Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to create 2D and 3D pictures of your organs and tissues. The MRI doesn’t involve any radiation; the magnets and radio waves are harmless. Your care team may use MRI images to help diagnose injuries and diseases in nearly any part of the body.
What is magnetic resonance imaging?
Who can have an MRI?
Your doctor will decide if you need an MRI. Because MRI technology uses very strong magnets, some people who have metal in their body may not be able to have an MRI. Please tell your radiology care team if you have any of the following:
- Dental implants or devices
- Drug infusion ports or pumps
- Heart pacing devices
- Medicated adhesive patches
- Metal splinters
- Replacement joints or implants
What does an MRI diagnose?
Magnetic resonance imaging can detect a wide range of different health conditions, from inflammation to structural abnormalities. Doctors may use an MRI to either confirm or rule out possible causes of your symptoms.
MRI can be used to:
- Assess the heart and blood vessels
- Check for bone infections, tumors or trauma and joint abnormalities
- Check the brain and spinal cord
- Look for tumors or other abnormalities affecting internal organs
- Screen for breast cancer
What are the risks of an MRI?
Talk with your radiology care team before your exam if you:
Before your MRI
Please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled exam, and make sure to follow all the instructions before your MRI, or we may have to reschedule your appointment.
Due to the use of a magnet during your exam, you will need to wear clothing without any metal elements like zippers. You will also need to remove any metal jewelry and your glasses. You also may want to remove any makeup, which can contain some metal. (Orthodontic braces and fillings are not a problem.)
If you are having an abdominal MRI scan, do not eat or drink anything other than water for 6 hours before your scheduled exam. Take any normal daily medicines.
What to expect during your MRI
Once it’s time for your MRI, you may need to change into a gown. You will lie on a table, and the table will slide into the long, metal tube that holds the magnet. Your care team will ask you to remain still.
During the exam, you can speak with your care team. Although the MRI machine makes noise, you may be able to use earplugs or headphones with music to reduce the noise. Exams can take from 30 minutes to an hour per test.
Some exams require a contrast dye to enhance the image. If your exam includes contrast, you will receive it by injection through an IV.
Recovery and results for your MRI
You can return to normal activities after your MRI. If you received a contrast dye, it will pass through your system within 24 hours. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to help this process.
Our radiologist will review your images and report the results to your doctor within 24-48 hours. Your doctor will contact you with the results.
Why choose us for an MRI
Our radiologists are board-certified, highly experienced physicians dedicated to their specialties. All members of our imaging staff are registered and accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.