Phone: (650) 364-3080

3301 El Camino Real

Atherton, CA 94027

California Advanced Imaging Atherton


Do I need an appointment to have a CT or MRI?

Yes, all appointments are scheduled in advance since we must obtain the referral information from your doctor and usually obtain insurance preauthorization.  We are open nights and weekends for your convenience.

Can I have my scan at MAIC if my referral slip is for another facility?

Yes, you have the right to choose your imaging facility to have your examination performed.

Are any special preparations necessary before the exam?

In some cases, yes, especially if you are going to receive a contrast injection.  Please refer to the appropriate MRI and CT scheduling forms for further information. 

When should I arrive for my appointment?

Please arrive at least  15 minutes before your appointment.  If you would like, you can download the patient history form, fill it out and bring it to your appointment.


Will I need authorization from my insurance company to have a MRI or CT?

Many insurance companies require pre authorization for MRI and CT scans.  We will work with your referring physician to obtain the necessary insurance authorization. Payment for the study is ultimately your responsibility, so it is important that you obtain the authorization before your scan is scheduled.

I do not have insurance. Can you still do my scan?

If you have a prescription from your doctor, we can do the scan, and we do offer a discount for payment at the time of study.  Please call us for further information.


How is the scan performed?

You will change into a patient gown in a private room and will remove all metal, jewelry, etc.  The technologist will show you into the MRI suite where you will lay on the table.  The table will be advanced into the scanner, and the technologist will perform the scan staying in constant contact with you.  You will be provided earplugs to decrease the normal noise the scanner makes during the scan.

How long does it take to have the scan?

Most scans take approximately 30-45 minutes.  Breast MRIs and biopsies take longer, up to an hour.

Will the technologist be able to tell me the results?

No.  While our technologists are experts in obtaining the images, the studies are carefully reviewed by our specialized radiologists who will prepare a report for your physician.

When will my physician have the results?

In almost all cases, we will have the report available to your physician within 24 hours after completion of the exam.  If we must obtain an old study for comparison, this may take longer.  This is frequently true when reviewing breast MRIs.  Your doctor will then contact you with the results.  If your physician has determined that your exam is urgent and needs the results immediately, we will call or fax the results.

Can I obtain a copy of the results?

We will give you a copy of your scan on a CD to take with you.   After the formal report is prepared, you may obtain a written copy by signing a written medical release.

Is your center quality certified?

We are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) as a center of excellence in MRI, CT and Breast MRI.  The ACR is the Gold Standard of quality assurance, and we regularly undergo recertification and monitor our techniques and quality.  In addition, our specialized radiologists who will interpret your exam are all board certified, actively participate in continuing medical education, and participate in the ACR Radpeer professional quality assurance program.

What is an MRI scan?   

•An MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a radiology technique that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. The MRI scanner is a tube surrounded by a giant circular magnet. The patient is placed on a moveable bed that is inserted into the magnet. The magnet creates a strong magnetic field that aligns the protons of hydrogen atoms, which are then exposed to a beam of radio waves. This spins the various protons of the body, and they produce a faint signal that is detected by the receiver portion of the MRI scanner. The receiver information is processed by a computer, and an image is produced.

•The image and resolution produced by MRI is quite detailed and can detect tiny changes of structures within the body.

•MRI scanning is painless and does not involve x-ray radiation.

•For some procedures, contrast agents, such as gadolinium, are used to increase the accuracy of the images.

•Patients with heart pacemakers, metal implants, or metal chips or clips in or around the eyes cannot be scanned with MRI because of the effect of the magnet.

•Rarely, claustrophobic patients may have difficulty undergoing a MRI scan.

When are MRI scans used?

•An MRI scan is an extremely accurate method of disease detection throughout the body.

•In the head, trauma to the brain can be seen as bleeding or swelling. Other abnormalities that can be diagnosed include aneurysms, stroke and tumors. 

•The spine is often evaluated using MRI.  In acute trauma, it can diagnosis abnormalities of the spinal cord and surrounding structures. It is the most accurate means of evaluating back pain associated with the vertebrae or intervertebral discs of the spine, including disc herniations and spinal stenosis.

•MRI of the breast is valuable as both as a screening test in women who are at a higher risk for breast cancer and to provide additional information in patients diagnosed with breast cancer by mammography.

•The joints of the body, such as the shoulder, knee and hip are best imaged by MRI, which has replaced the need for injection of dye to diagnosis traumatic lesions and degenerative joint disease.

•It provides valuable information on glands and organs within the abdomen, including the liver, kidneys and pancreas.

  1. MRI may be used as a screening test to diagnose cancer of the prostate, to stage the extent of disease, and to follow low grade tumors, often preventing unnecessary surgery.


I have a question about my bill.  Who do I call?

Please call our billing office at 415-884-3404.

Frequently Asked Questions

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