Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field and radio frequency pulses to provide clear and detailed diagnostic images of internal body organs and tissues. MRI is a valuable tool for diagnosing a wide range of conditions, including, but not limited to:
- Joint and musculoskeletal disorders
MRI allows evaluation of some bodily structures that may not be as visible with other diagnostic imaging methods.
What should I expect during an MRI?
Most MRI exams do not require special preparation, and you may eat normally and take medications as usual unless your doctor has given you other instructions. If your exam does require any fasting or other preparation, you will be informed during your appointment confirmation call.
An MRI exam generally takes 20-45 minutes. More detailed studies could take longer. You will be asked to lie down on a sliding table where our technologist will carefully position you. The technologist will leave the room for your exam, but you will be able to communicate with them at any time using an intercom.
You will be asked to remain very still during the imaging process. Depending on the part of the body that is being examined, a contrast material may be used to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. Our technologist will place a small needle in your arm or hand vein and the contrast material will be injected about two-thirds of the way through the exam.
This is a painless procedure. Some claustrophobic patients may experience a “closed in” feeling. If this is a concern, please inform you technologist and a sedative may be administered. During the exam you can expect to hear loud tapping or thumping. In an attempt to block out the noise, you can choose music, earplugs or both. It is normal to feel warmth in the area being examined. You may feel a cool sensation at the site during injection.
Because the strong magnetic field used for MRI may impact surgically placed implants or objects, we carefully screen each patient for metallic implants. Please let us know if you have any of the following prior to your scan:
- Implanted Port
- Infusion Catheter
- Vascular Stent
- Aneurysm Clip
- Other Metallic Implant
- Heart Stent
- Shrapnel or non-removed bullet
- Metal in Eye
Some implanted objects are safe and can be imaged with MRI, while others are not and those patients would not be allowed to have an MRI. Please inform the ImageSouth imaging staff if you have any of the above mentioned items. Your technologist will be happy to answer any questions you may have.