Produces highly detailed images of the body using radio waves and magnetic fields, which do not pose any known health risks. MR does not use any ionizing radiation and is considered very safe. MRI’s high level of detail makes it a valuable tool in the early detection of a variety of conditions. MRI gives a clear picture of the tissues surrounding bones, making it the most sensitive exam for spinal and joint problems.
Both of our MRI scanners are certified by the American College of Radiology (ACR), an honor we are quite proud to have achieved. There are strict guidelines and regulations that we are required to maintain this accreditation and we encourage you to visit the ACR’s website to appreciate our high standards of care. http://www.acraccreditation.org/accredited-facility-search
How Long Will it Take?
An MRI usually takes 20 to 60 minutes depending on the type of scanner utilized, and is composed of several short scans that last on average, 4-6 minutes each. It is important to hold very still and not reposition during the scan. You’ll be asked to remove your jewelry, watch, eyeglasses, credit cards, hearing aids, dentures, and any other metallic objects you may have. It is most helpful to leave all personal items locked safely in your vehicle and to wear comfortable clothes without zippers or metal.
We have mirrored glasses available for claustrophobic patients that allows for visualization of the room outside of the scanner during the exam for ultimate relaxation. Both of our MRI suites reflect relaxed settings with lots of natural light from windows.
High Field Strength MRI
Our 1.5T high field strength, short bore MRI scanner is open on both ends. It is shorter than the older conventional MRI scanners on the market. We make every attempt at making you comfortable, and position you feet first if at all possible.
What Does an MRI show?
MRI is useful to diagnose a wide range of conditions, such as:
- Slipped (herniated) disks, Pinched nerves or fractures of the spine
- Musculoskeletal disorders, Sports injuries or Joint disorders
- Abnormalities of the abdomen and pelvis
- Heart and vascular disease, Stroke, Blockage of arteries anywhere in the body.
Preparing for your MRI, Things to Avoid
- In most cases, you can eat and drink your usual diet prior to your MRI and you can take any prescription medicine you need. We prefer that any Abdomen studies are NPO (nothing to eat or drink) for at least 3-4 hours prior to your examination time to make the scan more diagnostic.
- An MRI uses a powerful magnetic field therefore it is necessary that we take every step to ensure your safety. Expect to receive a telephone call two days prior to your scheduled appointment date to review some basic information. You will fill out a screening questionnaire upon your arrival as well, which one of our dedicated MRI staff will go over with you in detail just prior to your scan. To prevent delays in your scan, please bring implant cards if available. If you should have any questions in regards to metal or metallic implants within your body please don’t hesitate to call our office and our MRI team will be glad to assist you.
- Any metal in the patients’ eyes, brain, or spinal cord should immediately be brought to our attention. Aneurysm clips, pacemakers, defibrillators, or internal ear implants are typically contraindicated with MRI’s.
What to expect?
- You will be asked to lie flat on a padded table, which slides under a ring-shaped magnet where the images are taken. The center of the body part to be imaged is positioned in the center of the magnet. You may feel the table vibrate and the MRI scanner also may increase your body temperature slightly.
- The MRI exam causes no pain. You should remain relaxed and try your very best to remain still while the images are taken.
- The technologist will leave the room, but they are able to see and communicate with you over an intercom throughout the procedure.
- Once the procedure begins, you will hear an occasional humming and thumping. These are normal sounds of the machine. Earplugs or headphones are provided to help soften the noise. We are connected to Pandora internet radio so that you can listen to your favorite musical artist for a more relaxing experience.
- Depending on the study being conducted, a non-ionic contrast agent that is FDA approved may be given through a small needle in your arm or hand to allow for clearer visibility of tissues or blood vessels. The technologist will review this possibility with you so that you may sign an informed consent. Please keep in mind that if contrast is given, this may increase your financial estimate.
After the Procedure
- After a scan is completed, the images are stored in a computer system called PACs (Picture Archiving & Communications System.) Most referring doctors can access these images online and review them with you in their office.
- Our Board Certified Radiologist will review your images and have the results faxed to your referring physician promptly.
- You may obtain a copy of your results from your referring physician. Only the patient can physically acquire them from our Imaging Center after showing proof of identity. This is in effort to protect not only your privacy but to reduce medical identity theft.