What can I expect during my MRI appointment?
The MRI is a very simple and comfortable exam. An MRI usually takes from 20-60 minutes depending upon the area of the body being scanned. Our board certified technicians will assist you onto a cushioned examination table. Once you are lying comfortably on the examination table, the table will move smoothly into position, toward the center of the MRI’s donut-shaped magnet. The technician will then instruct you to lie still so that the MRI can take clear, precise pictures. When the MRI begins taking pictures, you will hear some muffled sounds. Don’t worry, these are simply the working sounds of the MRI.
Sometimes a contrast dye is used to enhance the areas that are being scanned. The contrast dye helps make the details of the MRI image clearer. If the contrast dye is being used it is injected through a vein in the arm usually near the end of the test. Contrast dye used for MRI exams is not the same as the dyes used for CT scans.
How do I prepare for an MRI?
There are no special diet or preparation requirements for this test, however, before your test you will be asked to fill out a safety screening form and will consult with the technician before you enter the MRI room. It is preferred that you dress in, or bring, comfortable clothing without metal.
Is MRI scanning dangerous?
An MRI scanner utilizes an extremely powerful magnet that is ALWAYS on. There is no exposure to x-ray or other forms of potentially harmful radiation. It is important to let us know if you are pregnant or undergoing dialysis or if you have one of the following:
A cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator
A metal plate, pin or other metallic implant
An artificial heart valve
An intrauterine device (IUD)
Renal insufficiency or kidney disease
Shrapnel, bullets, or any type of metal fragments