WHAT IS MRI?
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a painless diagnostic procedure that builds up pictures of an internal cross-section of the part of the body under investigation. It uses a magnetic field and radio waves, together with an advanced computer system to build up a series of images, each one showing a thin slice of the area being examined.
MRI images are very detailed. They can show both bones and soft tissues in the body and provide a great deal of information. Using the computer, the ‘slices’ can be also be obtained in any direction. MRI images allow physicians to evaluate parts of the body and certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods such as x-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT).
BEFORE YOUR MRI
We recommend that you wear loose fitting clothing, without any metal snaps or zippers. Gowns will be available to you if necessary. Accurate information regarding your medical history must be obtained when scheduling your appointment.
If you have a pacemaker, metal heart valves, metallic clip in your brain, a history of metal fragments in your eyes, or any metal objects implanted in your body, please let the MRI technologist knows as soon as possible.
DURING YOUR MRI
Usually, your MRI scan will only take 20 to 30 minutes. Depending on the exam ordered by your doctor, you may be required to have contrast/dye administered by vein. Our MRI technologist will explain this procedure to you, if necessary.
In the MRI room, the technologist will assist you onto the examination table. Once you are comfortable, the table will slide into the MRI scanner which resembles a large “doughnut”. During the exam, the technologist will have you in full view and will be able to answer any questions you might have.
Periodically, you will be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time. This will help generate clearer images. It is very important that you lie still throughout the exam to ensure good image quality.
AFTER YOUR MRI
After consulting with the MRI technologist, you may leave. Unless you have received special instructions, you will be able to eat and drink immediately. The radiologist will carefully review the images from your MRI exam and send a full report of the findings to your doctor, who will then discuss the findings with you.
MRI EXAM PREPARATION
If you have a pacemaker, metal heart valves, metallic clip in your brain, a history of metal fragments in your eyes, any metal objects implanted in your body or a history of an allergy to contrast media, please let the MRI technologist knows as soon as possible.
If you feel feverish, please call this to our attention.
Please let us know if you might be pregnant or are currently breast feeding.
Please bring copies of your most recent CT films and reports with you to the exam. They will be returned after the radiologist has reviewed them.