About your MRI...
Your doctor has requested you undergo an MRI examination. The following information should help clarify what you can expect regarding the procedure.
What is magnetic resonance imaging?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a test that uses a computer, magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images of the inside of the body. It can be used for virtually all parts of the body, including the specific area troubling you. MRI does not use any form of ionizing radiation, so no special preparation is needed. You may eat normally and take your regular medication. On the day of your examination, please wear comfortable clothing like sweats. Clothing or undergarments with zippers, metal buttons, snaps, or wires cannot be worn.
What will the exam be like?
Prior to the start of your test, the MRI technologist will show you the examination room and explain the procedure, as well as how you will be positioned inside the machine and what will be happening during the course of your exam. Next, the technologist will position you on the padded table. The table will then move smoothly into the magnet opening. The exam itself is painless-in fact, you won't feel anything. You will hear a knocking sound which means the scanner is taking pictures. It's very important to remain as still as possible during this time so the images won't be blurred. If you like, special headphones and your choice of music will be provided during the test. The parts of your body that will go into the MRI scanner will depend on the type of exam your doctor has ordered. Should you become uncomfortable, need help or have questions at any point during your exam, just press the call button. The MRI staff will be available to assist you. We also offer a short-bore MRI that is more comfortable for larger or claustrophobic patients.
How long does the exam take?
The length of your exam depends on the type of study ordered by your doctor. Most require less than an hour. Some exams require an intravenous injection of dye. The dye has a very low risk of side effects and is used to better visualize your particular anatomy. Your examination will be read and interpreted by one of our board certified radiologists who specializes in MRI. In most instances, your doctor will receive a complete report within 12 to 24 hours.
How do I prepare for the exam?
When preparing for your exam please check with your physician or MRI technologist if you have:
- A pacemaker
- Ear implants
- Surgical staples
- A neuro-stimulator
- Aneurysm clip(s)
- Implanted drug infusion devices
- Worked as a welder or grinder of metal
If your MRI exam requires an injection into a vein, a representative will call you in advance to explain the procedure. Please inform the technologist or staff if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
Radiology Associates' MRI facilities are accredited by the American College of Radiology
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