WHAT IS AN MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most accurate and advanced imaging tests available today. MRI technology uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to take dozens of three-dimensional images of the inside of your body. The exam is noninvasive and does not involve radiation. The images produced are much clearer and more detailed than X-rays—helping your doctor give you a better, earlier and more complete diagnosis.
PREPARING FOR YOUR MRI
Your comfort during the procedure is one of our highest priorities. We can achieve it through your help with the following:
- Please arrive 15 minutes ahead of time to complete any necessary paperwork.
- Please remember to bring your insurance card, your referral form, a current list of medications, previous X-rays and any CT and MRI films/CDs.
- Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and leave all valuable items at home. Avoid underwire bras, girdles, metal snaps and pins.
- Please remove all eye makeup prior to your exam. Some makeup contains metals that can distort MRI images.
- You may eat and drink normally prior to your MRI procedure.
- If you are claustrophobic, you may want to ask your doctor to prescribe medication to help you relax during your exam. If you decide to take medication to help you relax, please bring someone to drive you home after your procedure is complete.
- All medications should be taken as prescribed.
DURING YOUR MRI
- An MRI technologist will escort you into the scanning room and will help you lie down on a cushioned table. A pillow and blanket will be provided for your comfort during the exam.
- Some patients may require a contrast material to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. If your physician has ordered this for you, it will be given intravenously prior to the start of the MRI exam.
- Next, you will be positioned on the table and moved into place for the procedure, which you can expect to take 30-50 minutes depending on the body part being studied. Once the exam begins, you will be asked to lie as still as possible to make sure the images captured are clear. You will hear a knocking or thumping sound during the exam. Don’t worry; these noises are all part of the scanning process. Earplugs, headphones and music will be provided for your comfort.
- We want you to be calm and relaxed during your MRI exam. If anything concerns you, please do not hesitate to let us know. A microphone system will enable you to talk with your technologist at any time during the exam.
PLEASE NOTIFY US
For your safety, some conditions may prevent you from having an MRI. If any of the following apply, please tell your doctor or MRI technologist, or let the center know when you schedule your appointment.
- Cardiac pacemaker
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
- Cochlear implant(s)
- Prosthesis within your body
- Aneurysm clips (magnetic)
- Metal fillings/fragments in your eyes or body
- Body piercings or tattoos
AFTER YOUR MRI
When your procedure is finished, you should feel no side effects and can resume your normal activities. If you received a contrast agent for the scan, you may be advised to drink plenty of fluids for a few hours after the exam. Here’s what happens next:
- Our MRI technologist prepares your images for the radiologist to evaluate.
- The radiologist interprets your results and writes a report.
- The report is then sent to your doctor. Your doctor will talk with you about your MRI results and next steps.