Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnet, radio waves and a computer to produce remarkably clear, cross-sectional pictures of your head, spine, or other parts of your body. An MRI scan differs from CT scans and X-rays because it does not use radiation. An MRI typically is used to find problems such as tumors, bleeding, infection, and injury such as:
- Anomalies of the brain and spinal cord
- Tumors, cysts, and other anomalies in various parts of the body
- Injuries or abnormalities of the joints
- Diseases of the liver and other abdominal organs
- Evaluation of pelvic pain in women, with causes including fibroids and endometriosis
Our MRI has many advantages:
- More Comfortable
- Quicker Exams
- Clear Images
MRIs are available as wide-bore, closed-bore, or open. Closed-bore MRIs have longer tunnels and have narrower openings. Open MRIs have no tunnels but have a weaker magnet. We have a wide-bore MRI that caters to larger or claustrophobic patients while still providing high-quality images. It even allows you to enter the MRI feet first, and most of our patients never even need to have their head in the machine, which is a calming factor. Another benefit of our MRI is its sound-dampening system and ability to listen to your favorite music while having your scan.
Before Your MRI:
We want you to have the best experience during your MRI. Please keep these things in mind:
- Let your provider know if you have any metal inside your body, such as bullets, shrapnel, or other metallic foreign bodies. This can also include medical devices such as cochlear implants, aneurysm clips, and pacemakers. If you have any items such as these, you may not be able to have an MRI.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you are very anxious or nervous about enclosed spaces. They may give you medication prior to the MRI to help make the procedure more comfortable.
- If you have had an MRI at another facility related to the same health concern, try to bring those images to your exam (or have them sent by your provider) to be compared to the new ones. This will help the radiologist find small changes.
- On the day of your MRI, you will be asked to change into a gown and to remove all metal. Remove metal (i.e. bobby pins, jewelry, etc.) before coming to your appointment if possible.
- You may need to have labs drawn to check your kidney function prior to your MRI if receiving IV contrast. Your healthcare provider or the Imaging scheduler should give you instructions.
During Your MRI:
An MRI is a non-invasive and painless procedure. The scanner itself resembles a large tube with a table in the middle, allowing you to go in the tube. Upon arriving, you will change into a gown. Since MRI uses magnets, it is important that no metal objects are present in the scanner. You will therefore be asked to remove any metal jewelry or accessories that may interfere with the MRI.
Once you enter the scanning room, the radiology technologist will help you onto the scanner table to lie down. They will make sure you are comfortable by providing blankets or cushions. If receiving IV contrast, the technologist will then start your IV. Earplugs or headphones will also be provided so you can listen to music during your procedure.
Allow 30-60 minutes for the entire exam depending on what type of MRI you are having. You will have a ball to squeeze that will alert the technologist if you need a break to move.
After Your MRI:
You can return to your normal activities right away. A radiologist will review your images and a report will be sent to your provider who will then relay your results.
To learn more, please talk to your family healthcare provider.