Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a sophisticated and highly accurate imaging technique used to diagnose diseases of the brain, spine, skeleton, chest, abdomen, pelvis,and blood vessels.
MRI is a completely safe, non-invasive and painless diagnostic procedure. With a large magnet, radio waves and a computer, MRI produces detailed cross-sectional pictures of your internal organs and structures without using ionizing radiation.
During your MRI exam, you will ie on a table and a "coil" will be placed on or under your body. This coil helps direct the magnetic energy to a specific body part. The table will move you into a tunnel-like opening. The amount of your body that is actually in the tunnel will depend upon the body part being examined.
Very simply, the tunnel-like opening contains a magnet that helps to create images of your body. These images go to a computer and show the organs, bones, muscles, arteries, etc. Your doctor will use those images to make an accurate diagnosis and plan your treatment as necessary.
If you have any additional questions about your MRI exam, please contact your physician or a member of our staff.
Will I Need an Injection?
In some cases, your doctor may order a contrast agent to enhance the images. The agents, which are completely safe and FSA-approved, are injectted into a vein in your arm.
How Do I Prepare?
Metallic objects limit the accuracty of MRI, and the magnetic field can interfere with some surgically implanted devices. If any of the following apply to you, tell your doctor:
- Cardiac pacemaker of artificial heart valve
- Metallic implant
- Insulin pump or other infusion pump
- Intrauterine device
- If you are a metal worker
- Inner ear implant
- Previous gunshot wound
- Joint or bone pins
- Permanent tattoos or eyeliner
- Aneurism clips
Other than limiting the amount of fluids you drink on the day of the exam, you do not need to make any special preparations.
- Eat and take any prescription medications as usual, unless our doctor tells you otherwise.
- Bring a current list of all of your medications to your appointment
- Bring prior X-rays or scans if you are instructed.
- Leave items such as watches, credit cards, pocket knives, jewelry, hearing aides or any other metallic items at home or give them to the technologist for safekeeping.
- Avoid wearing eye makeup (many eye shadows contain metallic flakes).
- If you'd like, ask a friend or relative to accompany you.
- Plan to arrive 20 minutes before your exam to provide medical and insurance information.
- If you are afraid of closed-in spaces, tell your doctor in advance. Your doctor can prescribe a sedative to help you relax. In that case, you will need someone to drive you home after the exam.
- If you feel you will be unalbe to remain still for 30-60 minutes due to pain, please inform your physician.
How Do I Get The Results?
Your exam results will be sent to your physician, who will discuss them with you.
Post Procedure Information:
After your MRI scan, your images are sent to a physician who specializes in the review of these images. This physician will prepare a report that is shared with your doctor (the doctor that ordered your MRI exam). Your doctor will consider this information and is responsible for contacting you with the results. He or she can answer any questions you may have about your results at that time.
Post Procedure Care:
Following your MRI today, you can resume your normal activities. Please contact your doctor if you have any questions about your intended activities, or if you have any questions about restricted activities.
If you were given an injection of contrast media as part of your MRI scan today, you should drink an extra 24 ounces of water.
Contact your physician immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Slow or irregular heartbeat
- Any other sudden change that concerns you
If you were given (or took) a sedative for this exam please do not drive or operate machinery until its effects have worn off (please contact your doctor with any questions).