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  • MRI

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    What Is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced imaging method that produces images of the body without surgery or X-rays. MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce these images.

    What Should I Expect?

    The MRI exam can be one of the easiest and most comfortable exams you experience. The technologist will ask you to lie on a cushioned table that will move into the tube-shaped scanner after you have been comfortably positioned. Your technologist will watch you through an observation window and will be able to communicate with you at all times. The scanner makes tapping noises that change with the various imaging sequences. Remaining still during these noises is very important in order to obtain clear images.

    When scanning is complete, the technologist will return to help you from the table. You may eat normal meals unless other tests are scheduled. Your exam will take about 30 to 60 minutes, after which you will be able to return to your normal activities.

    How Should I Prepare?

    Usually there are no special preparations or diet instructions prior to your MRI exam. You should continue medications prescribed by your doctor unless informed otherwise. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown to eliminate the chance of artifacts from your clothing. Any metal such as piercings, eyeglasses, or hairpins should be removed. Patients should also refrain from wearing hairspray, hairgels or makeup and should always inform their technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy. You should also avoid drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages prior to scanning so you are able to lie quietly for the duration of the exam.

    Please inform your doctor or the technologist if you have any of the following that may prevent you from undergoing an MRI exam:

    • Pacemaker
    • History of working with metal
    • Brain aneurysm clips
    • Metallic plate, pin, or other implant

    What if I Need a Contrast Injection?

    MRI scans are painless, but some exams require an injection of a contrast agent to make some abnormalities easier to see. MRI contrast is an organically bound gadolinium material that is extremely safe and typically has no side effects. However, there is always the potential for allergic reaction. Be sure to tell your technologist if you’ve had a reaction to MRI contrast or if you are particularly sensitive to medications.

    How Do I Get the Results?

    After your study is over, the images will be evaluated by one of our board-certified radiologists with expertise in MRI imaging. A final report will be sent to your doctor, who can then discuss the results with you in detail.

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