MRI Defined:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive, state-of-the-art procedure that uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed, high resolution pictures of organs, soft tissues and bones. Because of its safety and clarity, the MRI is a valuable tool for diagnosing a wide range of conditions.

MRI Benefits:

  • Exposure to radiation is avoided.
  • MRI is a painless, non-invasive and accurate procedure.
  • Images of soft tissues such as the heart, lungs, and liver are clearer and more detailed than with other imaging techniques.
  • MRI images can help your doctor evaluate function as well as structure of many organs.
  • MRI provides a fast, non-invasive alternative to X-ray angiography for diagnosing problems of the heart and cardiovascular system.
  • MRI will detect abnormal tissue that might be obscured by bone tissue when other imaging techniques are used.

The MRI Experience:

The patient is placed on a long bed that slides into the MRI chamber. The patient is required to lie still during the actual imaging process but between images some movement is allowed. The MRI equipment will make various noises during the scan as it takes multiple views of the target site. The technologist and patient are able to communicate during the test through a microphone and speaker system allowing the technologist to provide instructions and the patient to express any concerns.

Preparation:

  • Inform the technologist if you have any implanted metal device in your body such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, shunts or stents as these may prevent you from having an MRI.
  • Metal and electronic devices such as watches, jewelry, cellular phones, and credit cards must be removed before the exam.
  • Depending on the part of the body being imaged, a hospital gown may be necessary. Clothing that has metal snaps or attached metal should be replaced with a gown.
  • Some tests may require the injection of contrast material which improves visualization of certain tissues or blood vessels.