Rock Hill Radiology Associates
Rock Hill Radiology Associates


Q: What is the difference between an MRI and a CT scan?


A: An MRI does not use radiation to generate images. MRI creates high-quality images through the combination of a magnetic field and radio waves, whereas CT scans use a series of x-rays to produce cross-sectional pictures of the body.


Q: What are the risks of a MRI?

A: There have been no health risks associated with the magnetic field or the radio waves used by the machine when performing an MRI.


Q: How should I prepare for a MRI or CT scan?

A: If you are having IV sedation or contrast (dye), please do not eat for several hours before your exam. If there are any patient specific preparation instructions, the staff at the hospital or imaging center that is performing your exam will provide you with those at the time that you schedule your exam.


Q: Will I have to change my clothes for the exam?

A: For a CT scan, you may have to change into a hospital gown if your clothes contain any metal such as:…zippers, snaps, underwire bras, etc.

For an MRI exam, ferrous materials can distort the magnetic field, thus distorting images. You will probably be asked to remove your shoes. Many shoes contain metal in the sole, heel and/or toe. You will be asked if you have had a hip, shoulder and knee replacements. If you have had one of these surgeries with a titanium prosthesis, you may be able to have an MRI. Also, the doctor will want to know if you have had any surgeries that required the insertion of clips. If these clips are non-metal, you may be able to have an MRI.  

Q: How long do the exams take?

A: Most exams are started within 20-30 minutes of your arrival. However, some exams are more extensive than others and may require more time to complete.


Q: Are x-rays safe?

A: Due to the very low radiation dosage in x-rays, as well as Spiral CT scans and fluoroscopys, the have been deemed extremely safe as diagnostic procedures.


Q: Can ultrasound be harmful to me or my unborn baby?

A: Historically, there have been no harmful side effects from conducting regular ultrasound exams on pregnant women.


Q: How and when will I get the results of the exam?

A: A written report will be sent to your doctor within 2 to 3 business days. If requested by your physician, a report can be called to him/her after the exam has completed. You may obtain the results of your exam from your doctor.


If you have any additional questions, please call 803-327-2828