Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a technology that uses a large magnet to generate very detailed images of internal organs and body structure without the use of X-rays.
MRIs provide images that help your doctor look inside your body without surgery.
How to Prepare
You must change your clothes to remove anything with metal snaps or zippers. If you wish, you may wear your own metal-free clothing, such as a sweat suit. Otherwise, you will change into a patient gown. You must also remove anything else that may contain metal, such as jewelry, hairpins, hearing aids and dental work. Continue with your usual diet and medication unless your doctor has instructed you to do otherwise.
The technologist will position you on a padded table that will slide into the scanner. A coil may be placed around the area of the body to be examined. In some cases contrast agents are injected into your veins to enhance the appearance of certain tissues or blood vessels in the images. It is important that you remain as still as possible during the exam—in some cases you may be asked to hold your breath—so the images will not be blurred. However, you should relax and breathe normally.
During the exam, you will hear rhythmic knocking sounds as the scanner works. The technologist will control the exam from another room, but will be able to monitor you at all times. You can talk with him or her by intercom. The procedure usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Please note that you will be in an enclosed space during that time and we do not dispense medicine to MRI patients. If you think you may be claustrophobic, contact your referring physician for further instructions.
After the Procedure
A radiologist will review the results of the MRI. A report will be provided to your physician, who will make the diagnosis.
Magnetic fields can be used repeatedly without known risks and are considered safer than other diagnostic procedures that expose the patient to radiation. Each patient will be screened prior to his or her MRI exam. Certain medical implants are not compatible within the MRI unit. Examples include:
- A pacemaker
- Aneurysm clips
- Metallic fragments in the eye or other body parts
- A spinal cord stimulator
- A cochlear implant
Please notify the technologist if you have any of the above items, any implants, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an IUD or prosthetic device. A blood test to measure kidney function may be required prior to the exam. Your healthcare provider will notify you if this is necessary.
For more information about MRI services at Wilson Health, please call (937) 498-5336.