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How does an MRI scanner work?

MRI scanners use a strong magnetic field, radio waves and a powerful computer. to create detailed cross sectional images of the inside of your body based on the distribution of water, fat, protein, blood, iron, bone, air, and other components. These images are much clearer than can be obtained with most other methods. MRI is very safe. It uses natural forces and has no known harmful effects.

Why MRI?

MRI can provide early detection of many conditions, so treatment can be more effective. MR images can also provide anatomical information to help plan surgery if required.

How should I get ready for my exam?

When you arrive you will fill out a form with your medical history and diagnostic procedures. All information will be kept confidential. There is an additional questionnaire to make sure that there is nothing metallic in your body that will interfere with your erxamination.

Are there any restrictions on who can have an MRI exam?

A patient must be able to remain still sitting or lying down for at least 20 minutes. Certain metallic and electronic devices are not compatible with MRI equipment. Tell your referring doctor and our staff if you have any metal objects or electronic devices in your body.

What if I may be pregnant?

If you're pregnant, let your doctor or the technologist know. MRI is a safe test, but we prefer not to perform an MRI examination in the first trimester of pregnancy unless it replaces CT or x- ray tests that are known to carry some risk to the fetus.

How do I dress for my MRI exam?

We will provide hospital-style scrub clothing for you to wear during your exam. Street clothes, which may contain metal zippers, buttons, snaps and certain synthetic fibers can interfere with your exam.

May I bring someone with me?

Yes. We have a generous waiting room for anyone you choose to bring with you. A parent may accompany a child into the examination room. A relative or friend may sit with an especially anxious patient during the exam if our technologist feels it is appropriate.

How long does a scan take?

A typical MRI exam is 20-30 minutes. Some exams are more detailed and require extra time. These detailed exams usually take no more than 1 hour.

What will the scan feel like?

The MRI examination room is kept cool, both for the equipment, and for the tendency of the MRI scanner radio waves to slightly warm your body. You may feel warm and perspire during the scan, this is common. The scanner has fans to help to cool you. You may feel the scanner vibrate as it takes pictures. The MRI scanner makes a variety of loud knocking and tapping sounds. We provide you with ear plugs.

What can I do to make my examination go faster?

Your cooperation and participation is essential to the success of your exam. Listen to instructions from your technologist. Most important, remain as still as you can while being scanned.

How do I get my exam results?

The doctor that ordered your MRI exam will receive our radiologist’s report by fax or electronically as soon as possible after your exam, usually the same day or next day. We prefer that you contact your referring physician to discuss the results, as the significance of all tests depends on context and requires the input of the doctor who ordered your study. It is your responsibility to contact your doctor’s office to make an appointment and / or confirm the policies practiced in that office to receive your exam results.