What is an MRI?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a diagnostic test that provides high-resolution imaging using a strong magnetic field and radio waves. Exceptionally accurate, the MRI is the preferred tool for evaluating injuries and disorders of the central nervous system (head and spine) and musculoskeletal system (joints and limbs.)
Safety of MRI
An MRI exam is safe, simple and painless. However, because some metal interferes with the MRI machine, you may not be able to have an email if you have;
- brain aneurysm clips or surgical clips
- a pacemaker or pacing wires
- metal fragments, metal sutures, shrapnel
- inner ear implants
- heart valves
- metal fragments in the eye
There is no special preparation for an exam. You should wear comfortable clothing such as a sweat suit, without metal snaps or zippers. Gowns are also available, and the technologist can provide you with a secure place for your personal possessions.
If you are taking oral sedation prescribed by your physician, please bring it with you on the day of the exam. If you are taking oral sedation, you will not be able to drive. You must have transportation arranged for after the test.
What will I experience in the exam?
Most MRI exams are approximately one hour in length, including preparation time. During the exam you will hear a series of loud tapping and buzzing noises. You will have the option of wearing standard hearing protection or a stereo headset. The technologist will speak to you throughout the testing to advise you of the progress of your exam.
After the Exam
You may leave immediately following the exam unless you have oral sedation. If you have had oral sedation, your driver will have to sign for you.
Results of the Exam
All MRI films will be evaluated by a Board-Certified Radiologist who specializes in interpreting these types of test. Results of the test will be provided to your physician by phone, fax or mail. A CD can be made available at an additional charge.
It is important to share the following information with the scheduler when the appointment is made;
- pregnant/breast feeding
- claustrophobic/need sedation
- body weight, if over 550 lbs
- surgical implants that contain metal
- possible metal fragments in eyes
- previous MRI/CT testing
- insurance information
- worker’s compensation information