Why is MRI important?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a non-invasive diagnostic tool used by physicians to look inside the human body. Useful clinical information can be obtained, leading to early detection and treatment of disease. Incorporating advanced technology, MRI produces images of the anatomy without the use of radiation. In some situations, this exam can reduce the need for further procedures, such as exploratory surgery or other invasive procedures.

What can I expect?

When your physician orders an MRI, it is important to tell your Physician if you have a history of claustrophobia (fear of closed-in places). Also, please inform him/her if you are a machinist, welder or work with metal in any capacity. It is very important to let your physician know if you even suspect you may have any metal within your body, such as a pacemaker, surgical clips, joint bone clips, metal plates, un-removed bullets shrapnel, BB shots, cochlear implants, neurostimulators or implanted mechanical devices. These materials may interfere with the exam and could be contraindicated.

Must I do anything to prepare for the exam?

On the day of the exam please eat normally and take all regular medications unless otherwise directed by your physician. When you arrive you will be asked to complete our registration paperwork (seen in the Patient Forms section below). In order to complete our registration we must make a copy of your picture ID as well as your insurance card. Upon completion of registration a technologist will ask you to change into “scrubs” that we will provide for you and remove anything metallic such as a hearing aid, partial plate, dentures, jewelry or hair pins. You will have the opportunity to store credit cards, watches, coins and keys in a locker inside your dressing room. Don’t forget to bring your favorite CD to listen to during your exam.

What happens during the examination?

The technologist will assist you onto the scanning table. You will lie on your back, relaxed, with your head on a pillow. The comfortably padded patient table will then slide very smoothly into position. You will not feel anything during the exam but you will hear a soft knocking. This sound is normal and indicates the machine is capturing images.You can help make your images even better by simply relaxing and remaining as still as possible during the exam. In fact, some patients fall asleep during their MRI exam. A two-way intercom system will allow you to communicate with the technologist during the procedure and you will be in full view of the technologist at all times. In addition you may have a friend or family member sit with you during your entire exam.

How long does this take?

The average exam is 30 – 45 minutes. After the exam, the technologist will review the images to ensure diagnostic quality. If the quality is acceptable, you will be shown to your dressing room to change and collect your belongings. If more images are needed, they will be done right away. The results will be sent to your physician within 24 hours.

Privacy and your health information

Your privacy is important to us. Click here to view a document (PDF file, 26 KB) that describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.