Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
As a regional leader in diagnostic imaging, we specialize in techniques that detect and diagnose a variety of conditions. You can be certain that we will provide you and your physician with:
- The safest and most advanced technology.
- A comfortable, relaxed, and caring atmosphere.
- Expert medical consultation.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a simple, painless examination that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to see internal organs and soft tissue without the use of x-rays. MRI has no known side effects and is both safe and painless.
Imagine being able to look through a hard substance in order to see what’s beyond; that is what MRI allows your physician to do. MRI combines the speed and accuracy of a computer with safe magnetic and radio waves to create extremely detailed images of your body. The strong magnetic field created by the MRI machine is used to prepare the body to emit radio signals. Abnormal cells produce signals that are different from normal cells, and can be identified when the final image is produced.
During an x-ray examination, bone often blocks the view of underlying soft tissue. Computed Tomography (CT) images both bone and soft tissue together. Standard x-rays and CT are very useful techniques, but some situations require the greater imaging capability of MRI.
For breast MRI procedure and preparation information, please visit our breast MRI page here.
What to Expect – General Information
Although MRI is the result of extremely complex technology, it’s simple and easy for the patients.
Please see procedure and preparation information listed below for all of our locations.
Under most circumstances, no special diet, medication, or fasting is required before your MRI examination. Because there are no side effects, you do not need to change your usual habits. You can even drive yourself to and from the exam.
On occasion, patients will require or prefer sedation for their exams. This will influence preparation prior to the MRI. If you have questions about sedation, please contact your physician or the MRI Center.
Please check in 20 minutes before your exam. Bring any pertinent x-rays or other imaging studies with you.
Since MRI exams use a magnet, the results can be altered by the presence of metal in the exam room. You will be asked to leave any jewelry, keys, and other metallic items in a locked safe. Credit cards have a metallic strip that can be altered by the magnet, and shouldn’t be exposed to the exam room.
The metal used in zippers and snaps also interferes with the magnet’s work. You may be asked to wear an examining gown in order to prevent this. Be sure to use the bathroom if necessary prior to the exam so you’ll be most comfortable for the duration of the procedure.
A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE
You cannot undergo MRI if you have a pacemaker, inner ear implants, certain surgical clips or stents, or some other metal implants. Please notify the physician or technologist if you are unsure whether you have any of the above.
Please make child care arrangements or bring a family member to watch children during your MRI. Children may not be left unattended in the lobby.
Your MRI exam will be given in a special room designed to prevent outside radio waves from interfering with the test. Because the test is harmless, family members may be in the room with you during the test. Specially trained staff will observe you and can communicate with you through an intercom system in the machine.
You may hear a variety of noises during the MRI examination.
You only need to relax and try to remain as still as possible during the entire exam. Most people find the specially designed examination table extremely comfortable. You will feel nothing unusual during the exam. Depending on the type of exam, you may be aware of thumping-type sounds. These sounds are normal, and in no way harmful.
The exam takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the sort of information your physician has requested.
MRI can help your physician diagnose a variety of conditions with great speed and safety.
You may leave immediately following the exam. A radiologist will interpret your study and notify your physician of the results.
If you have any questions regarding the exam or our payment policy, please call our business office at 253-886-5307.