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MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)

What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI or MR) is one of the safest, most comfortable imaging techniques available. It combines a powerful magnet with an advanced computer system and radio waves to produce accurate and detailed cross-sectional pictures of the human body. Unlike other techniques, MRI uses no x-rays or radiation.

Common Uses
MRI produces highly detailed pictures of soft-tissue structures near and around bones, blood vessels, organs and the brain. It is widely used to examine such diverse things as:
• Spinal and joint problems
• Small tears and injuries to tendons and ligaments
• Sports injuries
• Work-related disorders from repeated strain
• Arthritis
• Stroke
• Reproductive organs
• Organs of the chest and abdomen

Exam Preparations

You may follow your normal diet and take any medications in your usual fashion.
Because MRI technology uses a very strong magnetic field, please notify the center if you have a pacemaker, aneurysm clips or any other metal implant and if you have ever worked with metal, been exposed to metal shavings, worked as a grinder or think you might be pregnant.

You should wear loose, comfortable clothing free of metal zippers or buttons like sweats. Bras with metal clasps or under wires cannot be worn in the scanner. If you prefer, you may change into a gown.

A sound system is available if you'd like to bring a CD to listen to during the exam.

A small percentage of people who have difficulty with small confined spaces may experience some anxiety during the procedure. If you feel you may be one of them, please have a friend or relative drive you to your exam. This will allow the center to administer a sedative or relaxant if necessary.

During the Exam

When you arrive, you may need to change into a gown or pajamas and will be asked to remove all metal objects before going into the scanning room. You may wish to leave your jewelry and valuables at home, or we have secured lockers where you can store these items. The technologist will help position you on a padded table in front of the magnet. Depending on the type of exam you are having, you will then enter the scanner head first or feet first. The technologist will begin by moving the table into the magnet. During the exam, the technologist will be inside the control room watching you at all times. An intercom system allows you to talk freely with the technologist. As the exam starts, you may hear a variety of thumping noises, similar to light hammering. Some people find this noise relaxing, but we also have earplugs and stereo headsets available for your comfort. While the scanner is working, you may feel a slight vibration; but other than this vibration, you should not experience any other sensations. The procedure takes between 30 and 60 minutes.


After the Exam

MRI has no side effects or ill results. You are free to resume normal activity following your exam. However, if a sedative was administered, you must refrain from driving or operating machinery for the remainder of the day.

Your tests will be reviewed promptly by one of our board certified radiologist. Our goal is to provide your physician with a report within 24 hours of the examination.


 
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