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What can I expect during my MRI exam? 

The technologist will talk you through every step. Typically you are positioned on your back, and a special coil is placed on the area your body is being scanned. Some exams may require a contrast agent which is normally injected into your arm to enhance the results. Pillows, blankets and music are available to keep you as comfortable as possible.

What areas of the body can you scan? 

Any part of the body can be scanned and that part must be in the center of the scanner. A coil will be placed around the body part being scanned and acts as an antenna to receive the signal from the area being scanned. Coils are designed for imaging different parts of the body such as knees, shoulders, wrists, heads and necks.

Is there any risk? 

MRI is very safe. There are no health risks associated with the magnetic field or the radio waves used by the machine nor have any side effects been reported.May I have an MRI exam when I am pregnant or breastfeeding? While an MRI scan has no known side effects, it is not recommended for pregnant women unless it is medically indicated. If you are breastfeeding and have contrast as part of your exam, please suspend nursing for 24 hours after the exam.

Why is the scanner so noisy? 

The scanner works with strong magnetic fields which builds up energy. The energy is released as loud knocking sounds.

Additional Information

What is an MRI? MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a painless diagnostic procedure that uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to create detailed images of the internal structure of your body. This procedure is more advanced than other methods of imaging for information regarding soft tissue between muscle, fat vessels, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, cortical bone and marrow bone space.

What is the difference between an open MRI and a conventional MRI? 

For a conventional MRI, patients are placed on a table and slid into a narrow, cylindrical tube where the images are taken. It is limited in its capacity to accommodate large and tall patients and can be particularly troublesome for those who are claustrophobic or suffer anxiety in confined spaces. An open MRI solves this problem. It is barrier free, and you are able to see out of all sides and are unlikely to feel trapped or closed in. Patients of all sizes, up to 500 pounds, can fit easily in the open MRI technology.

Patient Information

Your physician’s office will either call our office or fax an MRI order form to make your appointment. Your MRI will be scheduled between 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays or between 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays or Thursdays, according to your need and appointment availability.

No special preparation is required for your MRI exam. Unlike many other diagnostic procedures, you do not have to fast or alter your diet prior to your exam. You may drink liquids and eat as you normally would. Unless otherwise instructed, you should also continue to take any medications prescribed by your doctor.

Most procedures take between 40 to 60 minutes. It is essential that you lay very still during the MRI exam as movement may distort or blur the images. If it is too painful for you to lie still during the exam, please consult with your referring physician regarding a prescription for pain medication. Prior to your exam, our staff will conduct a medical screening to ensure that there are no conditions under which the MRI may be unsafe.

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