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Appointments and booking (18)
How do I make an appointment?
You can make an appointment right
here on the website by clicking "Book an appointment" on the top right corner of this
page. You can also give us a call at +1-604-227-3000 or send us an email at
What are your hours of operation?
We are typically open from 7:00AM
to 8:30PM Monday to Saturday and from 8:30AM to 4:30PM on Sunday. We are generally not
open on public holidays. We occasionally open for extended hours to accommodate
out-of-town guests, particularly around the holidays. Please give us a call at
+1-604-227-3000 if you have any questions.
Are you open on the weekends?
Yes. We are opened on Saturday and
Sunday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.
How long do I have to wait to get a scan?
If you are flexible as to when you
can come to the clinic, we can usually accommodate you within 1 to 2 weeks. You are able
to see real-time availability by clicking "Book an appointment" in the top right corner
of the page.
How far in advance can I book an appointment?
Through our online booking you can
book up to 3 months in advance. If you would like to book further into the future you
can do so by calling us at +1-604-227-3000 or emailing us at email@example.com.
Do I need a referral?
Yes. You must have a referral to
have a Prenuvo scan. If you require, we can arrange a referral from an independent
medical practitioner at no cost to you. It may seem like an unnecessary requirement, but
it exists to look after you in the event there is a serious medical finding. A medical
practitioner can assist you in understanding and contextualizing any finding.
Can I book an appointment for someone else?
Yes, you can book an appointment
for another person. However you will need to give us that person's details, and we will
need to contact them in order to get their patient history and ensue that the scan is
appropriate for them.
Can I buy a gift certificate for a scan?
Yes, please contact us at +1-604-227-3000 or
firstname.lastname@example.org to organize a gift certificate that you can give you a friend or loved
one. We think this is the best gift you can give someone — the possibility of saving
their lives through early detection of any cancers or disease.
What if I need special accommodations for my
We are happy to do our best to
accommodate you. Please give us a call at +1-604-227-3000 to discuss your needs.
Do you offer financing?
We offer 3rd party financing
through MediCard. You can apply and find more information at www.medicard.com
Do you accept credit card payments?
Yes, we accept Visa, Mastercard and
Do you accept personal cheque or cash?
We do accept cash, but we regret
that we are unable to accept personal cheques.
Do you take a deposit to secure an appointment?
Yes. We take 50% deposit to
guarantee your appointment time and date. Last minute cancellations cannot always be
Is the deposit refundable or transferable?
Yes. Your deposit is 100%
refundable or transferable up to three business days before your appointment. The time
and date before you must cancel your appointment, while retaining your deposit, is
included in the email confirmation we send you. After that time we regret that your
deposit is no longer refundable or transferable.
What if I need to change my appointment?
We have a strict 3 business day
cancellation policy. Provided that you contact us more than three business days before
your scheduled scan, at which time your deposit becomes non-refundable and
non-transferable, we are happy to accommodate changes or to refund your deposit.
I arrived and found out I am claustrophobic.
Can I get my money back?
If you are or suspect that you
might be claustrophobic, you can request a mild sedative from your referring doctor to
have with you for your Prenuvo scan. If necessary for your comfort, we can also reduce
the scan time, but this will reduce the diagnostic value of the scan slightly. In all
cases we regret that your deposit is non-refundable or transferable if you are unable to
go through with your Prenuvo scan on the day.
Are there size of weight restrictions for
doing a Prenuvo scan?
Our Open Bore MRI accommodates up
to 550 pounds (249 Kg).
Can I do an MRI if I am pregnant (or think I
might be pregnant)?
No detrimental effects have been
shown to have occurred due to having an MRI when pregnant. There is, however, a risk of
causing hearing problems in the foetus. MRI can also increase the amniotic fluid
temperature. Therefore, we avoid performing an MRI when you are pregnant unless your
referring doctor decides the benefit of the MRI outweighs the potential risks associated
with having the scan.
Can I be scanned if I have a pacemaker?
Unfortunately at this time we are
unable to scan people with pacemakers. There is a risk that the MRI magnetic fields will
disrupt its operation, and we don't want that.
Can I have an MRI if I have an intracranial
It depends on the type of clip that
has been implanted, so we would need to have more information about it. MRI can be
performed safely in patients with non-ferromagnetic aneurysm clips.
Can I have an MRI if I have a cochlear
It depends on the type of implant
you have, so we would need to have more information about it. Even if it is safe to
perform an MRI, the implant will likely affect the quality of imaging that we can do of
Can I have an MRI if I have a prosthetic
There are many different types of
implants. We will need to know more about what you have. The good news is that almost
all implants are MRI safe. There is a chance the implant will affect the images we can
get from the surrounding tissues.
Can I be scanned if I have an implantable
It depends on the model. Some
infusion pumps are MRI compatible. Regardless, we check the MRI safety of all devices.
We will need to know the model before your scan.
Can I have an MRI if I have an implanted
It depends on the model. Some
neurostimulators have an MRI mode that they can be put into before the scan. We will
need to know the model before your scan.
Can I have an MRI if I have an IUD?
Yes. Almost all IUDs are MRI safe.
Regardless, we check the MRI safety of all devices. Common MRI safe IUDs are the Mirena
and the Copper T.
Can I have an MRI if I I worked in the metal
If there is a chance that there are
metal fragments in your body, particularly in the eyes, we will require a quick x-ray to
ensure that it is safe for you to do a scan. The x-ray can be ordered if you contact us
a week or two before your scan.
Can I have an MRI is I have epilepsy?
MRI generally is not advised for
patients with epilepsy.
Do dental implants get affected by MRIs?
No. It is safe to have an MRI while
dental implants are installed.
Can I have an MRI if I have fillings or gold teeth?
Yes. This is completely safe.
Can I have an MRI if I have tattoos?
Yes people with tattoos can be
scanned. There is a small chance of warming in the area of the tattoo but this very
Does your MRI use radiation?
No. All MRIs are radiation free.
Are the radio-waves used in the MRI safe?
Cellphones are allowed to heat the
head to 1.6 watts per kilogram. MRI is allowed to heat 3.2 watts per kilogram. By this
extension, if you are comfortable speaking on your cellphone for 1200 minutes per year
(120 mins per month) then you can have 9 Prenuvo scans per year.
ADo you use contrast in your MRIs?
We never offer contrast on any of
Prenuvo scans. We believe the combination of sequences that we take performs as well as
contrast enhanced MRI for tumor detection.
Day of scan (13)
Can I eat anything on the day of the scan?
We recommend that you fast for 4
hours before your scan so we can take the clearest images of your stomach and gall
I forgot I had to fast and I ate something. Is it a
If you ate something, don't worry.
This is not a health issue, it is perfectly safe to still have your scan. Depending on
how much you ate, it just means that we will have a slightly more obscured view of your
stomach and gallbladder.
Are there any restrictions on what I can drink on the
day of the scan?
No. You can drink whatever you
want. Just bear in mind that, depending on the scan you are taking, you will be in the
MRI machine for up to 75 mins, so we recommend that you visit the restroom before going
How should I dress for the scan?
There is no need to dress in a
particular way for your scan day. You will be given a set of scrubs (top and bottom) to
wear during your scan. You can leave on your underwear.
Where do I put my belongings at the clinic?
You will be given a locker in the
change room to store your belongings while you are being scanned. This locker can be
locked with a key that you bring into the scan room during the scan.
Is there anything dangerous is shouldn't
bring into the MRI room?
Even metal objects not made of iron
or steel can interfere with the exam. Never bring any of the following into the
examination room: coins, dentures or partial plates, hearing aids, iPod items, jewelry,
keys, cell phone, watch. A secure private room to store your valuables will be provided.
What should I do about jewelry or piercings?
The best thing to do is to leave
them at home. Jewelry and piercings can be dangerous or interfere with the images we
take. If you arrive at the clinic with jewelry or piercings, you will be asked to remove
them and store them in your locker.
What should I expect during the scan?
MRI is a harmless, pain-free
procedure. The scanner is air-conditioned, well lit, and you will always be in contact
with an MRI technologist through a two-way intercom. The MRI scanner produces thumping
and humming noises as it is acquiring the images. We will offer you some headphones or
earplugs to reduce the noise. You can also choose to listen to music to help pass the
time. We can set a playlist for you, or we can plug in your music, it is up to you! The
technologist who operates the scanner will be observing you from the adjacent room
throughout the scan. It is important to remain still when images are being acquired.
What if I am claustrophobic?
Our open bore MRI scanner permits
more than sixty percent of all scans to be conducted with the head outside of the
magnet, which greatly eases the claustrophobic feeling. Your doctor may prescribe you
with a sedative depending on your level of claustrophobia. Please arrange the sedative
prior to your MRI exam and please also ensure you have arranged a driver or alternate
mode of transportation.
Can I move when I am on the machine?
We will make you as comfortable as
possible for the scan. This should make the need to move minimal. If you do move, this
is not a safety issue. It just affects the quality of the images we can obtain. Part of
what makes our scan so accurate is that we image the same tissue in your body a number
of different times in different directions and at different tissue weightings. If you
move it affects our ability to align all these images and therefore affects the accuracy
of our reading.
Is it possible to have a bathroom break
during the scan?
Not really. Of course if it is an
emergency we will get you out of there to go to the toilet. But the high accuracy of our
Prenuvo scan relies on us imaging the same tissue in your body a number of different
ways. If you need to take a break, once you return you will be in another position. If
you think this might be a problem you should limit how much you drink or take some
medication to ensure you can last the duration of the scan.
What if I have an emergency during the scan?
You will be provided with squeeze
ball at the start of the scan. You can squeeze this at any time to alert the
technologist performing your scan.
Will I learn anything the day of the scan?
Usually it takes up to 5-10
business days for a radiologist to read your scans. This is because there are up to 2000
images to get through and check for hundreds of conditions. It is a thorough but
time-consuming job. If on our initial read we find something particularly concerning, we
will try our best to expedite your reading as quickly as possible.
Insurance and health system (6)
Is the Prenuvo scan covered by the health
Not at this time. We are at the
cutting edge of revolutionizing whole body screening. While there are many studies
showing the effectiveness of whole body MRI, no public facility is conducting these
examinations. It might take years, unfortunately, for MSP/healthcare plans to cover
preventative MRI scans, especially with the huge backlog of diagnostic scans at this
Is the Prenuvo scan covered by extended
Typically, a Prenuvo scan is not
covered by extended insurance. Some customers have had success claiming part of the scan
fee with their insurer, but this is not commonplace. We are working with insurers to
educate them on the advantages of the Prenuvo scan but it is unlikely that there will be
changes in the short term.
Is the Prenuvo scan tax-deductible?
Medical expenditures like the
Prenuvo scan are typically tax-deductible. For example, it is tax-deductible in British
Columbia and you are effectively paying for your Prenuvo scan out of your pre-tax
Do you add GST to the cost of my Prenuvo scan?
GST is not levied on medical
expenditures, including the Prenuvo scan.
Will the scan results will be put in to my insurer’s
Not by Prenuvo. Our only
requirement is to send your medical report to your referring doctor. We do not submit
the report to any health or insurance system.
Can you tell me more about the Chief Radiologist at
Dr. Attariwala, MD, PhD is a dual
board certified radiologist and nuclear medicine physician who is certified in both
Canada and the United States and he has given numerous presentations at international
conferences. He received his formal training at UBC, along with specialized medical
training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (New York), UCLA, and USC. Dr.
Attariwala also holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University
Who interprets my images?
A Radiologist (physician specially
trained in MRI and other radiology examinations, such as X-ray, CT, ultrasound and
Nuclear Medicine). Radiologists at Prenuvo are Fellows of the “Royal College of
Physicians” and “Surgeons of Canada” and are licensed by the “College of Physicians and
Surgeons of British Columbia.
What medical association is the clinic associated
The clinic operates under the
College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. Technologists are registered with the CAMRT.
The clinic also has to adhere to the Diagnostic Accreditation Program which is run by
the College of Physicians.
How long does the radiology take to be completed?
We aim to return every customer's
medical report within 5 business days. Infrequently there are short delays, particularly
around the holidays. If we think your report will be delayed we will let you know in
What does the medical report contain?
We produce a detailed medical
report for your physician that walks them through even system and organ in the body and
identifies any abnormal findings we identify. This is produced in a format that they are
What does the patient report contain?
We aim to make available later this
year. You will receive access to your images as well as a patient friendly report which
will walk you through everything we screen for. You will be able to read this on our app
and on your computer. In the meantime you will receive a USB of your images when you
leave the clinic.
Does your clinic provide referrals to top
specialists and doctors locally and abroad?
We can provide you with some
recommendations of specialists who we have worked with in the past. Unfortunately we
cannot refer. However, we want to collaborate with any of the medical professionals you
have and would be happy to work with your doctor to make sure that you are taken care
How are you different to other whole body MRI
There are so many differences
between a Prenuvo scan and other whole body MRI services that we generally don't make
Sequences and filters used – to make sure that there is a low false positive
rate, it is essential to image your body with multiple filters. Most other whole
body providers do not use many filters in their screening protocol. In our
protocol this is the key to our low false positive rate.
Quantity and quality of the images — we get up to 1600 high quality images
inside your body. The basic rule is that more images provide more details. We
capture up to 10x more images than "WB MRI".
One time scanning — we scan you from head to toe during one 60-75min scan. Other
providers scan parts of the body and “glue” the parts together to create whole
Price – Our services are less expensive than our competitors.
Can you tell me more about your false positive rate?
A false positive in imaging is when
a finding is reported to be present when it is not. For example, a test designed to
detect cancer returns a positive result when the person does not have cancer. In one of
our clinical studies, we had 4 false positive findings out of 1000 patients. There is no
perfect test, however we are committed to learning from any false positives that we do
have to minimize the likelihood of them recurring in future studies.
Is your scan more accurate than a PET scan?
It is rare that PET-CT (Positron
Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography) is used to screen for cancer. PET-CT is
expensive and subjects you to both gamma and x-ray radiation. The PET portion of PET-CT
uses gamma radiation to detect the metabolic activity of a tumor. The CT portion obtains
many x-ray images which are over-layed on the PET images to assist in determining the
exact location of the tumor in the body. PET has limited use in the kidneys, ureters and
bladder because the radioactive injection is excreted through the urinary system and is
highly concentrated in these areas during the scan. The Prenuvo scan does not have these
issues and is therefore more sensitive than PET-CT for tumors of the urinary system.
How does your scan compare to 3T MRIs?
Bigger is not always better. A 3T
MRI is a great option for a detailed brain study. Unfortunately 3T performs poorly for
whole body imaging due to wavelength interference (physics!) and imaging artifacts (more
physics!). Additionally, a 3T MRI increases the body temperature too much. Therefore,
for safety reasons they are used for single body parts. As we specialize in whole body
imaging we only use a 1.5T MRI.
Approximately what percentage of customers get an
Nearly all of us have abnormalities
and findings. For example, as a generation of people who spend a lot of time sitting
(using computers, cell phones, watching tv) we diagnose some degree of spine
degeneration in almost everyone. Many of us have benign findings that are useful to be
aware of when we are healthy so that they are not mistaken for something more serious
later on. Importantly, less than 5% of customers receive "life-altering" news.
Is there an age you recommend people be screened
Ultimately, the choice comes down
to you. If you have a strong family history of cancer or major disease then a Prenuvo
scan at a younger age makes sense. The incidence of cancer goes up with age, starting at
approximately 40 years old. However, cancer that develops at a younger age, while less
common, tends to be more aggressive. A Prenuvo scan at any age is helpful, especially in
establishing a baseline for your health.
What is the difference between a CT scan and an MRI?
A CT scan is great for showing
densities in organs, but is not useful for determining what these densities are. For
example, the CT can only report a "possible fibroid measuring 10mm", whereas an MRI can
show more certainty in saying "a 0.8cm intramural fibroid". The MRI is more definitive
on its composition and exact location. The CT can show densities such as coronary artery
calcifications, and this is the main benefit from a CT over MRI. The MRI shows more
precise imaging for brain, brain arteries (which are not imaged at all on a non-contrast
enhanced CT), as well as every organ in the neck, breasts, abdominal and pelvis. CT
would be better for assessing esophagus, lung and stomach. The major downside of the CT
is that it uses a high dose of radiation. For example a CT scan uses up to 79.7mGy of
radiation. This is the equivalent of 800 chest x-rays and 22 years of background
radiation every time you go for a CT scan. With MRI, there is no use ionizing radiation,
making it a safe test that does not have a risk of causing leukemia or lymphoma.
What is the difference between an ultrasound and an
It difficult to compare ultrasound
to MRI. There are a few areas where ultrasound really shines — notably in confirming
kidney stones because MRI is less able to see calcification. But it suffers from a poor
field of vision (kind of like shining a light in under the water, where the depth of
field can be a bit murky) which means that it sometimes misses things. A good example
was an ovarian cyst we found recently in a woman that received a normal ultrasound
because the cyst was likely confused with a section of bowel. An MRI is a completely
different modality. It is three-dimensional so if you see something of interest, you
know exactly what organ it is in. And we don't just take run-of-the-mill MRI. We take
many different tissue weightings which means we can not only determine that "something
is there" but we can distinguish if that something is a hematoma, cyst, abscess or solid
Is a CT or MRI better at finding tumors?
MRI. A CT scan has a problem
differentiating tumors. This is because a CT focuses on density. The density of a tumor
is not greatly different to the density of a cyst, but has a vastly different
significance. A CT scan can miss many tumors and equally concerning, can more often lead
to additional testing when it is unnecessary. Importantly, CT scans cannot accurately
assess breast tumor or liver tumors.
What specific sequences do you use in the Prenuvo
We perform a comprehensive set of
protocols which image the entire body. These include brain quantification, arterial
assessment, fat quantification as well as dedicated cancer and spinal screening. The
exact techniques are part of our "special sauce" and are hence not freely given out.
Rest assured they are a combination of evidence based and emerging technologies which
offer the most comprehensive diagnostic imaging in a reasonable time frame. We currently
utilize Siemens hardware in all locations.
How can you detect Alzheimer's disease?
We do a very detailed examination
of the brain in our Comprehensive Prenuvo scan. We use this in three ways. First, if you
have advanced Alzheimer's we will see that damage in your brain. Second, we often see
early warning signs of Alzheimer's in the form of tiny white matter lesions in the
brain. Third, we use these images as a baseline for your brain volume and then can
compare this to your next reading taken when you come in for future scans. Any changes
in brain volume will be apparent.
How effective is the Prenuvo scan for breast cancer
These screens work very well
together. Mammography is capable of seeing small micro-calcifications in the breast that
MRI does not see. Breast calcifications are well visualized on mammograms. Although
breast calcifications are usually noncancerous (benign), certain patterns of
calcifications — such as tight clusters with irregular shapes and fine appearances may
indicate breast cancer or precancerous changes to breast tissue. Our MRI scan, on the
other hand, is capable of seeing breast cancer more clearly through dense breast tissue
which mammogram struggles to do.
Why don't you image the heart in great detail?
We don't image the heart in great
detail because of the time it takes to do a good cardiac study. A good cardiac study
takes around 40 minutes and this would not include images of the coronary arteries.
If you don't image the heart in great detail, what
can you tell me about my heart disease risk?
We can't tell you if you have a
blocked artery in the heart, a CT is much better at doing that. So if you are concerned
you are experiencing a heart attack, then you should request a CT study (after calling
911). What we are able to do with the Prenuvo scan is look for evidence of
atherosclerotic disease, the cause of most heart attacks, in other parts of the body.
The most common place we find this is the brain. If we find advanced small vessel
ischemia in the brain then there is a high probability of having atherosclerosis in the
coronary arteries of the heart.
If I do a Prenuvo scan do I still need to do a
While unpleasant, a colonoscopy is
a very good examination of the colon. It is able to see and remove precancerous polyps
before they have the opportunity to develop into cancer. On occasion a colonoscopy may
not be able to visualize all the way through the colon. Similarly, the Prenuvo scan may
not always see small polyps in the colon as they will be mixed in with stool. We will
see colon cancer once it has invaded the colon wall (still Stage 1). So it is worth
thinking of the Prenuvo scan as a backup to a colonoscopy, not as a replacement for it.
How does your company and the clinic manage any and
all information gathered from your clients and or patients?
We are very protective of your
information. We strive to be at the forefront of compliance for the security of patient
information and adhere to privacy regulations and legislation in the jurisdictions we
operate. The confidential information which we store is accessible only by a small
number of staff who must have a reason to access the information. Any staff access to
patient-identifiable data is logged and stored by the company.
What is your clinic’s policy on protection of privacy
for your clients and the person receiving the scans?
Our patient’s privacy and
confidentiality are very important to us. We comply with privacy regulations and
legislation in the jurisdictions we operate.
Does your clinic retain a copy of the scans and/or
store that information?
We follow B.C. law which requires
us to keep a copy of your images and reports for 25 years.