About CDC

Phone:  604-709-8522
Fax:  604-709-6112
Toll-Free:  1-877-709-8522
Physician Referral Form

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Home » About CDC » FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the difference between a MRI, ct and ultrasound?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce highly detailed anatomic images of the body, which are reconstructed by a computer.

CT stands for Computed Tomography. A CT Scanner combines a rotating x-ray tube and a computer to produce high-resolution, cross-sectional images of the body.

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of organs, tissues and blood flow. Because ultrasound images are captured in real time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs as well as blood flowing through vessels.

Each modality has its own strengths. To see a chart on MRI vs. CT, please click here.  [ top ]

 

How do I prepare for the exam? What can I expect during the exam?
How long will the exam take?

For information on your MRI appointment, click here.

For information on your CT appointment, click here.

For information on your screening CT appointment, click here.

For information on your Ultrasound appointment, click here.  [ top ]

 

How do I get an appointment?

All diagnostic MRI, CT and Ultrasound examinations require a doctor's referral. Please ask your physician to fill out our requisition form and fax it to our centre at 604-709-6112. Please make sure your doctor's office sends us all the relevant information relating to your case, i.e. previous imaging reports for the same area, blood work results or specialist reports. For our Physician Referral Form, click here.

For CT screening exams (i.e. Heart, Lung, Virtual Colonoscopy) we recommend a doctor's referral. For more information on our screening exams, click here.

We realize that unanticipated events can occur and may prevent you from keeping your appointment. In fairness and consideration of other patients that need to be seen as soon as possible, we request that you notify our clinic as soon as possible when you realize you will not be keeping an appointment.

Because of the length of time it takes to complete a scan, our appointment times are carefully scheduled.

Late Arrivals

If you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, you may be asked to wait until the scanner is available or you may be asked to reschedule your appointment.

Cancellations

Please advise us at least one full working day prior to your appointment time that you need to cancel and/or reschedule. This gives us the opportunity to attempt to fill that slot with another patient who needs a scan. There is no charge to cancel or reschedule an appointment if sufficient notice is given.

If we do not receive at least one full working day's notice, we will charge you a cancellation fee of 10% of your scheduled scan's price. This fee will be due in full prior to your next appointment.

No-Shows

If a patient does not arrive for an appointment, they will be charged a 50% cancellation fee which will be due in full prior to the patient's next appointment.  [ top ]

 

Who can refer me for a scan?

Your General Practitioner (GP) or Specialist can send us a referral.  [ top ]

 

What is the wait time?

There are no waitlists at Canada Diagnostic Centres. Routine appointments are scheduled within 48 hours of receiving a doctor's faxed requisition.  [ top ]

 

How soon are the results available?

Your doctor will receive your results within one business day of your scan.  [ top ]

 

How much does it cost?

For our Fee Schedule, please click here.

We accept VISA, Master Card, American Express or debit card for payment.  [ top ]

 

Is the cost of my scan covered by medical services plan (MSP)?

No - We are a private clinic and the cost of your MRI/CT is not covered under MSP. For more information on payment options, please click here.  [ top ]

 

Do you accept third party payments?

Yes - We accept third party payment from employers, insurance companies, law firms, etc. Third party payers should send a fax cover sheet on company letterhead indicating responsibility for payment. Proof of coverage is required before appointments can be booked. Once an appointment has been confirmed for the patient, we will send the third party payer an undertaking form.  [ top ]

 

Do I need a referral?

All diagnostic examinations require a doctor's referral in compliance with the regulations of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. All MRI and CT results are faxed to the referring physician. All results should be discussed with your primary care provider to determine your next steps and future management.

Patients can self-refer for screening exams if they are healthy and meet age requirements, please click here for more information.  [ top ]

 

Who reads the scans?

Our radiologist on site will interpret the results from your exam and dictate a report. Our team of radiologists is affiliated with Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital. Many also teach at the University of British Columbia. For physician biographies, click here.  [ top ]

 

How do I get the results?

A copy of your results will be faxed to your doctor within one business day of your scan. If your situation is urgent, we'll immediately phone or fax our report to your healthcare provider.

If you are a private-paying patient, we will also mail you a copy of the report. Please note our policy does not permit reports to be sent via email or fax to patients.  [ top ]

 

What test should I have?

It is important for you to talk candidly with your physician about your symptoms. Your doctor will consider these, along with your medical history and results from other exams when ordering your test.

Once the referral is received at CDC our radiologist will review it to ensure that you are being booked for the best exams to meet your diagnostic needs. Our radiologist would be happy to speak directly to your doctor to help determine the best test.

If you would like more information on various types of medical imaging tests please visit www.radiology.org.  [ top ]

 

How much radiation will I be exposed to during my exam?

MRIs and Ultrasound do not use ionizing radiation. At Canada Diagnostic Centres, only CT scans involve the use of radiation. Our clinic strives to keep radiation exposure as low as possible and we use special dose-reduction programming on our CT scanner. In addition, all CT scan referrals are reviewed by our radiologists for appropriateness. MRI or Ultrasound will be recommended instead of CT whenever suitable.

Does medical radiation increase your cancer risk?

A person's overall risk of getting cancer is affected by many things including age, lifestyle habits such as smoking and diet, and genetics. Based on current incidence rates, approximately 4 out of 10 Canadians will develop some type of cancer during their lifetime.

The relationship between low-dose radiation and cancer is highly controversial. All authorities agree that this very low association of cancer-causing radiation decreases even more with age.

What should you consider before you have a test that involves radiation?

It is important to reduce unnecessary use of radiation as a way to minimize exposure. For that reason, patients and their doctors must make the decision to use radiation-based tests on a case-by-case basis and ensure that the benefits of the test justify its use. Some of the factors your doctor will consider before ordering a radiological test are:

  1. Is there an alternative type of test that could be ordered instead? If the same or better information can be gained using an MRI or ultrasound (neither of which use radiation) our radiologists will recommend that the alternative be used.
  2. Age: The older you are the less of an impact medical radiation has on the cells in your body. That is one of the reasons why at CDC we have minimum age requirements for our CT screening exams.
  3. Frequency & Dose: Although your body tissues have a great capacity to recover from any damage caused by small amounts of radiation exposure, medical professionals will try to ensure that a patient doesn't have to have repeat scans or x-rays or numerous radiological exams at close intervals. And since different types of exams require different "doses" of radiation, the amount of exposure is considered along with frequency.

You are exposed to radiation every day....

You are exposed to natural background radiation every day from the ground, building materials, air, food, outer space (cosmic rays), and even from elements occurring naturally in your body. Here in Vancouver a person receives on average 1.5 millisieverts (mSv) of background radiation each year. People living at higher elevations receive more, with the average North American receiving about 3 mSv of background radiation per year.

For a diagram illustrating the levels of radiation you are exposed to daily compared with medical radiation exposure please click here.

For more information on radiation and cancer please click here.  [ top ]

 

Where are you located?

We are located in Vancouver at Suite 136 - 555 West 12th Avenue inside City Square Mall at the corner of Cambie and West 12th Avenue. Click here for "Directions to the Centre."  [ top ]

 

What are your hours of operation?

Our centre is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We are closed on statutory holidays.  [ top ]

 

What happens if I am going to be late or need to cancel?

We realize that unanticipated events can occur and may prevent you from keeping your appointment. In fairness and consideration of other patients that need to be seen as soon as possible, we request that you notify our clinic as soon as possible when you realize you will not be keeping an appointment.

Because of the length of time it takes to complete a scan, our appointment times are carefully scheduled.

Late Arrivals

If you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, you may be asked to wait until the scanner is available or you may be asked to reschedule your appointment.

Cancellations

Please advise us at least one full working day prior to your appointment time that you need to cancel and/or reschedule. This gives us the opportunity to attempt to fill that slot with another patient who needs a scan. There is no charge to cancel or reschedule an appointment if sufficient notice is given.

If we do not receive at least one full working day's notice, we will charge you a cancellation fee of 10% of your scheduled scan's price. This fee will be due in full prior to your next appointment.

No-Shows

If a patient does not arrive for an appointment, they will be charged a 50% cancellation fee which will be due in full prior to the patient's next appointment.  [ top ]

 

 

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