How do MRI scanners work?
MRI scanners produce highly detailed images of your body without using ionizing radiation. The large magnet in the MRI system allows the atoms in your body to receive radio signals that are produced by another component of the system. The radio signals
returned by your body are processed by a computer into finely detailed images. MRI images can aid your physician in making a rapid, accurate diagnosis. In certain cases, it reduces the need for surgery or other diagnostic procedures.
What is the MRI exam procedure and how long will it take?
You will be asked to lie down on a comfortable, padded table. If you wish, a family member or friend may be able to sit close by you in the scan room. While in the gantry, the machine will produce a knocking sound. The exam should take approximately 30 to 60 minutes. The technologist will be able to observe you throughout the exam. If you need anything, you will be able to communicate with the technologist at all times by intercom. An MRI is a simple, painless, non-invasive procedure that takes less than 60 minutes
What is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam?
An MRI scanner uses a strong magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make detailed images of your body. For many conditions, MRI has become the imaging exam of choice, and gives your doctor a unique “window” to look inside of your body without surgery or the ionizing radiation effects of x-rays.
What is the open MRI system?
The open MRI system allows us not only to acquire these extraordinary images, but to do so with a high degree of patient comfort. The table will be positioned in the scanner which is open to the air on all four sides. The innovative design of the open MRI system allows large, anxious, and claustrophobic patients to benefit from this advanced imaging technology.
What should I do to prepare?
Usually, there are no special preparations or dietary instructions prior to your MRI exam. You should:
- Continue medications prescribed by your doctor unless informed otherwise
- Wear comfortable clothing on the day of your exam
- You will be asked to leave valuables outside the scan room
- Notify us or your physician if you are or may be pregnant
Check with your physician or the MRI technologist if you have any of the following which may prevent you from undergoing an MRI exam:
- Brain aneurysm clips
- Inner ear implant
- Metal fragments in your eyes
- Shrapnel in your body
- Implanted spinal cord stimulator or drug infusion device
- Some other implanted device and are unsure if you can undergo an MRI exam
What is the contrast material, how is it administered, and is it harmful or dangerous at all?
In some cases, when needed, contrast material may be indicated to enhance the images and to provide more information about your condition. Since your exam may require contrast, please inform your physician or the MRI technologist if you:
- Are pregnant, may be pregnant or breast feeding
- Previously had an adverse reaction to MRI contrast media
- Have asthma
- Have any renal disease, diabetes and/or hypertension (We will need to know your renal function with any of these conditions with a sample of blood before the procedure)
How quickly are the exam results available?
After your study is over, the images will be evaluated by our board certified radiologist who has expertise in MR imaging. A final report will be sent to your doctor who can then discuss the results with you in detail.