Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced way to look inside your body without using X-rays. MRI offers a non-invasive way to obtain information about your body that may otherwise not be as easily seen. MRI makes it possible to visualize certain types of tissues and can provide important information about the brain, spine, joints and internal organs.

MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to provide signals, which become the source of MRI information. These signals produce the images that will assist your physician in making a diagnosis and planning treatment.

About your MRI exam

Your scan will take 30-60 minutes to be completed. The technologist will assist you onto the scanning table, which will slide slowly into the opening of the magnet. You won't feel anything, but you will hear the sounds of the scanner working. It is important that you move as little as possible during your scan. In some cases, the physician may order an injection of contrast into a vein in your arm.

An audio system is installed in the magnet to allow for communication during your scan. The technologist can see and hear you at all times and is readily available to assist you. At the conclusion of your exam, the technologist will help you off the table.

Man operating MRI machine as a patient is prepped for the MRI exam

After your MRI exam

A radiologist will interpret the images produced from your exam and will forward a report to your physician. Your physician will inform you of the results.

Preparing for your MRI exam

Depending upon the MRI exam scheduled, you may need to prepare for your exam as follows:

For abdomen exams: It is important you do not eat or drink for four hours prior to your exam.

Please inform your physician if you have any of the following, which may interfere with your MRI scan:

  • Are pregnant or breast feeding?
  • Claustrophobia (fear of closed-in places)
  • Heart valve replacement
  • Joint or bone pins
  • Kidney Disease
  • Metal in your body
  • Metal in your eye from high speed grinding or metal work
  • Metal plates
  • Pacemaker
  • Surgical clips

Please wear comfortable clothing with no metal buttons, belts or zippers. Please remove all make-up since some products contain metallic flecks. When you arrive, the technologist will ask you to remove anything metallic, such as a hearing aid, partial plate, jewelery, hairpins, credit cards, watches, coins and keys.