Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced diagnostic tool used by radiologists to evaluate subtle abnormalities that may not be detectable using other types of imaging. The MRI scanner uses a very powerful magnetic field to image the human body. The magnetic fields used in MRI have attractive forces many times stronger than small hand-held magnets. A specially designed computer creates extremely clear and precise images to help find subtle abnormalities within the body. For some MRI scans, a contrast (gadolinium) injection may be necessary to better characterize certain findings. MRI exams do not involve radiation exposure.
• For most scans, there are no special preparations.
• If you are having an abdominal or pelvic MRI, please don’t eat for 4 hours prior to the scan and drink water only to swallow medications.
• Do not wear metal or jewelry.
• Let your doctor know if you have any implants, for example:
- Pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator
- Brain aneurysm clip
- Cardiac stent
- Metal in your eye
• Notify us in advance if you have renal (kidney) disease.
• If you are or may be pregnant, tell your physician.
• Please arrive at least 20 minutes before your appointment.
• If you must cancel or reschedule, please call us at least 24 hours before your appointment.
Special instructions for liver, kidney, adrenal, gallbladder and pancreas MRI exams:
• Do not eat or drink for 4 hours before the exam.
Special instructions for breast MRI exams:
• Bring any mammogram, breast MRI, breast ultrasound and/or breast biopsy films and reports that have been performed by other radiology groups.
Special instructions for MR Arthrography:
• If you are taking Coumadin (a blood thinning medication), arrange with your doctor to stop taking the medication 1 - 2 days before your MR Arthrography appointment.
• Ask your physician to arrange an INR (International Normalized Ratio) blood test before your appointment. If the result is above 1.5, you will need to reschedule. Please bring your blood test results with you.
• If you are taking aspirin or other NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Motrin, Aleve, or Naprosyn, stop taking it 3 days before your appointment, with your doctor's permission.
• Prescription or referral from your physician
• List of medications you take
• Insurance cards
• Any previous, relevant imaging exams and reports, including MRI, CT, PET/CT, taken outside our network
• Medical history
• Pathology reports
• Because the MRI uses a powerful magnet, we will ask you to complete a safety questionnaire to learn if you have implants or other sources of metal in your body.
• We will ask you to remove any metal including jewelry, eye glasses, hearing aids, dental work, hair clips and hair pieces before your scan.
• Our MR technologists or the radiologist will ask you some medical questions and review what you can expect during the MRI.
During your scan
• We will make you as comfortable as possible on the exam table before the scan begins. Because the scanner can be noisy, we will provide you with ear protection.
• The table will slide into the MRI unit where the scan will be conducted.
• Please lay as still as possible to avoid blurring the images.
• You will be able to communicate with the MR technologist at all times during your exam. The technologist will constantly supervise you and will check in with you periodically during your scan.
• Most MRI exams last less than one hour.
After your MRI
• You may leave immediately after your MRI is completed and continue with your daily routine, even if you received an injection.
• The radiologist will review your scans and send the results to your physician. Urgent findings will be called or faxed in to your doctor.
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