What happens during the exam?
There is no preparation needed before an MRI exam. Do not worry about food or drink restrictions and continue to take any medication you are currently prescribed unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
Before your MRI scan, you will be asked to fill out a screening form to ensure that there are no health risks or interferences with your imaging.
Some things that may pose a health hazard during your MRI exam:
- metal implant
- dentures or magnetic keepers
- medication patches
You must remove all metallic items before your MRI exam.
This includes items such as:
- certain cosmetics
- hair clips
- hair ties
- paper clips
- hearing aids
- safety pins
How should I prepare for my MRI?
No preparation is generally needed. Your doctor will inform you of any food or beverage restrictions (but typically that’s not necessary).
Answer all of your initial screening questions honestly, and make sure to remove all metallic items from your body before entering your scan.
Once in the Open MRI scan (instead of the common closed MRI scans, which prompt claustrophobia) your only job will be to relax and lay still.
How much is an MRI scan?
Get an immediate quote with our Quote Form.
Will my insurance cover an MRI exam?
Please see our insurance lists at your nearest location for insurance coverage details.
How long does an MRI take?
MRIs need to capture images of the body from many different angles.
The computer needs time to shift and reset the imaging in order to gather all of the information needed for your specific target area.
Typical scan times run approximately 35 minutes to 1 hour based on scan type, contrast, ect.
Why do I have to hold still?
In order to obtain optimum image clarity from your MRI scan, you will need to hold still. MRI technologist will inform you when you can move between scans.
Can someone sit in the room with me?
What is an MRI?
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a large medical scanning device used to evaluate a patient’s internal health. MRIs use strong magnetic fields to create images of the body to diagnose diseases, joint health, internal injuries and other medical diagnosis.
MRI machines do not use ionized radiation (harmful radiation), so scans are safe and effective.
How does an MRI work?
MRI’s work by creating strong magnetic fields around the body that need to be imaged. Your bodies internal protons will align with the first magnetic field of the MRI machine.
An additional radio frequency pulse will switch on to disrupt your internal protons and force them into a 90 degree or 180 degree alignment with the MRI’s magnetic field.
Since the radio frequency pulse pushed your protons against their nature, once the pulse is switched off, your protons will realign with the first magnetic field, exerting energy along the way.
The MRI machine picks up this energy and is able to differentiate the different types of tissues within your body based on how quickly they release energy after the radio frequency pulse is turned off.
How safe is an open MRI?
MRI scans are very safe. Over 410 million patients have had MRI examinations and scans are extremely safe as long as standard safety measures are taken. Patients do not feel MRI scans and there are no long-term or short-term tissue damages of any kind.
Metal Object Cautions
The presence of any metal in your body could prove to be a safety hazard during an MRI scan. However, every trained MRI technologists will ask you if you have any metal objects on or within your body prior to your scan.
Examples of metal within the body:
- Cochlear implants
- Rods or joint prostheses
- Cranial plates
The effects of magnetic fields on fetuses are not well understood yet. Please talk to your doctor if you are or suspect to be pregnant.
Kidney or Liver Problems
Kidney or liver problems could minimize the use of injected contrast agents prior to your scan.
What makes our MRI Center different from others?
What is an MRA?
MRA, or Magnetic Resonance Angiogram, is a type of MRI scan that takes images of blood vessels in the body. MRA scans are often used to evaluate for an aneurysm, blocked arteries and evaluate levels of stenosis. MRA’s can provide information that cannot be obtained by x-ray, ultrasound, or CAT scans.
What’s the difference between an open and a closed MRI?
Open MRIs allow a spacious scan to take place, often alleviating any claustrophobic tendencies patients might experience with a tightly enclosed MRI. Our open MRI machines have open sides, allowing for a clear, unobstructed view of your surroundings. Open MRI machines often are more accommodating for most size individuals.
Closed MRI units are traditionally tunnel-style. This tube environment often causes claustrophobic prone patients distress during their long scan periods. In addition, most closed MRI machines are impossible for larger patients to use.
Are there any MRI side effects?
There have been no biological hazards reported in the use of an MRI machine. Some individuals may experience back and/or joint pain due to lying in one position for the length of the scan, and also a brief experience of dizziness may occur once in an upright position once the scan is complete.
How soon will my doctor get the results?
How much radiation do I receive with an MRI?
MRI’s are not created with any ionizing radiation of any kind. There are no known dangers associated with exposure to the magnetic fields within a MRI scan.
What is the difference between an MRI and CT scan?
MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, uses a large magnetic field and radio frequency pulses to create images in any plane. MRI’s produce detailed images of organs, soft tissue, tendons, ligaments, the spinal cord, bone, and other internal body structures. The detail between normal and abnormal tissue is clearer on an MRI image than a CT scan. MRI’s can also generate 3D isotrophic imaging of the vessels in your body.
A CT scan, or Computed Axial Tomography, uses x-rays for imaging. CT scans are obtained much quicker than MRI, but provide less detail. CT scans are widely used on Emergency Room Patients due to their speed.
What is contrast and is it safe?
MRI contrast is a rare earth mineral (Gadolinium). Our body already has this mineral, but by injecting more into the blood stream, we are able to differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue much more accurately. The contrast does filter through your body, so it is important that your kidney function is of an acceptable level before administering any contrast to your system.
The contrast we use is extremely safe, however, there are some risks factors which you will be screened for prior to administration.