doctor ordered an MRI. What should I expect?
Depending upon the exam, an
MRI takes 30-45 minutes. You will be screened and your medical
history will be gone over prior to the exam. The procedure
will be explained to you and you will be made as comfortable
as possible. It is important to remain still during the procedure.
Is it safe to have an MRI?
Yes it is. MRI does not use
radiation; instead, an image is produced using a large magnet,
radio waves and a computer.
Is there any preparation?
No, however, if you are in pain
and have a hard time lying still, we suggest you take your
pain medication. You cannot wear metal in the area that you
are being scanned. You can wear sweat clothes; shorts or pants
without a zipper if you choose. We do have gowns that you
can change into. If you have plain films or prior tests we
suggest you bring those with you.
What precautions are there?
The MRI scanner is a magnet
and therefore metal objects; credit cards; watches, bobby
pins and other metal objects cannot be brought into the room.
We have wheelchairs and oxygen tanks that are compatible with
Can anyone have an MRI?
You cannot be scanned if you
have cardiac pacemaker; metal in your eyes; aneurysm clips
or cochlear implants. There are other implanted devices such
as defibrillators and retinal tacks. You will be screened
to make sure you are safe to have a scan. PLEASE notify us
if you have had surgery within the past 6 weeks.
Do I need an order for an
Yes! You must have an order
from your physician. The order needs to say exactly what type
of an MRI you need. It needs to indicate if you are having
Why would I need contrast?
Contrast (gadolinium) is used
for certain studies. For example: if you have had surgery
on your spine, it is used to differentiate between a new injury
and scar tissue. If the diagnosis is MS; contrast is used
to highlight the possibility of plaques. It also highlights
tumors. Contrast is a clear solution that is injected into
your veins. It is injected partway through the study and then
some sequences are performed again.
The order says one area but
I think I should have more than that?
First of all, an MRI is specific
to the area your physician orders. We have to go by what the
order says. If it says left shoulder but both of your shoulders
hurt, we cannot add the right shoulder. The same with your
spine - if the order says lumbar; we will scan your low back
area and that is all.
If you think you need something
else scanned please discuss that with your physician prior
to your appointment. If another scan is added, we need to
be notified. You are given a 45 minute time slot for each
HOW DO I GET MY EXAM RESULTS?
Your exam will be reviewed by
one of our board-certified radiologists. They will dictate
a report which then will be transcribed. Upon the finalization
of the report it will be faxed to your referring physician
who will go over the results with you.