Frequently Asked Questions 

Below is a collection of commonly asked questions about imaging exams and preparation. If you have a question that is not listed here, please contact your physician.


If I have a pacemaker or spinal stimulator, should I get an MRI?
No. If you have a pacemaker or spinal stimulator, notify your doctor and you can be scheduled for an alternative exam that is pacemaker-friendly.

Do I have to drink contrast before my exam?
Certain types of CTs may require you to drink contrast prior to the exam. You will be notified of this upon scheduling your exam,

What is EPIC?
EPIC is the electronic health record system utilized by SSM to provide better, more comprehensive care to all of our patients. Your physicians on staff at SSM hospitals have access to your medical history, imaging exams, and additional information to provide you with more thorough, quality care.

What does it mean for SSM Imaging to be accredited by the ACR?
As an ACR (American College of Radiology) accredited institution, SSM has been voluntarily reviewed by board-certified radiologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field of imaging, and has been found to meet nationally accepted, high practice standards. As an ACR-accredited institution, our personnel have proven to be well qualified through education and certifications, to perform and interpret your medical images, and our facilities meet or exceed quality assurance and safety guidelines.

What if I am scheduled for an imaging exam and have claustrophobia?
Speak with your physician about your options. With the largest network of open and large-opening MRIs in the area, SSM has the resources to provide you with a convenient, comfortable imaging experience. Your physician also may choose to prescribe you a medication to ease your claustrophobia. This must be arranged through your physician and cannot be provided by our technologists.

Why do results go to my doctor instead of directly to me?
SSM is committed to the full quality of your care from initial exam through treatment and follow up. Because your doctor is best equipped to answer your questions and address possible concerns, there is greater benefit from direct communication with your doctor about your results. This helps eliminate unnecessary worries, and ensures that, when needed, a plan of action can be immediately put into effect.

What is my risk from radiation exposure?
Most radiologic exams result in minimal and safe exposure to radiation. SSM is committed to reducing your exposure by eliminating unnecessary imaging exams and ensuring tests are done properly the first time to avoid repeat testing. Newer, faster CT imaging technology can reduce your exposure by reducing the time of your exam and using each X-ray beam far more efficiently to create the image. It should be noted that MRI and ultrasound technology do not use X-ray-type radiation. Learn more at and