MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. A medical imaging technique used in radiology to form pictures of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body in both health and disease. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves to generate images of the organs in the body.
The duration of the procedure will vary but the average is 20 to 45 minutes per body part. You will be required to lie still during the actual MR scanning. Depending on the body part that is being examined, you may be instructed to hold your breath for up to 30 seconds.
The magnet is permanently open on both ends. It is well lit and there is a fan for patient comfort. There is also a two-way intercom system for communication between patient and technologist. The part of the body being scanned will be placed in the middle of the magnet.
During the actual imaging, you will hear a loud intermittent banging noise. You will be provided with earplugs or head phones to minimize the noise during the procedure.
The technologist will also provide you with an alarm button to alert the technologist of any discomfort you may experience at any point during the MRI exam.
Some MRI exams require an injection of intravenous MRI contrast. Inform the technologist if you experience any discomfort during the injection.
First Body Part $950
Additional Body Part $550
What is this test going to show?
A MRI scan is a good way to image and evaluate tissues, internal organs, the brain and vascular structures.
How long will my exam take?
Depending on the type of exam you will receive. The exam usually takes 20 to 45 minutes. It consists of several image exposures lasting 2 to 5 minutes each. Exam time may vary depending on the nature of your study.
Can I have a MRI if I am pregnant?
Yes. Although, MRI scans cannot be performed on pregnant women in their first trimester. Pregnant women or those who think they may be pregnant should immediately inform the technologist.
Can I have a MRI if I have a surgical implant?
Not all surgical implants are safe for MRI scans. But please let your technologist know during your pre-exam screening if you have ANY surgical implant on this list as they will check for MR compatibility: pacemaker, joint replacement (hip, knee, etc.), rods or plates, stent, ports, or copper IUD.
What if I have metal dental fillings or dentures?
Metal dental fillings are safe for MRI machines despite being metal. The amount of metal used is so small, it does not affect the machine. Dentures will need to be removed prior to being scanned.
What if I have tattoos or permanent make up?
Majority of tattoos are safe for MRI scanning. Although, many tattoo inks contain metal so there have been very rare cases of the tattoo ink causing some discomfort for patients during their MRI scan. If you have any tattoos or permanent make up, please let your technologist know before proceeding with your scan.
Can I have a MRI if I have any cosmetic body modifications?
Please let your tech know if you have any body modifications such as sub dermal implants.
What can I wear to my appointment?
No clothing with metal in it can be worn as it can potentially be dangerous to the exam. Preferably comfortable clothing with a cotton base is safest. Please ensure you are wearing socks as you will not be able to wear shoes in the scanning area and we can not allow barefeet unless for a foot scan. If you are wearing clothing with metal to your appointment, you will be asked to change into a provided scrub gown and pants. The following clothing can not be worn: jeans (metal rivets, zipper), Zippers, “Yoga clothing” including pants, tops, sports bras, jackets and sweaters (certain types of metal are commonly used as a parts of the fabric)
Can I wear jewelry when I have my MRI scan?
No, no jewelry is to be worn for MRI scans as the metal is dangerous within the MRI scanner. Please take out all jewelry prior to arriving for your appointment. If you have any jewelry that can not be removed, peal notify your technologist.
The following jewelry can not be worn: Necklaces; Rings; Bracelets; Watches; Earrings (lobes); Body Piercings (nipple, naval, surface, dermal or VCH); Facial Piercings ( nose - a plastic plug may be used instead; septum; eyebrow; bridge; lip; tongue; any additional oral piercings); Other ear piercings (conch, faith, trigs, anti-tragus, Felix, industrial, rook, snug)
Can I eat or drink before my exam?
For most exams you can eat or drink before your exam. If you are required to fast, you will be notified before your appointment.
Is it okay that I took my medication(s) this morning before I came?
Yes. Any type of medication is fine to take the morning of your exam. For patients who are NPO, please do not take medication 2 hours before your exam. If you take a certain kind of diabetic medication, you may be asked to withhold for 48 hours after the exam.
Can I bring my belongings into the MRI room with me?
No. MRI scanner is an oversized and extremely powerful magnet, which is approximately 13 times stronger than the magnet which picks up cars in a junk yard and 30,000 times stronger than the earth's magnetic pull. If a metal object is brought in the room, it will be attracted to the strong magnetic field and become a projectile. Electronic devices might be rendered useless by a strong magnetic environment and credit cards could be erased.
Can I bring someone in the room with me?
No. Only the person having the exam should be in the room during the imaging. Friends or family can wait in our waiting room while the scan is being performed. In rare cases a family member may be able to stay with the person being scanned. This will be approved prior to the exam and protocol will have to be followed.
Will I need an injection?
Many MRI exams do not require any injections. Depending on your exam, a substance known as a contrast agent may be needed to enhance the ability of the MRI to see into your body. All contrast agents are considered safe.
Why do I need the IV Contrast?
The IV contrast enhances all of the vascular structures and organs on the images (i.e. liver, pancreas, kidneys). It will also characterize potential pathology.
Could I have a reaction to the IV Contrast?
Yes, but the chances are minimal. It has the same risk for reaction as any medication does, which is why we use contrast screening forms—to flag possible patients who are at risk for having a reaction to the contrast.
Can I talk during the exam?
You may speak to the technologist in between scans. It is very important that you remain still during the exam. If you have any concerns, the technologist or nurse will be on hand to answer all of your questions.
Can I move while I am in the scanner?
You should not move when you are on the MRI table and the images are being acquired. This eliminates blurring in the image caused by patient motion. Your technologist will be giving you verbal direction throughout the duration of your scan and may ask you to hold your breathe for a few seconds at a time depending on your scan.
Will I feel anything during the scan?
Absolutely not. You will not feel any pain during the MRI scan.
Why does the machine make so much noise?
Noise is the byproduct of electrical pulses within the MRI scanner. These electrical pulses produce the images. You will be provided with headphones with music to reduce the noise and make your experience more comfortable.
What happens after the scan and when will my results be provided?
The Radiologist will study your images and dictate the findings. Once the images have been read, your physician will receive the report to review with you.
Are there any restrictions after the exam?
After the MRI exam is completed and the technologist is sure enough information has been obtained, you may leave and go about your normal routines with no restrictions. If you have received contrast for your exam, you should drink plenty of liquids for the next 24 hours.
Can I have a copy of my images to take home with me?
Yes by request. They will be uploaded onto a USB for you within 24-48 hours of your exam and then be mailed to your home. Please let reception know before you leave the clinic if this is something you would like. The cost is $30.