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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I've heard advertisements for CT Heart Scans on the radio for a long time. What makes your scans so different?

A. A 3D HeartScan is the newest technology. It is the first technology to allow a three-dimensional view of the heart. Prior "calcium scoring" types of heart scans are two-dimensional, and only show calcified plaques. They don't show the extent of the blockage to blood flow, nor do they show soft plaque. These "calcium scoring" heart scans may miss significant disease.

Q. Why should I choose Fairfax Radiology Centers for a 3D HeartScan?

A. FRC is the most experienced CCTA practice in the region. We have performed over 12,000 cardiac CT's since our program began in 2003. All cardiac CT studies are read by a select group of board-certified and fellowship-trained radiologists. All radiologists who compose the FRC Cardiac CT Team have all achieved Level 3 clinical competence in Cardiac CT. That is the highest level of competency attainable from the American College of Cardiology. Equally important is that the technical and administrative staff associated with this program have also received additional training and have demonstrated excellence in the clinical and customer service aspects of Cardiac CT. FRC uses a state-of-the-art scanner made by GE Medical Systems. FRC has partnered with GE to insure that it remains on the cutting edge of this new and exciting technology.

Q. Can I just have a conventional "calcium scoring" CT Heart Scan?

A.Sure you can. Many thousands of patients have undergone a CT Heart Scan and have received valuable information about their health. The new 3D HeartScan, however, is a notch above older technologies. Fairfax Radiology offers both services. Learn more [pdf]

Q. I have heard that these Cardiac CT scans have a lot of radiation, is that true and should I be concerned?

A. CT scanning used x-rays to make images. X-rays are a type of radiation. Recent medical publications have pointed out the high radiation doses associated with cardiac CT and these reports have been discussed in the lay press. At FRC we are very concerned with high radiation doses from CT. Because of new developments, we are very happy that we can now perform cardiac CT studies with an 80 to 90% lower radiation dose than that normally performed elsewhere. Learn more.

Q. If I do not have any symptoms, why would I want to get a 3D HeartScan?

A. Heart disease progresses slowly for many years and many patients only learn that they have advanced disease after they suffer a heart attack. If you are at risk, you can find out now before it is too late. A 3D HeartScan can detect disease in its early form when you still have a chance to make life changes or seek medical attention. If you are concerned, ask you physician if a cardiac CT (3D HeartScan) would be a wise decision for you.

Q. What if I passed a recent echocardiogram or stress test?

A.Both of these tests will only detect coronary artery disease after a significant amount of the artery is blocked. Passing such a test does not mean that you are free of heart disease; it only means that it has not become very advanced. The 3D HeartScan detects plaque in the arteries years earlier.

Q. What if the scan shows that I have heart disease and need treatment?

A. If it does, you'll be glad you found out about your condition early. We'll work with your physician to see that you get the right kind of follow-up care. Today there are many treatments available to help people cope with heart disease.

Q. Will my insurance pay for a 3D HeartScan?

A. If you have symptoms of heart disease and the procedure is requested by your physician, many insurance plans pay for the procedure. However, if the procedure is intended to be for screening purposes, it is usually not covered by your health plan. Therefore, payment will be due at time of service. For more information, review our Reimbursement Update or reference our Insurance Participation List.

Q. How do I schedule an exam?

A. Please call our Health Screening Department at (703) 698-4464 or view more information on scheduling an exam.

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