Your sonographer will start the ultrasound by applying a gel to the area of your body that they plan to examine. This gel helps produce better internal images of the body. Once it is applied, your sonographer will use a device called a transducer, pressing it against the skin and moving it around to capture the necessary images.

After your sonographer completes the procedure, a radiologist will examine the images and send a report back to your primary care doctor. Your doctor will share your results with you and discuss next steps. If your doctor detects any abnormalities, they may order a biopsy to investigate further.

Usually, you won’t need to prepare anything before your ultrasound appointment. In some cases, though, your sonographer may recommend you take some steps to help improve your procedure. If you're receiving a gallbladder ultrasound, for example, you may need to fast an hour prior to the procedure. For pelvic ultrasounds, your sonographer may ask that you come with a full bladder. It’s recommended you come in comfortable clothing and leave jewelry at home.

Schedule an ultrasound appointment on Sesame today with a certified medical professional for an up-front, cash price.

Why do I need an ultrasound during the first trimester of pregnancy?

Ultrasounds are a non-invasive imaging technique that allows doctors to get a vantage point of the health of an unborn baby and the mother without surgery or exposure to ionizing radiation (present in X-ray scans).

Obstetric ultrasounds performed during the 1st trimester of pregnancy can help doctors:
- Confirm a pregnancy
- Evaluate the baby’s growth and size
- Determine the baby’s gestational age (this indicates how long the fetus has been developing, which may help establish a due date)
- Detect an ectopic pregnancy (a developing pregnancy located outside of the uterus)
- Detect and confirm a multiple pregnancy
- Evaluate the health of the placenta (the organ that provides a developing fetus oxygen and nutrients as it develops)
- Evaluate the amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds a fetus in the womb)
- Identify birth defects
- Examine and diagnose complications (such as irregular bleeding)
- Examine the cervix, uterus, ovaries, and bladder for complications or abnormalities

Ultrasounds are performed for medical reasons. Even though they do produce images of an unborn baby, these appointments are not intended to provide parents with keepsake pictures of their developing baby. If you would like an ultrasound for reassurance about the development of your baby, you may ask your health care provider or obstetrician about scheduling an ultrasound.

Why do I need an ultrasound during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy?

Ultrasounds are a non-invasive imaging technique that allows doctors to get a vantage point of the health of an unborn baby and the mother without surgery or exposure to ionizing radiation (present in X-ray scans).

Obstetric ultrasounds performed during the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy can help doctors:
- Determine the anatomy of the baby
- Evaluate the baby’s growth and size
- Evaluate the placenta and amniotic fluid - the fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus - for complications and nutrient composition
- Identify birth defects
- Examine and diagnose complications (such as irregular bleeding)
- Examine the cervix, uterus, ovaries, and bladder for complications or abnormalities

Ultrasounds are performed for medical reasons. Even though they do produce images of an unborn baby, these appointments are not intended to provide parents with keepsake pictures of their developing baby. If you would like an ultrasound for reassurance about the development of your baby, you may ask your health care provider or obstetrician about scheduling an ultrasound.

What are the types of breast exams you can get?

Health care providers use breast exams and mammograms to detect cancer in breast tissue before symptoms occur. There are a few ways in which you can get tested:

Mammogram: A screening mammogram is a low-dose x-ray that takes two or more x-rays of each breast to check for tumors and abnormalities.

Breast ultrasound: If abnormalities are found during your mammogram, your doctor may request a breast ultrasound, which uses sound waves to see the breast tissue in real-time. A breast ultrasound is a useful option for women with dense breasts.

Breast tomosynthesis (3-D mammography): Uses x-rays and computer technology to create a 3-D image of the breast. 3-D mammography is another useful option for women with dense breasts.

Contrast-enhanced digital mammography (CEDM): Combines 3-D mammography with a contrast dye to better detect breast cancer in those who are high-risk or who have dense breasts.

Breast MRI: Uses radio waves and magnets, along with a computer to create a detailed image of your breast. This is a great option for those who have previously had breast cancer and would like to avoid the radiation from a regular mammogram.

Self-exam: This is an at-home exam where you check your breasts for any unusual lumps or thickening of the skin. Learn how to perform a self-exam here.

What is a mammogram?

Mammograms are one of the primary tools that doctors use to detect breast cancer in patients. They play a key role in ensuring that cancers are caught early - before they spread and while they are still easily treatable.

Mammograms take x-rays of the breasts to screen for cancer, as well as for other abnormalities, like cysts, calcifications, and fibroadenomas. Screening mammography is one of the primary tools that doctors use to screen patients for breast cancer.

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The American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) recommend that all women should "have a risk assessment at age 30 to see if a screen earlier than age 40 is needed."

What is a screening mammogram?

Mammograms are one of the primary tools that doctors use to detect breast cancer in patients. They play a key role in ensuring that cancers are caught early - before they spread and while they are still easily treatable.

Mammograms take x-rays of the breasts to screen for cancer, as well as for other abnormalities, like cysts, calcifications, and fibroadenomas. Screening mammography is one of the primary tools that doctors use to screen patients for breast cancer.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) recommend that all women should "have a risk assessment at age 30 to see if a screen earlier than age 40 is needed."

A screening mammogram is a preliminary exam used to detect breast cancer in women who have displayed no signs or symptoms and are at average risk for cancer. A diagnostic mammogram, on the other hand, is used after a screening mammogram to examine a suspicious lump or mass in the breast.

Screening mammograms are not used for diagnosis. Instead, they offer your health care team a baseline to compare future mammograms against.

What happens during a screening mammogram?

You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up. In some clinics, you may be given a gown to wear.

During the exam, you will be asked to stand in front of an X-ray machine specially designed for mammography. A member of the imaging team will place your breast onto a platform that is raised or lowered to match your height. A clear plate will be placed on the other side of your breast to compress the tissue and spread it out. This may cause mild discomfort, but shouldn’t be painful. The platform under your breast will emit X-ray beams to create an image of the breast’s internal tissue. This image is recorded on a monitor by a technologist. This process will usually be done for both breasts. During the X-ray, you may be asked to hold your breath while the image is being taken to prevent blurring.

The procedure may take 15-30 minutes, after which time you will be instructed to change back into your regular clothes.

In most cases, you will be cleared to leave the clinic after the exam takes place. Mammograms do not require sedation, so you are free to go about your daily activities as soon as you leave the office.

What is a diagnostic mammogram?

Mammograms are one of the primary tools that doctors use to detect breast cancer in patients. They play a key role in ensuring that cancers are caught early - before they spread and while they are still easily treatable.

Mammograms take x-rays of the breasts to screen for cancer, as well as for other abnormalities, like cysts, calcifications, and fibroadenomas. Screening mammography is one of the primary tools that doctors use to screen patients for breast cancer.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) recommend that all women should "have a risk assessment at age 30 to see if a screen earlier than age 40 is needed."

Diagnostic mammograms are follow-up tests used to examine suspicious results of a breast screening. If the preliminary test found a lump or other changes in tissue that may indicate breast cancer, your doctor will request a diagnostic mammogram to diagnose the problem.

Diagnostic mammograms use several X-ray images to provide doctors with multiple vantage points at the area of concern.

What happens during a diagnostic mammogram?

You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up. In some clinics, you may be given a gown to wear.

During the exam, you will be asked to stand in front of an X-ray machine specially designed for mammography. A member of the imaging team will place your breast onto a platform that is raised or lowered to match your height. A clear plate will be placed on the other side of your breast to compress the tissue and spread it out. This may cause mild discomfort, but shouldn’t be painful. The platform under your breast will emit X-ray beams to create an image of the breast’s internal tissue. This image is recorded on a monitor by a technologist. This process will usually be done for both breasts. During the X-ray, you may be asked to hold your breath while the image is being taken to prevent blurring.

The procedure may take 20-30 minutes, after which time you will be instructed to change back into your regular clothes.

In most cases, you will be cleared to leave the clinic after the exam takes place. Mammograms do not require sedation, so you are free to go about your daily activities as soon as you leave the office.

What happens after my diagnostic mammogram?

The sequence of images taken by the mammography machine will be examined and analyzed by a radiologist, a medical doctor with specialized training in interpreting diagnostic imaging. The radiologist will be looking for signs of breast cancer. After the images are reviewed, the radiologist will submit a report to your primary care provider, who will discuss the results with you. This may take 1-3 business days depending on the clinic, and when your exam was scheduled.

After your appointment, discuss the next steps with your provider. Further testing may be needed, or a definitive diagnosis may have been reached. If you do not hear about your results after 10 days of your exam, contact your primary care provider.

What are 3D mammograms?

3-D mammograms are another tool that doctors use to screen for breast cancer and abnormalities. 3D mammography combines multiple x-ray breast imaging slides to create a multi-dimensional picture of the breasts.

Digital mammography is a great option for women with dense breast tissue. It detects a wider range of cancers than traditional mammograms and reduces the likelihood that you'll need to schedule follow-up appointments for further diagnostic imaging.

Looking for a 3D mammogram? No need to go through an insurance company to get the healthcare you deserve. Connect with a real, licensed doctor in for one affordable, upfront price. Book your next mammogram on Sesame to save up to 60% - no insurance needed.

What are the benefits of mammography?

Early detection is crucial in catching breast cancer and starting treatment before it spreads. Studies show that regular diagnostic mammograms have helped reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in women - particularly among women over the age of 50.

Mammograms are highly effective at screening not just for breast cancer, but also for rarer types of tumors like invasive ductal and lobular cancers. Mammograms catch cancers early. In some cases, if the cancer is still early-stage, you may not even need radiation or chemotherapy for treatment.

Now, health care marketplaces like Sesame make it easier than ever to book a mammogram and save up to 60% off imaging services. Sesame offers quality care with real, licensed doctors for upfront, cash prices - no insurance required.

What do doctors look for in a mammogram interpretation?

Doctors generally look at breast density, as some data suggests that women with denser breasts get delayed diagnoses as it's harder to detect breast cancer. They also look for mass lesions and evaluate the symmetry of the glandular tissue, as a lack of symmetry can sometimes be an indicator of an underlying issue. But often the earliest sign can be tiny micro-calcifications, which look like tiny specs of white in a mammogram that may indicate early cancer.

FAQs

Can I get an MRI scan without a doctor's referral? ›

There is no need for you to be referred to us by a GP or medical consultant. You can easily refer yourself for an MRI scan by completing our online form. Simply tell us about the reason you want the scan, the part of the body that you want scanned and answer some safety questions.

How much does it cost to scan your whole body? ›

MRI Scan Cost

In case of an MRI, a full body scan cost varies greatly across the U.S. and depends on whether you are getting the scan done in a hospital setting or at a standalone imaging center. Average full-body scan costs may be anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

Can I get a private CT scan without a referral? ›

Same Day Results – Your radiologist will give you your results on the same day as your scan. No Referral Necessary – There is no need to get a referral from a health professional, simply book yourself in today.

What is the cost difference between CT scan and MRI? ›

Comparison chart
CT Scan
CostCT Scan costs range from $1,200 to $3,200; they usually cost less than MRIs (about half the price of MRI).
Time taken for complete scanUsually completed within 5 minutes. Actual scan time usually less than 30 seconds. Therefore, CT is less sensitive to patient movement than MRI.
15 more rows

Can a doctor refer you for an MRI scan? ›

To have a scan with us you will need a written referral from a healthcare professional. This can be your Consultant, GP, Physiotherapist or Osteopath. Once we have this we can arrange an appointment at your convenience.

Does Akumin do CT scans? ›

What types of services does Akumin provide? Akumin offers 9 types of procedures and over 49 different exams. Our procedures include MRI, CT, PET/CT, X-Ray, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, DEXA, Biopsy and Mammography.

How much is an MRI without insurance? ›

The average cost for an MRI in the U.S. is a little over $1,300. Patients without insurance or whose insurance comes with a high deductible can expect to pay up to $5,000. Even with insurance, MRIs typically run between $500 and $1,000.

What do doctors do if you can't have an MRI? ›

A CT scan may be recommended if a patient can't have an MRI. People with metal implants, pacemakers or other implanted devices shouldn't have an MRI due to the powerful magnet inside the machine. CT scans create images of bones and soft tissues.

Does insurance cover a body scan? ›

By examining the views, a doctor can look for early signs of abnormalities. The scans aren't cheap – whole-body scans run anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per scan and usually aren't reimbursed by insurance.

What can a full-body scan detect? ›

This body scan can detect early signs of heart disease, cancer, tumors, and other abnormalities in the body long before these problems manifest themselves with pain or other physical symptoms.

Does Medicare pay for full body scans? ›

Part B covers certain doctors' services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. covers these tests (like CT scans, MRIs, EKGs, X-rays, and PET scans) when your doctor or other health care provider orders them to treat a medical problem.

Why are CT scan not covered by insurance? ›

Why is it denied coverage by healthplans? A CT scan is a "hi-tech" X-ray. It is a more extensive test than is generally necessary for common symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Requests are inappropriate because preliminary tests have not been performed first (e.g., an X-ray).

Can I pay for a private CT scan? ›

We offer direct access to private CT Scans for people with or without private medical insurance. If you do have private medical insurance, most diagnostic scans are covered, however, it is important that you contact your medical insurance provider before booking your scan.

How do you get a full body scan? ›

The underlying technology used to scan your whole body can be computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Both techniques—MRI and CT scans—can view the inside of your body. A CT scan is usually faster, but MRI images are more detailed. Also, CT scan uses X-rays while MRI is free of radiation.

What does a brain MRI show that a CT scan doesn t? ›

Magnetic resonance imaging produces clearer images compared to a CT scan. In instances when doctors need a view of soft tissues, an MRI is a better option than x-rays or CTs. MRIs can create better pictures of organs and soft tissues, such as torn ligaments and herniated discs, compared to CT images.

What can a CT scan show that an MRI Cannot? ›

Both MRIs and CT scans can view internal body structures. However, a CT scan is faster and can provide pictures of tissues, organs, and skeletal structure. An MRI is highly adept at capturing images that help doctors determine if there are abnormal tissues within the body. MRIs are more detailed in their images.

Which one is best MRI or CT scan? ›

They have similar uses but produce pictures in different ways. CT scans use X-rays while MRI scans use strong magnets and radio waves. A CT scan is generally good for larger areas, while an MRI scan produces a better overall image of the tissue under examination. Both have risks but are relatively safe procedures.

What should you not do before an MRI? ›

Since the MRI machines are magnets, it is best to not apply deodorants, antiperspirants, perfumes, or body lotions before the examination. These items contain metals that might interfere with the magnetic field inside the MRI machine and cause you to have distorted images and wrong results.

Can MRI results be seen immediately? ›

This means it's unlikely you'll get the results of your scan immediately. The radiologist will send a report to the doctor who arranged the scan, who will discuss the results with you. It usually takes a week or two for the results of an MRI scan to come through, unless they're needed urgently.

Why do I need an urgent MRI scan? ›

You should have an urgent referral (usually within 2 weeks) for an MRI scan or CT scan of the brain if you are over 25 and you have new symptoms such as: headaches with feeling or being sick. personality or behaviour changes. fits (seizures)

Are CT scans usually covered by insurance? ›

When a CT scan is approved as medically necessary in the review process, the insurance will usually cover it. Still, patients typically will have to meet their deductible before the insurance covers the cost.

Does CT scan come under insurance? ›

Yes, health insurance covers the cost of all diagnostic tests including X-rays, MRIs, blood tests, and so on as long they are associated with the patient's stay in the hospital for at least one night.

How much does a 64 slice CT scan cost? ›

System users say a 64-slice scanner costs a little more than $1 million, while a 256-slice scanner runs about $2 million and a 320-slice system costs about $2.5 million. Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology spoke with cardiac imaging specialists for their insights into this debate.

Can you negotiate the price of an MRI? ›

Surprisingly, due to a legal agreement between insurance and facility, you won't be able to negotiate. Therefore many patients prefer to pay for an MRI scan in cash.

How much does it cost to run one MRI scan? ›

The MRI scan London cost depends on how many regions of the body you choose to have scanned. A one-part scan (single area) usually costs £750, and any additional areas £350 (excluding Cardiac MRIs).

How much does an MRI cost with Medicare? ›

You can visit Medicare.gov to find the average out-of-pocket cost of many common medical procedures, like an MRI scan. A single MRI scan, whether performed at an inpatient or outpatient facility, averages between $59 and $95 out-of-pocket1 after you pay your deductible and Medicare Part B's 80% coverage kicks in.

What is absolutely not allowed in a MRI room? ›

Certain items must not be kept in the MRI room — monitors, stretchers, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and IV pumps should not be kept in the MRI room; however, there are MRI-compatible versions of this equipment available. This special type of equipment should always be available in the MRI room.

Can you open your eyes during MRI? ›

You can keep your eyes closed.

Some people (including me) just close their eyes before they're inserted into the tube and keep them closed throughout the test. If you don't see the tube, the rationale goes, you aren't really in the tube.

Why can't I drink water before an MRI? ›

This feeling of urgency can make it harder to hold urine in. While you may still experience this urgency to a degree, not drinking for several hours before your procedure can make you less likely to experience incontinence during the scan.

Do all tumors show up on CT scans? ›

A CT scan can show whether you have a tumor—and, if you do, where it's located and how big it is. CT scans can also show the blood vessels that are feeding the tumor. Your care team may use these images to see whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, such as the lungs or liver.

Are full body scans worth it? ›

No Proven Benefits for Healthy People

In fact, at this time the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knows of no scientific evidence demonstrating that whole-body scanning of individuals without symptoms provides more benefit than harm to people being screened.

How accurate are in body scans? ›

The InBody Scale has been found to be 98% as accurate as a DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan. One major benefit of the InBody Scale over a DEXA scan is that patients do not need to be subjected to any radiation.

Why do doctors not do full-body scans? ›

No medical societies recommend whole-body scans. That's because there is no evidence that the scans are a good screening tool. Whole-body scans find cancer tumors in less than two percent of patients without symptoms.

What can a CT scan miss? ›

Where MRI really excels is showing certain diseases that a CT scan cannot detect. Some cancers, such as prostate cancer, uterine cancer, and certain liver cancers, are pretty much invisible or very hard to detect on a CT scan. Metastases to the bone and brain also show up better on an MRI.

How long does a full-body scan take? ›

How long does the test take? A whole body bone scan takes around 3-4 hours, which includes two separate visits. In the first visit you will be given an injection of a radioactive isotope into a vein in your arm. There are no side effects to this injection.

What is the Medicare approved amount for a CT scan? ›

For example, CT scans done in ambulatory surgical centers cost Medicare beneficiaries around $8.00. In this case, Medicare Part A covers the test. For CT scans performed in a hospital outpatient setting, the cost averages around $16.00 for Medicare beneficiaries. In this case, Medicare Part B covers the test.

Does Medicare cover MRI and CT scans? ›

In an outpatient scenario, Part B covers diagnostic non-laboratory tests like MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, and X-rays. However, your MRI must meet the following three requirements to be covered in either scenario: It is medically necessary to treat your condition. Your healthcare provider accepts Medicare.

What is the Medicare deductible for 2022? ›

The 2023 Medicare Part A deductible for each benefit period is $1,600 (an increase of $44 from $1,556 in 2022).

How much is a CT scan in the US without insurance? ›

One study shows that the average price of a CT scan can range anywhere from $300 to over $6,750, whether you have insurance or not. Although, inflation can cause prices to be higher than average. However, a person without insurance should expect an average price of around $2,000 or more depending on the type of scan.

Does Walmart insurance cover CT scans? ›

Imaging (CT/PET scans, MRIs) 50% coinsurance; 25% coinsurance for alternate network provider 50% coinsurance Preauthorization may be required.

Can a CT scan Miss Diagnosis? ›

Misdiagnosis is a common but serious medical mistake. According to new research, misreading of CT scans – one variety of patient misdiagnosis – is a leading cause of medical errors that harm patients.

How much do CT scans usually cost? ›

Average Prices, Select CT Scan Procedures
CPT/HCPCS CODEProcedure DescriptionAverage (Estimated) Total
74177CT Abdomen & Pelvis w/ Cont$1,160
74176CT Abdomen & Pelvis w/o Cont$751
71260$CT Chest w/ Cont$1,160
71270CT Chest w/o & w/ Cont$1,294
7 more rows

How much does it cost to have a private CT scan? ›

Are you wondering “how much is a CT scan in London?”, our private CT scans start from just £450. You can view our full self-pay price list here. If you would like to book an appointment, please contact our care team in Canary Wharf or Orpington today.

How long do private CT scan results take? ›

In some cases, your radiologist will be able to interpret and let you know your results on the same day as your scan. In other cases, you will receive your results within one week.

Is there an app that scans your body? ›

With the MeThreeSixty app you get a three-dimensional scan of your body over time.

Is there any app for body scan? ›

We are proud to say that you can now use your app My3DsizeMe with Apple's TrueDepth camera to scan every body parts. This complete scanner-free solution is available on certain compatible mobile devices.

Is a CT scan the same as a full-body scan? ›

A full-body scan is a scan of the patient's entire body as part of the diagnosis or treatment of illnesses. If computed tomography (CAT) scan technology is used, it is known as a full-body CT scan, though many medical imaging technologies can perform full-body scans.

Can you see nerve damage on an MRI? ›

Does an MRI scan show nerve damage? A neurological examination can diagnose nerve damage, but an MRI scan can pinpoint it. It's crucial to get tested if symptoms worsen to avoid any permanent nerve damage.

What are the 3 types of brain scans? ›

There are three major types of brain scans. They are computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positive emission tomography (PET).

Can you see nerve damage on a CT scan? ›

Answer: Damaged nerves cannot be seen on a regular X-ray. They can be seen on CAT scan or MRI, and in fact, MRI is recommended for examining details of the spinal cord.

Can a CT scan detect nerve pain? ›

A CT scan will highlight any problems with bone and tissue, but they won't help much in determining nerve damage. X-rays, also, are not very effective in picking up neural subtleties, but they will show if there is a break, fracture, or if something is out of place in the musculoskeletal system.

Can a CT scan show a pinched nerve? ›

Pinched Nerve Diagnosis

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a doctor may take an X-ray, a computed tomography (CT) scan, or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to find the cause of the pinched nerve.

Is MRI cheaper than CT scan? ›

MRIs are more expensive than CT scans. Most insurance companies, however, will cover the bulk of any necessary imaging tests and only require patients to pay a copay or small portion of the exam.

Which is more claustrophobic a CT scan or an MRI? ›

Claustrophobic patients may find a CT scan more comfortable, as they are shorter and less noisy than a MRI. CT scans are particularly good at imagining bones for accurate diagnosis of injury or disease. CT scans are less sensitive to patient movement during the procedure.

Why do I need both MRI and CT scan? ›

For example, MRI is very good at examining soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments, evaluating the spinal cord, and identifying strokes in the brain. CT scans, in comparison, are best for imaging bone, soft tissues in the chest or abdomen, and blood vessels.

Can I keep my pants on during an MRI? ›

You will be asked to remove any clothing containing metal and all jewelry. You will be provided metal free clothing to change into such as gown, shorts or pants.

Can I cough during an MRI? ›

You may be reminded not to cough or move during the scan. Ask for a sedative: If you are claustrophobic, or are uncomfortable in closed in places, tell your physician so that arrangements can be made to make you more comfortable, Bring a favorite CD. It helps to relax while you are in the scanner.

What are the harmful effects of MRI? ›

Second degree burns are the most commonly reported patient problem. Other reported problems include injuries from projectile events (objects being drawn toward the MRI scanner), crushed and pinched fingers from the patient table, patient falls, and hearing loss or a ringing in the ear (tinnitus).

Will a radiologist tell you if something is wrong? ›

“They aren't doctors, and while they do know how to get around your anatomy, they aren't qualified to diagnose you.” That is true even though the tech likely knows the answer to your question. Imaging techs administer thousands of scans a year.

What medications not to take before MRI? ›

Before the MRI

You may take all medicines. You may eat and drink unless you are having an MRCP, a specific exam for your gallbladder. You will be asked to fill out a patient history form before your exam.

Do they tell you MRI results right away? ›

This means it's unlikely you'll get the results of your scan immediately. The Radiologist will send a report to the doctor who arranged the scan. They'll discuss the results with you. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for the results of an MRI scan to come through, unless they're needed urgently.

Why would my insurance deny a CT scan? ›

Why is it denied coverage by healthplans? A CT scan is a "hi-tech" X-ray. It is a more extensive test than is generally necessary for common symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Requests are inappropriate because preliminary tests have not been performed first (e.g., an X-ray).

How much is a CT scan in CT? ›

The average cost of a CT scan in the United States is $3,275, though prices can range from $300 to $6,750.
...
Specific CT Scan Procedures and National Cost Averages.
ProcedurePrice Range
CT Bone Density Scan Cost Average$300 – $3,800
Heart CT Scan Cost Average$625 – $12,700
20 more rows

Are scans covered by Medicare? ›

Medicare covers

seeing a GP or specialist. tests and scans, like x-rays. most surgery and procedures performed by doctors. eye tests by optometrists.

Which diseases are not covered in health insurance? ›

Read to know more about the list of diseases/treatments that are not covered under a health insurance plan:
  • Cosmetic Surgeries. ...
  • Pre-existing Illnesses. ...
  • Infertility/Pregnancy related complications. ...
  • Health Supplements. ...
  • Diseases related to Overconsumption of Alcohol. ...
  • Expenses incurred on Alternative Therapies.

Which slice CT scan is best? ›

16-slice CT Scanners

The 16- slice is the first choice of many clinics and radiology departments where patient flow is rather steady, as they are faster than the 4- or 8-slice scanners. These units are great for standard general studies.

Which is better a CAT scan or MRI? ›

Both MRIs and CT scans can view internal body structures. However, a CT scan is faster and can provide pictures of tissues, organs, and skeletal structure. An MRI is highly adept at capturing images that help doctors determine if there are abnormal tissues within the body. MRIs are more detailed in their images.

Can you just ask to get an MRI? ›

Yes, you will need a prescription or referral from a doctor to get an MRI. The referring physician can articulate why you need to get an MRI done to help direct the radiologists on what to scan for a proper diagnosis. You can get a prescription from a doctor at urgent care or your primary care provider.

Is it hard to get an MRI? ›

Most people get through the exam without difficulty. The MRI machine creates a strong magnetic field around you, and radio waves are directed at your body. The procedure is painless. You don't feel the magnetic field or radio waves, and there are no moving parts around you.

How much does a private MRI scan cost UK? ›

How much does a private MRI scan cost? The national average for a standard MRI scan cost is £395, according to Private Healthcare UK. We offer standard MRI scans from as little as £250, depending on the date and time you book. We ensure to remain affordable when the MRI scan is more complex.

What is an MRI scan used to diagnose? ›

MRI can be used to detect brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, developmental anomalies, multiple sclerosis, stroke, dementia, infection, and the causes of headache.

Who Cannot receive an MRI? ›

However, due to the use of the strong magnet, MRI cannot be performed on patients with: Implanted pacemakers. Intracranial aneurysm clips. Cochlear implants.

Why do insurance companies deny MRI? ›

They are also often denied because the medical records indicate that a x-ray may be all that is needed. The insurance company may request that a member try Physical Therapy before approving an MRI.

Are private MRI scans better than NHS? ›

Many people choose private imaging rather than receiving an MRI scan through the NHS. This helps avoid long waiting times and means you can get answers to your medical concerns sooner rather than later. Another of the advantages of a private MRI scan is you'll be back on your feet straight afterwards.

Can an MRI show nerve damage? ›

Does an MRI scan show nerve damage? A neurological examination can diagnose nerve damage, but an MRI scan can pinpoint it. It's crucial to get tested if symptoms worsen to avoid any permanent nerve damage.

Can MRI detect inflammation? ›

MRI is an imaging method that is very sensitive in detecting inflammation and also bone erosions. This makes MRI an interesting tool to measure the course of the disease in randomised clinical trials and this suggests that MRI may also be useful in the diagnostic process.

How long does a MRI scan take? ›

How long does an MRI scan take? A single scan may take a few seconds or 3 to 8 minutes. You may be asked to hold your breath during short scans. The total scan lasts 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the area being scanned and how many images are needed.

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