What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases, MRI provides information that cannot be obtained from an x-ray, ultrasound or CT scan. For an MRI test, the area of the body being studied is positioned inside a strong magnetic field. The MRI can detect changes in the normal structure and characteristics of organs or other tissues. Sometimes, a contrast agent is used in conjunction with an MRI study, to produce more clearly defined images.

Preparing for your visit:

For an Abdominal and Pelvis MRI

  • No food or drink 8 hours prior to your procedure.

All other exams:

  • No preparation is required.

Notes:

  • The exam takes from 20 minutes to an hour, during which time you will need to lie still on a comfortable padded table.
  • We will try to make you as comfortable as possible during your exam.  If you experience discomfort at any time, you will be able to communicate with the technologist through an intercom system.
  • During the exam, you will hear humming, clicking and thumping sounds coming from the equipment.  There is no need for alarm, as these sounds are part of the normal functioning of this type of equipment.
  • For optimal imaging quality, it is important for you to remain as still as possible during your exam.  Your technologist will provide pillows and pads to help you become comfortably positioned.
  • MRIs may not be performed on patients with Cardiac Pacemakers, some Cardiac Valves and Stents, Otologic Implants, Implanted Neurostimulators, Aneurysm Clips in the head, and pregnancy in some cases.
  • If you are at least 50 years of age and will be receiving an intravenous contrast agent in conjunction with your MRI exam, you will need to have completed recent blood work prior to your exam.  Please be sure to discuss with your physician prior to your scheduled exam date.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that is free from any metal, such as buttons and zippers.  If this is not possible, we will provide you with a gown during your exam.  Female patients may also wear a sports bra.
  • Leave jewelry, hair pins and any metallic objects at home.
  • Please notify the technologist of any prior surgeries or injuries where metal may be inside the body.

Following Your Visit:

  • Our Radiologists will interpret your images and send a report directly to your doctor.  Your doctor will communicate the results of your exam to you.