Magnetic Resonance Imaging, commonly referred to as MRI, is one of the most advanced diagnostic tools available. Unlike other modalities, MRI does not use x-ray or radiation. Highly detailed images are created by gathering the naturally occurring force of magnetic and radio wave energy. These signals are combined on a powerful digital computer to create amazing pictures of body organs, soft-tissue structures, bones and blood vessels.
MRI has a variety of applications. It is a widely used tool for the diagnosis of cancer, heart and vascular disease and stroke. MRI is also performed to diagnose sports-related injuries and provides highly accurate images of tendons, ligaments, cartilage, joints and muscle tissue. In addition, MRI is also an invaluable tool in the diagnosis of spinal disorders such as disc herniation, spinal stenosis and spinal tumors.
How should I prepare for an MRI?
MRI exams are painless, and unless we are scanning your abdominal region, most exams require no special diet.
Our staff are highly trained to protect your safety. Because MRI uses a strong magnet, certain metal objects interfere with the magnetic field and will affect the quality of images. Therefore, for patient safety, patients are screened for pacemakers, aneurysm clips, implanted electronic devices for medication pumps and nerve stimulators, cochlear implants, vascular stents, foreign bodies or metal splinters around the eyes and/or other organs related to grinding metal, welding or shrapnel. Please bring any documentation/product identification ID cards for any implantable devices to your appointment and do not hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns. Our Radiologists are happy to review your specific medical history and safety concerns and will guide you appropriately.
Generally an exam averages about 30 minutes in duration. However, very detailed studies may take longer. Depending on the part of the body being examined, IV contrast, specifically designed for MRI, may be injected into a vein to enhance the visibility of certain body tissues or blood vessels.
The time in the machine passes rapidly and when possible, earphones are provided for music and communication with our technologists. Some claustrophobic patients may experiences a “closed in” feeling. If this is a concern for you, please let us know when you schedule your procedure. We can offer options for sedation during your study.
Patient Information and Resources
For specific information on which type of body MRI for general information, preparation, expectations, limitations, benefits and risks and indications please click on the links below.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
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