Frequently Asked Questions
If you don’t find the answer to your question here, please give University Medical Imaging a call at (916) 922-6747.
After your doctor gives you a referral for an X-ray or MRI, call us at 916-922-6747 to schedule your exam. Be prepared to provide some basic medical history and have your referral request and your insurance information available when you call.
Diagnostic imaging procedures vary in length, depending on the type of exam. MRI ordinarily takes between 20-35 minutes to complete.
Bring (1) the referral request from your doctor, (2) your insurance information, (3) completed registration form and (4) method of payment for your copayment, if applicable. Click on the appropriate patient registration form below (X-ray or MRI.) Fill the form out online and print it. Sign the form, and bring it to your appointment with your other paperwork.
For MRI exams, you may eat and drink as you normally would.
We have a waiting area for accompanying family and friends. However, children requiring supervision must be accompanied by a responsible party other than the patient.
Our appointment schedule tends to be full and efficient to respect the time of all of our patients. If you arrive late for your check-in time, we may have to reschedule your exam for another day. If you need to cancel or reschedule your exam, please call us as soon as possible, so we can accommodate other patients on our wait list.
When your MRI or X-Ray exam is complete, your images will be interpreted by a Board Certified Radiologist, who will provide a report to your physician within 24 hours of your exam. Your physician will contact you to review the exam results with you.
We are required by law to keep your medical information private and to give you notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with regard to medical information about you. Read our notice of privacy practices here.
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. MRI uses special powerful magnets, radio waves and computer technology to produce images of internal body structures. Physicians use these images to help diagnose and treat medical conditions. For more information about MRI technology, see our patient information sheet here, or visit our MRI page here.
Patient Information form in additional languages:
MRI is a safe and painless procedure. However, MRI is not appropriate for certain patients, such as those who have a pacemaker or ferromagnetic metals present in the body, as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Our staff will ask a series of screening questions to determine if any special situations apply to you.
Wear comfortable clothing without metal, such as zippers or snaps. Do not wear metal jewelry or accessories. If you have a fear of enclosed spaces, speak with your doctor in advance about whether sedative medication is recommended for you (see “What if I am claustrophobic?” here). Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment to check in, provide payment and complete necessary forms. Refer to our Patients page here to learn more about how to prepare.
When you arrive, front desk staff will make sure all registration paperwork and payments are completed, as well as answer any questions you may have about your exam. You will be escorted to a private dressing room to wait for your exam. You may be asked to change into medical scrubs if necessary.
Your radiologic technologist will come to your dressing room to answer any questions and bring you to the MRI imaging suite. You will be positioned on a padded table that moves slowly through the scanner. Your position will depend upon the type of scan requested by your doctor.
During your entire exam, you will be able to speak to the technologist via an intercom. It is very important to hold still throughout the scan, because movement will cause blurring of the images. The exam will take approximately 20- 30 minutes. Several sets of images will be taken, and you will hear some intermittent buzzing or knocking noises, which is normal. Ear plugs are provided. All you need to do is rest, relax and remain still as the MRI scanner does its work.
During your MRI scan, you will hear intermittent buzzing or knocking noises, which is normal. You will be provided with ear plugs for your comfort. Despite the noise, the technologist will be able to hear you via intercom if you have any questions or concerns.
If you know you are claustrophobic (afraid of close spaces), discuss your concerns with your physician before coming to your MRI exam. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help you relax during your scan. If you do need to take a sedative, plan for someone to drive you to and from your MRI appointment.
Let our staff know if you are claustrophobic, plan to take prescribed sedatives or are just uneasy in close spaces. We will do all we can to help you feel at ease throughout your exam. Our MRI scanner has a short bore with flared openings designed to reduce anxiety.
Contrast refers to a gadolinium-based medium injected into the bloodstream to improve the visibility of tissues in certain types of MRI scans. If your doctor requests contrast for your MRI, we will ask some additional safety questions, and your exam will take a little longer. Contrast will be given intravenously when you arrive for your scan.
Patients whose weight exceeds 350 lbs (159 kg) exceed the equipment manufacturer’s structural limitations.