Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions? We’ve got the answers! If you have any concerns not addressed here, feel free to contact us with your questions.

May I ask my doctor to refer me to Northwest Radiology for my imaging services?

Absolutely! You have the right to choose where you go for your radiology services. You can even choose which NWR imaging center to have your exam.

My doctor’s office says I have to go to another radiology facility for imaging services. Is that true?

All patients have the right to choose NWR for their radiology services. With our flat rate pricing program, your cost is guaranteed not to exceed the quoted amount. NWR accepts nearly all major health insurance plans in the central Indiana region, including Medicare, Medicaid and TriCare. The flat rate price is what is billed to the insurance company and will count toward a deductible.

May I obtain a copy of my scans on a CD?

Yes, most studies can be put on a CD. Please let the technologist know that you would like a copy, and typically a CD can be created immediately following your appointment so you can take it with you!

If I have more questions … is there someone I can talk to NOW?

Absolutely! Please call 317-XRAY NOW (972-9669) or 800-400-XRAY (9729), and someone will assist you.

How do I schedule an appointment at Northwest Radiology Network?

Our NWR imaging centers offer extended hours, including early mornings, evenings and Saturdays. To schedule an appointment, please call 317-XRAY NOW (972-9669)/800-400-XRAY (9729) or submit an appointment request on our website.

How soon can I schedule an appointment at Northwest Radiology Network?

In many cases, NWR can schedule you for a same-day appointment. NWR wants you to obtain an appointment at the best possible time for you.

Does NWR have evening or Saturday hours so I won’t have to take time off work?

Our NWR imaging centers offer extended hours which include early mornings, evenings and Saturdays.

My doctor’s order has the logo of another imaging center; do I have to go there for my exam?

No. The referral is for an imaging study, not an imaging provider. YOU have the choice of where you want your imaging services completed.

What information do I bring with me?

Always bring your insurance card with your complete information, including ID number and group number.

Do I need to have my imaging study preauthorized?

Some plans require pre-authorization. Check with your insurance company to see if this is necessary. Your insurance representative can also answer any questions you may have about what imaging studies may or may not be covered.

If I do not have any medical insurance, may I receive a price quote of my imaging services?

Our flat rate pricing is guaranteed to every patient regardless of whether or not you have insurance.

Will NWR file secondary insurance claims along with primary insurance claims?


Why must I be at my appointment at least 15 minutes before my procedure begins?

It is necessary for you to arrive at least 15 minutes before your procedure in order to complete or review your paperwork and prepare for your exam.

Some patients may be asked to arrive earlier due to taking preparation drinks for their exams.

There will be time for a technologist to answer any questions before your exam. Please call with any immediate questions or concerns. (317-972-9669 or 800-400-9729)


How long will a CT procedure take?

Depending on the type of CT scan ordered, it will take approximately 10-30 minutes.

What are the preparations and/or restrictions?                                                              

A CT is used to examine areas of the body, including head, neck, sinuses, chest, abdomen, urinary tract, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and renal arteries. For some CT studies, you may be asked to fast briefly before the exam. For abdominal visualization, you may be asked to drink a contrast media before the exam. A staff member will provide instructions at the time of scheduling. If your CT exam requires a contrast media, please do not eat anything for 3-4 hours prior to the exam. CT exams requiring contrast media include scans of the head, soft tissue neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis. Instructions for this will be given at the time of scheduling.

Please wear comfortable clothing. It may be necessary for you to change into a patient gown depending on the area being scanned.

Can I still take my prescribed medications?

Yes. You may continue taking your prescribed medication(s), with the exception of Metformin or some other diabetic medications. Please call if in doubt.

If I am currently breastfeeding, can I still have a CT?

Yes; however if contrast is part of your exam, then we ask that you not nurse for 24 hours after the scan.

How safe is the amount of radiation I will be getting from a CT scan? X-ray? Are X-rays safe?

Radiology exams produce very low radiation dosage in X-rays as well as in CT scans. CT is a safe diagnostic test. NWR employs a radiation physicist who inspects our units annually, and protocols are designed to minimize radiation exposure to the patient and the technologist.


How is a MRI scan different from a CT scan or other imaging services?

MRI scans create images with the combination of a magnetic field, radio waves and a specialized computer, and does not use radiation as a CT or X-ray machine would.

How long does a MRI scan take?

MRI procedures can take 30 minutes or more, depending upon the area being scanned.

What is the preparation for a MRI scan?

Usually, no preparation is required. Depending on whether your exams require contrast media, some preparation may be necessary. When making your appointment, instructions will be given.

Why do I have to remove metallic objects before a MRI scan?

Due to the magnetic field of the MRI unit, it is extremely important that you remove all metal objects. Some of the problems that can occur are demagnetizing of credit cards and reprogramming pacemakers.

What if I have had a previous surgery where metal has been implanted?

Please inform the MRI technologist of any prior surgery containing metal implants. Patients with pacemakers or certain kinds of aneurysm clips should not have an MRI procedure. Please check with your physician.

If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, am I able to have a MRI scan?

MRI with contrast is not recommended for pregnant women unless it is medically indicated. If your MRI is without contrast, it is up to you and your physician. If you are breastfeeding, you can safely have a MRI.  There are no documented side effects with MRI contrast and breastfeeding, but it is up to you and your physician whether or not to briefly discontinue nursing after your exam.

Why is the MRI scanner so loud and noisy?

MRI scanners are composed of strong magnetic fields which induce energy. When this energy is released, it causes loud knocking sounds. We offer headphones and music to help.

Why am I told to not wear deodorant on the day of my mammogram?

Deodorant may appear on the images as micro-calcifications, which could mandate additional filmingand use more radiation.

How often should I have a mammogram?

The American College of Radiology has recommended women have a BASELINE mammogram between the ages of 35-40 and every year after.

How long does a Nuclear Medicine exam take?

Depending on the type of nuclear medicine study you are having, imaging can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Some studies even require delayed imaging.

How long will the radioisotope stay inside my body?

With most studies, the radioactive tracer will be excreted through your urine within 24 hours. If your exam requires delayed imaging, the nuclear medicine technologist will give you more information regarding this question.

What is a PET-CT scan?

PET-CT is a combination exam or fusion of PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography). The PET-CT scan provides metabolic detail (cell activity of a tumor, mass or other area), and the CT scan provides detail of the body’s anatomy.

How is PET-CT scan different than a CT scan?

PET-CT provides improved accuracy by combining the two modalities (PET & CT) which enables our NWR radiologist to provide more accurate diagnoses to help with treatment by simultaneously merging anatomical and functional data. Also, a PET-CT eliminates the scheduling of two separate exams.

Why must I have a full bladder for some ultrasound exams?

Full bladders are required for pelvic and obstetrical ultrasounds. Since sound waves travel better through liquids, a full bladder enables the passage of the sound waves making the anatomy (uterus and ovaries) behind the bladder easier to evaluate.

Why can’t I eat/drink before some ultrasound exams?

Eating/drinking/chewing gum or using mints introduces air into the stomach and bowel areas, and sound waves do not penetrate air well. This air/gas makes it harder to evaluate the organs. Plus, some organs contract and cannot be visualized if food or drink has been ingested.

Will ultrasound be harmful to my unborn child?

There has been no proven harm to a fetus from having regular obstetrical ultrasounds performed for diagnostic purposes.