What is an MRI?

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a noninvasive diagnostic tool used to identify various medical conditions. It is one of the safest and most advanced imaging technologies available. MRI uses strong magnetic fields, radio waves and specialty coils to produce an image. The information is gathered and organized by a computer into remarkably clear and detailed images. This diagnostic tool offers a quick and safe method for gathering pictures of the human anatomy allowing physicians to detect many conditions in earlier stages. Examples include brain, breast, cardiac, and prostate MRI’s.

Is an MRI safe?

MRI imaging does not involve exposure to radiation. Medical and electronic devices may interfere with MRI exams and pose a potential risk. Metro MRI Center staff are trained in MRI safety, and have access to information specific to your medical device or implant. This information is carefully reviewed to ensure your safety in the MR environment.

What if I am claustrophobic and don't like to be in enclosed spaces?

The MRI team will work with patients who suffer from claustrophobia. Patients can come before their appointment and tour the facility to become better acquainted with the scanning process. A friend or family member (who has been screened) may also accompany the patient into the exam room during the test. We can provide you with music during most MRI exams to help put you at ease. Many patients request a mild sedative prescription from their physician prior to their appointment and arrange for a responsible adult to drive them home.

Can pediatric patients have an MRI?

Yes, children can have an MRI. Parents can accompany their children into the scan room and remain with the child during the MRI exam if they do not have any contraindicated implants or devices.

What forms do I need to fill out?

A safety screening form, and medical history sheets are available on-line for you to print and fill out prior to your appointment. You may also come to one of our locations to pick up the paperwork prior to your appointment. At the time of your arrival, there will be additional forms to complete depending on the type of exam you are having.

Should I take my medications the day of my MRI?

Yes, it is important for patients to continue taking all medications prescribed by their physician before their MRI exam. Patients should let our staff know what medications they have taken prior to their MRI scan. If the exam you are having requires suspension of your medications, you will be notified in advance.

Can I eat and drink before my MRI?

Patients will receive individual instructions about eating and/or drinking prior to their scan.

When should I arrive for my MRI?

Patients should arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled appointment. This allows time to complete any necessary paperwork, answer any medical history questions, change clothes for the scan if necessary and ask any questions of the MRI technologist. Patients should bring their insurance cards, a photo ID, and any insurance forms.

What should I wear for my MRI?

You will be asked to change into a gown or scrubs prior to your MRI exam. Some clothing may be made of fabric that will interfere with the MRI causing burns or artifact on the images.

Jewelry, glasses, hearing aids, dentures, hairpins, body piercings, credit cards, coins, pocket knives, keys and other metal objects will need to be removed prior to your MRI exam. A secure locker is provided for you during your MRI scan. Patients are also advised not to wear cosmetics to their scan as many brands contain metal.

Will I need an injection for my MRI?

If your physician or radiologist determines that contrast will enhance your MRI scan results, this will be added to your procedure. The contrast is injected into a vein. Typically this is done in your arm or your hand half way through your exam. It is important for you to hydrate yourself prior to and after your MRI exam to help your body eliminate the contrast more rapidly.

What happens during my MRI?

When you are ready for your scan, a technologist will bring you into the MRI scan room and help you get comfortable. A receiver coil will be placed near or next to the body part that is being examined. The table will then move slowly into the opening of a large cylinder-shaped tube that houses the MRI magnet. You will hear a continual knocking noise while the machine takes pictures. The MR technologist will give you an emergency ball that you can squeeze, setting off an alarm, if you need assistance.

Earplugs or headphones are provided and significantly reduce the amount of noise during the scan. It is important to lie completely still while the images are being taken because motion will affect the clarity of the images. The technologist will talk with you throughout your scan and keep you informed of what you can expect.

How long will my MRI scan take?

MRI scans are individualized and tailored to each patient's needs. Total scan times range from 20 to 60 minutes.

What happens after my MRI?

Patients may leave immediately following their MRI scan and can go about their normal activities, unless instructed otherwise. Radiologists from Advance Radiology SC know that rapid results are essential for each patient's peace of mind and so physicians can begin planning treatment immediately. After each MRI scan, a radiologist will look at the images in a timely manner, and provide an interpretation. Your doctor will provide you with your results.

Clearly focused on you.