5 Ways We Increase Comfort During Your MRI, CT Scan or Other Test

When patients need to have medical imaging, they face a variety of emotions. At Doctors Imaging, we understand that having these procedures can make patients nervous, especially when thinking about the possible results. This is why we implement a number of different practices in the hopes of making our patients comfortable and secure in their choice to use Doctors Imaging as their imaging facility.

  1. To begin, the patient that has the most information about the procedure often feels the most confident and relaxed. Technicians and physicians often remark that the patients who are the most nervous are simply reacting to a lack of information. So before coming in for your exam, be sure to review our frequently asked medical imaging questions for helpful information about our medical imaging devices. What you’ll find throughout our website, or by asking our technicians questions, is experienced knowledge and an eagerness to make our patients feel as prepared and comfortable as possible. At Doctors Imaging, we believe that knowledge is powerful but we also believe it is our responsibility to make our patients as comfortable as possible while in our care. We have a variety of approaches that we manage, all with the goal of acquiring the best images possible for physicians while providing patients with the best experience possible as well.
  2. Many people have a problem with claustrophobic feelings and this phobia can be elevated during these kinds of procedures. During exams like CT scans and MRIs, patients are moved into the machine. Although they are hardly trapped, the feeling of the enclosure can seem overwhelming for some. To combat this problem, doctors and technicians ask that patients be as honest as possible so that the procedure can be done as efficiently as possible. For example, if a patient is feeling particularly nervous or jumpy, they can fidget or make involuntary movements that can impact the quality of images.If you are a patient that has a problem with claustrophobia, you have some options. At Doctors Imaging, we can play relaxing music while you are having the exam performed in an effort to keep you calm. If you have a specific type of music you find relaxing, don’t hesitate to ask your technologist to play it. You can even bring your own CD with you.
  3. Other options for claustrophobic patients would be a change in medical imaging devices. MRIs are often described as enclosed but fortunately, an open or standing MRI is available. When using this kind of equipment, patients are not totally enveloped in the machine. But before you change the kind of instrument you use, you need to know that the resolution of the images may decrease. During an MRI exam, the magnet that revolves around the patient gives higher quality images because the magnet is able to make a complete rotation. While the images gained from open MRIs are still viable, they may not be of the same resolution as traditional MRIs.
  4. If you don’t want to change the kind of machine used, please speak to your doctor or technologist about taking a sedative prior to the exam. It’s best if your primary care physician prescribed this medication because they have a more comprehensive knowledge of your medical history and other medications you may be taking.
  5. Other options we have for keeping patients comfortable at Doctors Imaging are bringing family members or friends with you to your exam. They may not be able to hold your hand during the entirety of the exam, but many patients find they are comforted by a familiar face.To schedule your medical imaging appointment, please use our online scheduling form or call 504-883-8111.

Should You Schedule an Open MRI?

MRI technology with its many capabilities, is one of the most requested medical imaging procedures for facilities like Doctors Imaging. There are varying kinds of MRI systems so that you, as the patient, have options, and as such can make along with your doctor, the best choice for your needs.

Did you know there isn’t just one kind of MRI machine? There are various manufacturers as well as range of capabilities when it comes to choosing an imaging facility. For example, at Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we use a Siemens 3.0T MRI machine. This differs from other hospitals and imaging facilities, because many use a 1.5T MRI. While these can still get the job done, 3.0T means that the machine is designed to look into the body with very high resolution. These machines are more expensive for us as a facility, and yet, we still offer better pricing as well as better equipment than you would receive at many hospitals

Not only do we offer powerful MRI capabilities, we offer different kinds of MRIs to fit your specific needs. For example, we offer both closed and open bore MRI services. Closed MRIs are the traditional form of MRI. This means that the magnet located within the machine surrounds the body. Most patients have no difficulty with the conventional machine and the images obtained are better than open systems. When necessary, we also offer open bore MRI scans, meaning that the machine allows the patient free access during the scan and leaves open a small portion of space. Open bore MRIs are offered to patients that have a claustrophobic feelings while in the machine. These kind of anxious feelings can have a negative effect on the image quality especially if a patient is breathing heavily or moving within the chamber. Furthermore, we at Doctors Imaging do not want a patient to have an uncomfortable experience at our facility. We are committed to providing the best quality of care for our patients, so feel free to ask your physician if a friend or family member can remain nearby or if you would like calming music and in extreme cases we can offer a light sedative to relax nervous patients.

However the benefits of an open bore MRI are obvious, but there are some disadvantages. The primary disadvantage of an open MRI versus a closed MRI is that an open MRI’s images will not be as high quality as its counterpart.

We also offer diffusion tensor imaging at Doctors Imaging, an advanced form of MRI used for brain injuries and concussions. Diffusion tensor imaging is used to trace the movement of water in the brain pathways when routine MRI examinations and CT studies are normal. Because hydrogen atoms move in a specific way in the brain, when there is a noted disruption, doctors can be confident that they have found a microscopic injury site and can treat the head injury better and faster.

If you have more questions about open versus closed MRIs, take a look at our MRI service page for more information. If you would like to schedule an MRI appointment, you can use our Request Appointment feature or you can call our office at 504-833-8111 Monday through Friday to speak with a representative of Doctors Imaging.

4 Myths About MRI Scans That are Just Plain Wrong

In the medical field, because there is so much research happening and so many different beliefs, there can be a lot of miscommunication. However, in this field, miscommunication can be dangerous because it dissuades people from using certain innovations and trusting physicians. So we are going to help dispel some of the common rumors and myths surrounding MRI scans.

You Can Get Radiation Exposure from MRIs

There is a common concern when it comes to medical imaging about radiation exposure. While this fear might have been substantial years ago, medical imaging has changed a lot. X-rays were the first form of medical imaging and did use radioactive material in order to create images. Today however, places like Doctors Imaging use only digital X-rays. CT scans also use radiation for their images but the amount is set to the lightest standards to avoid damage. However, radiation exposure is never a concern if you are having an MRI scan performed. MRIs or magnetic resonance imaging use magnetic power and radio waves to transmit information into images. There is no radiation used ever, so never fear your MRI appointment.

Open MRIs are as Good as Closed

A common complaint for those having MRIs performed is the claustrophobic feeling experienced upon entering the chamber. Luckily, low field open MRIs were created to combat this feeling. While it is appreciated that patients have options when it comes to their MRI preference, open or standing MRIs do not offer the same image quality as standard high field MRI machines. As we stated previously, MRIs use a magnetic circumference and radio waves in order to compile images. Because an open or standing MRI has an opening in that circumference, the magnetic field is slightly broken and the radio waves are not completely resounding back to the machine. While you can still get a relatively useful images, having a standard MRI is really the better option for the best diagnosis.

MRI Myths

All MRI Machines are the Same

Not all MRI machines are the same. Depending on what kind of facility you are having your medical imaging performed at, the machinery used can vary tremendously. At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we use the Siemens 3T MRI. This is the most powerful MRI scanning available in routine clinical use today. 3T stands for 3.0 Tesla, a unit of magnetic measurement. And since insurance companies charge based on the exam being done rather than the cost of the equipment being used, you can have the access to the highest quality exams for the same low cost when you have your MRI performed at Doctors Imaging.

MRIs are Only Good for Body Injuries

When you hear about MRIs in the news, you mostly hear about them surrounding professional athlete injuries. That is because MRIs are particularly good at accessing musculoskeletal injuries like soft tissue, ligaments, tendons and the like. But that isn’t all they can do. With advancements happening every day, MRIs are used for numerous reasons: studying mental conditions like bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease, for tracking the brains nerve paths, for predicting certain cancers, and so much more. Doctors Imaging now offers advanced brain imaging for concussion patients with lingering problems after their injury. Not is MRI very safe to use multiple times but the information garnered from MRI scans is s crucial to understanding a variety of diseases and conditions.


So you can see, there is nothing to fear! MRIs are very safe and great for your medical imaging needs. If you have more concerns about  having an MRI performed, feel free to call our offices at 504-883-8111 or take a look at our MRI Service Page for more information. If you would like to schedule an MRI, you can fill out our Request an Appointment form and we will get back to you with scheduling as soon as possible!

What is an MRI and How Does It Work?

If you have ever taken a nasty fall, gotten into an accident, or even watched a medical drama on television then you have probably heard of an MRI. What is an MRI? MRI or magnetic resonance imaging, is a kind of medical imaging procedure that allows doctors to take images of the internal body in the effort to diagnosis, treat and heal patients.

You may be wondering “Isn’t that what an X-ray does?” You’re right, X-rays can see into the body, take images that can be used by doctors. But X-rays are a specialized technique mostly to observe bone and the skeletal system of the body. What about the other structures of the body like organs, tissues, and ligaments? Until the creation of the MRI, these areas were not easily seen without surgery. That meant performing exploratory surgery often, in the hope that the answer would be revealed.

In the 1970s, medical researchers were wondering if there was a way to see into the body’s structure without surgery and without causing permanent damage. Dr. Raymond Damadian is credited as being the first physician to perform a body scan with the technology he referred to at the time as nuclear magnetic resonance or what we now know as magnetic resonance imaging or MRI.

When you are walking down the street and car drives by with an enhanced bass, you feel it? If the sound is strong enough, it can cause vibrations or movement in the area around it. It is in this idea that the capability of the MRI can be understood. Ultrasounds had been using similar technology for a number of years as well.

To begin, the human body is composed of many molecules and atoms all moving in a precise way. An MRI consists of a large circle magnet. Once the body of the patient has been placed in the chamber, the MRI machine blasts sound waves at the body. These sound waves disrupt the hydrogen molecules of the body but then they are immediately stabilized by the magnet. Then using computer software, an image can be produced showing where the molecules were. In essence, the machine sends hydrogen into a frenzy then makes it return to it’s original place and creates an image from the before, during and after data.

How is this technology helpful for the medical field? When looking for a tumor, a break, a tear, anything that shouldn’t be in the body, the area sends back data to the computer stating that is different. This lets doctors know that something has happened there that needs examination.

MRIs are primarily used to examine the musculoskeletal system of the body. They are painless, requiring no incision and they contain no exposure to radiation like traditional X-rays do.

Doctors Imaging continues its efforts to provide “state of the art” medical imaging equipment along with access to innovative methods of imaging. We were the first facility in the state to use a Siemen’s 3.0T MRI system, the strongest available for clinical use, and we are the first in the greater New Orleans to offer DTI or Diffusion Tensor Imaging, an advanced form of MRI that allows radiologists to chart the nerve pathways in the brain. We also offer an Open MRI for patients that are uncomfortable in the closed MRI. We are committed to maintaining updated equipment and groundbreaking methodologies for the residents of Louisiana.

If you have more questions about what MRIs can do, please view our MRI Service Page. If you would like to schedule an MRI, you may do so through our Request Appointment Portal or you can call our office in Metairie at 504-833-8111 to speak to a representative.

Advantages of the Newest, Top of the Line Radiology Tools

While the education and knowledge of a physician has is critical, the instruments and equipment he or she uses are just as important. Depending on the field a doctor works within, their instruments of choice may differ. Every doctor has their stethoscopes and thermometers but working in the medical imaging field means that you have access to a variety of different machines and have to decide which will provide the best services to your patients.

For many medical imaging facilities, the machines that are most traditional may seem like a safer route. Patients make the common mistake in believing the only way to get effective medical imaging is to use a hospital’s equipment or facilities. In actuality, you could be paying less for the same results when you go to Radiologist owned private facilities like Doctors Imaging. We accept many different kinds of insurance and have the same, if not better, medical imaging equipment for the patient’s convenience.

Doctors Imaging is committed to providing the most comfortable imaging experience for their visitors. Just take a look at some of our outstanding equipment. Many patients come into Doctors Imaging requiring imaging services and yet they are afraid of possible side effects from the radiation component of the machines. Luckily for those in fear, Doctors Imaging is equipped with the latest in digital imaging innovation. Take for instance, the Siemens Digital X-ray. In previous generations, when an x-ray was performed, the body was exposed to mass amounts of radiation to produce a high quality image of the skeletal structures. Now, with equipment like this, there is less radiation involved. Just clear digital images that can see into the body even better than before.

Or for instance, the Siemens 3T MRI. While MRIs do not use radiation at all, the 3T MRI is the strongest MRI machine on the market for patient usage. 3T are the newest and most powerful MRI machines. The “T” in “3T” shows how strong the image quality is of the machine as MRI machines used by others are usually 1.2T and 1.5T. The high image quality corrects for slight movement from the patient, like breathing, and is performed much faster than previous forms of imaging.

For many patients, it is not the fear of radiation that keeps them from getting recommended imaging procedures, it is the fear that comes from the exams. Many patients are claustrophobic and dislike being closed in, so for them an MRI appointment would be much more difficult than an X-ray exam. For these patients, Doctors Imaging offers the Siemens Open MRI. The open portal to the MRI gives patients a bit more room to breathe and helps to combat that uneasiness. If a patient’s breathing becomes too erratic or they cannot stop nervous movement, then the procedure can take twice as long and only yield a handful of helpful results. But patients who desire an open MRI should be aware that the image quality of open MRIs is much lower than that of traditional MRIs.

If state-of-the-art equipment is what a patient is looking for than they need look no further than Doctors Imaging. As opposed to the ultrasounds of yesteryear, Doctors Imaging has 3D and 4D ultrasound capabilities. Ultrasounds use sound waves and computer technology in order to produce and image in real time. In previous generations, the images were always in black and white, with blurry edges and if the child was not in proper placement, there is little to see of the image. With 3D and 4D ultrasounds, doctors and patients can see into their bodies digitally and the movement of blood or fetuses like never before.

Lastly, the Siemens 64 Slice CT is one of the best the imaging world has to offer. The “64 Slice” is in reference to the number of individual layers the machine can examine in one section of the body. This makes it extremely easy to determine things like blockages, plaque buildup and tumors in their beginning stages.

Our equipment, expertise and knowledge is just as, if not better, than most hospitals and we offer the same capabilities for less. That is what makes Doctors Imaging in Metairie the best suggestion for your imaging needs. If you have other questions about our equipment, practices or methods, please contact our offices at 504-883-8111 or ask us a question online.

Common Radiology Myths Debunked – Facts and Answers

At Doctors Imaging, we’ve heard nearly every question and concern from patients. With the proliferation of information available on the internet, it’s becoming a lot more common for patients to come in with questions about confusing or simply incorrect information they found online. With this post, our goal is to clear up some of that information for you.

When people come in for their medical imaging procedures, they feel a number of different emotions. Fear, insecurity, and anxiety are the most commonly described feelings. Some are afraid of what the results will be, others are afraid of a painful procedure, but many patients find themselves worried about the radiation exposure from the machinery involved in procuring internal images.

Myth #1: Radiation from Medical Imaging is Dangerous

Radiation is an important concern. If you are going to a doctor’s office to see if something is wrong, then you likely don’t want to do anything that could hurt you. Doctors Imaging is just as concerned with your safety and wants you to know that they have every possible safeguard in place to protect you and the technicians that work around these machines everyday.

To begin, you should know that radiation is a common element of everyday life. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, “we are surrounded by naturally-occurring radioactive elements in the soil and stones” and the “radioactive particles we take into our bodies through food and water.” Furthermore, we are composed of radiation in our bones and blood and are exposed through consumer products like aluminized watches and ionized smoke detectors, even airplanes give off bits of radiation. Our body is constantly bombarded by bits of radiation but people are still healthy.

This is because radiation can only have negative effects on the body when you are exposed to large doses in an unsupervised environment. At Doctors Imaging, our technicians are selected for their experience and knowledge as well as their patient care. We are committed to making you feel comfortable with your imaging procedure and keeping you informed by answering all of your questions. We minimize radiation in every way possible. If a procedure is important for your health, you should not hesitate to follow your doctor’s recommendations. But feel free to discuss with your doctor or us as to whether there are good diagnostic alternatives available.

Myth #2: Radiation Will Make me Sick

A common question with any imaging procedure is “Can I get sick from the radiation?” And the answer would be no, it would be very rare to have an adverse reaction from the imaging procedures provided by Doctors Imaging in Metairie. We have state of the art equipment and experienced professionals working in our facility to make sure that your health is constantly protected. All of the imaging machines at Doctors Imaging are programmed to have the lowest possible radiation exposure while still providing the clearest images for the doctor and patients viewing.

At Doctors Imaging, we offer a number of imaging procedures including MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, PET-CT scans, and ultrasounds. The only way to be exposed to radiation would be through X-ray and CT machines. MRI and Ultrasound do not use radiation. While X-rays may expose the body to radiation, it is usually limited to a specific area. In addition, the X-ray machines at Doctors Imaging are digital X-rays, which means that the radiation exposure is significantly reduced. Having digital X-rays provides doctors with better images and gives patients the peace of mind that their medical procedures are safe.

The other common way patients are exposed to radiation is with CT machines. CT stands for computed tomography. CTs use computer software along with X-ray capabilities to create cross-sectional images of the body. By doing this, doctors can see deeper into the body’s soft tissues and blood vessels and have clearer images. As stated earlier, the amount of radiation coded into the machine is at the lowest possible setting to insure that the images produced are still of the best quality.

Myth #3: Open and Closed MRIs produce the same images

Some patients ask our technicians about the difference between open and closed MRIs. Open MRIs are low strength and refer to machines that have a large opening so that patients do not feel as enclosed. While this may be more comfortable for some, the images produced in standard high strength MRIs are superior and preferred. By using advanced high field MRI, the machine creates clearer images. Doctors Imaging offers both MRI machines. Whatever the patient decides is best for them will be respected but if you having an imaging procedure performed, it is recommended that you get the best quality images you can. If you are nervous or claustrophobic about any of our imaging equipment, speak with your doctor or our staff about playing calming music or having a sedative available.

If you’ve heard any other “facts” about Medical Imaging you’d like us to double-check, post a message on our Facebook or tweet at @DoctorsImaging and we’ll answer them next time.