Frequent Questions

Why should I have a virtual colonoscopy instead of a colonoscopy that is done is a hospital setting?

Virtual Colonography (CTVC) has been recently approved by the American Cancer Society as a screening option in the detection of colon cancer and polyps. With CTVC, there is no sedation required. The procedure time is less than 1 hour and you are able to resume daily activity as soon as you leave the facility. Since this test is performed using a CT machine, other organs are also able to be visualized in that same area, such as liver, pancreas, spleen, and kidneys. For more information, you may contact us at 931-528-1800.


Will the prep I have to drink for my CT make me sick?

No. The oral prep that is given for CT Abdomen/Pelvis is a sugar free bland vanilla flavored barium to better visualize your bowel. It is refrigerated for better taste and should not make you sick.

Sometimes IV contrast is also required for your procedure. This is a non-ionic radiopaque contrast media that is injected into a vein in your arm to visualize the vessels inside the organs. During the injection you might feel a warm sensation throughout your body or be able to taste or smell the contrast as it is being injected, however this fades within a few minutes of injection. If your physician has ordered your exam with IV contrast, we ask that you do not eat any solid food for at least 4 hours prior to your procedure and only drink clear liquids such as water, coffee, or tea with no sweeteners or cream.


How often should a woman have a mammogram?

According to the American College of Radiology (ACR), every year after the age of 40.


At what age should a woman stop having a mammogram?

The ACR does not give an ending age for mammography. Please discuss this with your doctor.


Why do I have to take off my deodorant prior to having the mammogram?

Many deodorants use aluminum products as part of the composition of the deodorant. This aluminum can be detected on the mammogram images and interfere with the evaluation of your breast tissue.


Will I have to wear a paper gown for my test at Premier?

You will not be asked to wear a paper gown for your procedure. We have soft cotton gowns, pants, and robes for your comfort.


Do I need to bring a list of my medications with me for my procedure?

Yes, please bring a list of your medications if you have one available as this may be very helpful to the technologist and/or nurse assisting in your procedure.


What does NPO really mean?

NPO means nothing by mouth meaning NOTHING to eat or drink prior to your procedure. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Premier and ask to speak to a technologist in that dept.


What is the difference in a DEXA scan verses a CT Bone mineral analysis?

Both of these tests are quick and painless. DEXA meaning dual energy x-ray absorption is a special machine that is designed specifically to read the density of your bone, usually in your hip and low back, to determine if you have osteoporosis and if so, how severe it is. The CT BMA is performed with a CT machine where special software and materials are used to determine the density of the bone. Both tests will provide your physician with a graph of a normal bone density for a person of your gender, age, weight, height and determine where you are on the graph. Also helpful is a final T-Score and Z-Score that is provided for the physician that may later be compared to future DEXA or CT BMA. It is important that if you have had a DEXA in the past, another DEXA would be the best test to have again for a more accurate comparison.


What is a CT Body screen exactly?

A body screening is a non-invasive CT exam that images the inside of your body from the top of your lungs through the bladder. You are asked to drink an oral prep for this procedure, but IV contrast is not necessary.


I have an order for a CT of the head. I have heard that MRI’s are better, can you explain the difference?

Your physician evaluates the imaging options based on your symptoms to determine the appropriate test for you. The MRI scan of the head is superior to the CT scan of the head, except in cases of trauma to the head or suspected bleeding in the head.


Is Premier accredited by the American College of Radiology?

Yes. The ACR website is www.ACR.org. Click on Patient Info at the top of the page. This link will allow you to look up the facility’s accreditation according to modality, state, city and zip. Please type zip code 38501 for to see Premier’s Accreditations as it will only list the facility closest to that specific zip code.


Does my doctor have to send a request for my records or can I request a copy?

A board certified Radiologist here at Premier will dictate a report that is then faxed to your physician’s office. You may personally request a copy of your report and or images on a CD at any time free of charge. Your ordering physician will review the results of the procedure with you.


Does Premier have digital mammography?

Yes, we have had Hologic Digital Mammography since July 2006.   Premier was the first facility in the Uppercumberland region to offer digital mammography.


What is the difference between a digital mammography and a 3D mammography?

3D mammography provides over 200 times more images than 2D mammography. 3D Mammography (breast tomosynthesis) produces a three-dimensional view of the breast tissue that helps radiologists identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue.


What is the difference in a thyroid scan and a thyroid uptake scan?

The main difference between a thyroid uptake and a thyroid scan is that the thyroid scan anatomically demonstrates the distribution of thyroid tissue since thyroid tissue is the only tissue that concentrates large amounts of iodine. The thyroid uptake measures metabolic activity of the thyroid gland as reflected in its extraction of iodine from the blood.


Is it necessary for a board certified radiologist to read my exam?

Yes, it is necessary for a board certified Radiologist to read the images from any modality including XRay, CT, MRI, US, NM, and Mammography, This board certification means they have had extensive training in addition to medical school to read images from all modalites. We have three Board Certified Radiologists here on staff at Premier.