What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, commonly referred to as MRI, is not an x-ray. It does not use or produce radiation. It uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce a very clear image of the structures inside your body.

What does an mri show?

An MRI shows images that distinguish between healthy and unhealthy tissue. It is used to examine soft tissues like organs, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and tendons in many parts of your body including but not limited to your brain, spinal column, breasts, abdomen, pelvic area and extremities/joints.

How long does an mri take?

Most exams take between 30 and 45 minutes.

Are there any restrictions to prevent me from having an MRI?

There are some restrictions that may prevent you from having an MRI. If you have any of the following, it is advised that you DO NOT have an MRI study performed.

  • Pacemaker
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Surgically implanted metal clips
  • Certain types of metal implants
  • If you are or may be pregnant

Please notify your referring physician immediately if any of these restrictions are present so he/she may determine if you are eligible to have an MRI. The MRI technologist will review a completed questionnaire of your information before having the study to ensure that there are no restrictions to prevent you from having the study.

Is there any preparation before the study?

There is no preparation before an MRI. When arriving for the study it is advised to do the following:

  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing with no metal.
  • Remove the following:
    • All jewelry
    • Removable dental work
    • Eyewear &/or Hearing devices
    • Bra with underwire
    • Other metal objects that should not be worn into the MRI suite.
    • Wallets with credit cards & loose change (the magnetic field may damage them)

If you are claustrophobic or think you may be, medication may be prescribed at your referring physician’s discretion to assist you with the study.

What can I expect?

You will be asked to lie down on a scanning table that slides into a large donut-shaped ring. Once correctly positioned, the technologist will perform your exam in an adjoining room while closely monitoring you throughout the entire study. The technologist will be able to observe and communicate with you also. As the scan begins, you will hear a knocking sound. This is the sound the scanner makes when it is generating a harmless magnetic field that creates the image. Your doctor may request an injection of contrast for a clearer image of specific structures. This contrast is NOT the same as Computed Tomography (CT) contrast.