IMAGING: MRI

How It Works

The MRI scan uses a powerful magnet, radio frequency waves and a computer that processes the images to acquire extremely accurate images of organs, soft tissue, bone and internal body structures. The MRI is one of the safest and most comfortable diagnostic imaging studies available. We have two types of equipment: one with a 1.5T wide-bore magnet and another with a 3T wide-bore magnet. Our team of radiologists, technologists and schedulers are always available to help identify the most appropriate magnet for your study.

Why We Do It

There are many reasons to use an MRI scanner to image organs, tissues or skeletal systems. MRIs are used to image everything from the brain and spinal cord, to heart, blood vessels, and all extremities. MRIs are often used to help diagnose aneurysms, multiple sclerosis, stroke, tumors, heart disease, disorders of the eye and inner ear, tumors or abnormalities of many organs, arthritis and joint disorders and more. MRIs are sometimes used in addition to mammography for women who have dense breast tissue or may be at high risk.

The Experience

During your visit, a patient advocate will show you to the changing area to change into scrubs and can assist you if necessary. Our changing rooms offer secure lockers, but we encourage patients to leave valuables at home. Once changed, our patient advocate will guide you to the sub-waiting area where you will find a selection of magazines and newspapers. A staff member will notify you when it is time for your MRI scan and introduce you to the MRI technologist.

The technologist is specially trained and certified by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists to take care of you during your MRI scan. A device called a coil will be placed around the area of your body we are scanning. Once you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the MRI scanner. You will be able to speak and hear the MRI technologist over an intercom.

The scan takes from 20-40 minutes depending on the purpose of your scan. There is light and plenty of air within the magnet. The equipment does not touch your body but you will hear buzzing and tapping noises from the machine. These sounds are normal and will last a few minutes. We will supply you with ear plugs and/or headphones. Some patients also find it comforting to wear prism glasses, or other items to cover your eyes, which can help patients who are feeling claustrophobic. We have all these aids available for you.

Depending on your situation, you may receive an injection during the procedure. The injection is for what we call “contrast” and allows for greater visibility of some parts of the body. Some patients describe a metallic taste or cool sensation after the injection. This is normal and usually subsides quickly.

Prep & Safety

A quality MRI study is dependent on your ability to remain still for the entirety of your exam. If you are taking any medication, please continue taking it as prescribed. If you feel you may be in too much pain to remain still, please consult your referring physician who may prescribe a pain medication for your study. If you are claustrophobic, please alert your referring provider so they can discuss pre-treatment options with you.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

  • If you have an implanted medical device, be prepared to provide the manufacturer name, model number and device name to the technologist.
  • Jewelry, including piercings, must be removed prior to your study. We encourage you to leave all jewelry at home.
  • You may listen to music during the scan. If you have specific music preferences, please inform your technologist at the time of your scan. (If you prefer something besides the radio, bring your iPod or a CD.)

Safety Notes

Please alert your technologist if you:

  • Have renal disease, a kidney transplant, diabetes, or gout.
  • Have a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
  • Have aneurysm clips.
  • Have other implantable devices such as a heart valve, middle ear prosthesis or implanted neurostimulator.
  • Know or suspect that you have metal fragments in or around the eye.

Prep Forms

Your Results

A highly specialized radiologist will interpret your images and prepare a diagnostic report for your physician within 48 hours. If your exam was ordered “stat” your physician will be notified of the interpretation the same day. Your physician will determine how the radiologists' report can be used to develop a treatment plan and will speak with you about your results.

COMMON QUESTIONS
Q.
What about radiation?
A.
There is no radiation exposure associated with an MRI.
Q.
I’ve heard that an MRI can be very claustrophobic, especially for larger people. Is that correct?
A.
Some patients feel claustrophobic in standard MRI scanners. Our Siemens 3T MRI is designed to accommodate larger patients and to minimize claustrophobia for people of all sizes. (Our Open scanner is also a great option for those who are very claustrophobic and unable to use the 3T.)

Types of scans

Angiogram Study

How it works: The MRI scan uses a powerful magnet, radio frequency waves and a computer that processes the images to acquire extremely accurate images of organs, soft tissue, bone and internal body structures. The MRI is one of the safest and most comfortable diagnostic imaging studies available. We have two types of equipment: one with a 1.5T wide-bore magnet and another with a 3T wide-bore magnet. Our team of radiologists, technologists and schedulers are always available to help identify the most appropriate magnet for your study.

Why we do it: MRI angiograms are used to examine vascular structures in any area of the body.

What to expect:

During your visit, a patient advocate will show you to the changing area to change into scrubs and can assist you if necessary. Our changing rooms offer secure lockers, but we encourage patients to leave valuables at home. Once changed, our patient advocate will guide you to the sub-waiting area where you will find a selection of magazines and newspapers. A staff member will notify you when it is time for your MRI scan and introduce you to the MRI technologist.

The technologist is specially trained and certified by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists to take care of you during your MRI scan. A device called a coil will be placed around the area of your body we are scanning. Once you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the MRI scanner. You will be able to speak and hear the MRI technologist over an intercom.

The scan takes from 20-40 minutes depending on the purpose of your scan. There is light and plenty of air within the magnet. The equipment does not touch your body but you will hear buzzing and tapping noises from the machine. These sounds are normal and will last a few minutes. We will supply you with ear plugs and/or headphones. Some patients also find it comforting to wear prism glasses, or other items to cover your eyes, which can help patients who are feeling claustrophobic. We have all these aids available for you.

Depending on your situation, you may receive an injection during the procedure. The injection is for what we call “contrast” and allows for greater visibility of some parts of the body. Some patients describe a metallic taste or cool sensation after the injection. This is normal and usually subsides quickly.

Prep & safety: A quality MRI study is dependent on your ability to remain still for the entirety of the exam. If you are taking any medication, please continue taking it as prescribed. If you feel you may be in too much pain to remain still, please consult your referring physician who may prescribe a pain medication for your study. If you are claustrophobic, please alert your referring provider so they can discuss pre-treatment options with you.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

  • If you have an implanted medical device, be prepared to provide the manufacturer name, model number and device name to the technologist.
  • Jewelry, including piercings, must be removed prior to your study. We encourage you to leave all jewelry at home.
  • You may listen to music during the scan. If you have specific music preferences, please inform your technologist at the time of your scan. (If you prefer something besides the radio, bring your iPod or a CD.)

Please alert your technologist if you:

  • Have renal disease, a kidney transplant, diabetes, or gout.
  • Have a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
  • Have aneurysm clips.
  • Have other implantable devices such as a heart valve, middle ear prosthesis or implanted neurostimulator.
  • Know or suspect that you have metal fragments in or around the eye.

Your results: A highly specialized radiologist will interpret your images and prepare a diagnostic report for your physician within 48 hours. If your exam was ordered “stat” your physician will be notified of the interpretation the same day. Your physician will determine how the radiologists' report can be used to develop a treatment plan and will speak with you about your results.

Brain Study

How it works: The MRI scan uses a powerful magnet, radio frequency waves and a computer that processes the images to acquire extremely accurate images of organs, soft tissue, bone and internal body structures. The MRI is one of the safest and most comfortable diagnostic imaging studies available. We have two types of equipment: one with a 1.5T wide-bore magnet and another with a 3T wide-bore magnet. Our team of radiologists, technologists and schedulers are always available to help identify the most appropriate magnet for your study.

Why we do it: An MRI brain studies examine the brain for tumors and developmental anomalies. They are also used to identify vascular abnormalities, such as an aneurysm or to determine if a patient has had a stroke. MRI is also used to look for pituitary gland disease, inner ear issues and chronic disorders like multiple sclerosis disease.

What to expect:

During your visit, a patient advocate will show you to the changing area to change into scrubs and can assist you if necessary. Our changing rooms offer secure lockers, but we encourage patients to leave valuables at home. Once changed, our patient advocate will guide you to the sub-waiting area where you will find a selection of magazines and newspapers. A staff member will notify you when it is time for your MRI scan and introduce you to the MRI technologist.

The technologist is specially trained and certified by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists to take care of you during your MRI scan. A device called a coil will be placed around the area of your body we are scanning. Once you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the MRI scanner. You will be able to speak and hear the MRI technologist over an intercom.

The scan takes from 20-40 minutes depending on the purpose of your scan. There is light and plenty of air within the magnet. The equipment does not touch your body but you will hear buzzing and tapping noises from the machine. These sounds are normal and will last a few minutes. We will supply you with ear plugs and/or headphones. Some patients also find it comforting to wear prism glasses, or other items to cover your eyes, which can help patients who are feeling claustrophobic. We have all these aids available for you.

Depending on your situation, you may receive an injection during the procedure. The injection is for what we call “contrast” and allows for greater visibility of some parts of the body. Some patients describe a metallic taste or cool sensation after the injection. This is normal and usually subsides quickly.

Prep & safety: A quality MRI study is dependent on your ability to remain still for the entirety of the exam. If you are taking any medication, please continue taking it as prescribed. If you feel you may be in too much pain to remain still, please consult your referring physician who may prescribe a pain medication for your study. If you are claustrophobic, please alert your referring provider so they can discuss pre-treatment options with you.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

  • If you have an implanted medical device, be prepared to provide the manufacturer name, model number and device name to the technologist.
  • Jewelry, including piercings, must be removed prior to your study. We encourage you to leave all jewelry at home.
  • You may listen to music during the scan. If you have specific music preferences, please inform your technologist at the time of your scan. (If you prefer something besides the radio, bring your iPod or a CD.)

Please alert your technologist if you:

  • Have renal disease, a kidney transplant, diabetes, or gout.
  • Have a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
  • Have aneurysm clips.
  • Have other implantable devices such as a heart valve, middle ear prosthesis or implanted neurostimulator.
  • Know or suspect that you have metal fragments in or around the eye.

Your results: A highly specialized radiologist will interpret your images and prepare a diagnostic report for your physician within 48 hours. If your exam was ordered “stat” your physician will be notified of the interpretation the same day. Your physician will determine how the radiologists' report can be used to develop a treatment plan and will speak with you about your results.

Breast Study

How it works: The MRI scan uses a powerful magnet, radio frequency waves and a computer that processes the images to acquire extremely accurate images of organs, soft tissue, bone and internal body structures. The MRI is one of the safest and most comfortable diagnostic imaging studies available. We have two types of equipment: one with a 1.5T wide-bore magnet and another with a 3T wide-bore magnet. Our team of radiologists, technologists and schedulers are always available to help identify the most appropriate magnet for your study.

Why we do it: A breast MRI is often performed for patients who have had an abnormal mammogram, a strong family history of breast cancer, discovered a palpable mass or have breast implants that interfere with receiving a standard mammogram.

What to expect:

During your visit, a patient advocate will show you to the changing area to change into scrubs and can assist you if necessary. Our changing rooms offer secure lockers, but we encourage patients to leave valuables at home. Once changed, our patient advocate will guide you to the sub-waiting area where you will find a selection of magazines and newspapers. A staff member will notify you when it is time for your MRI scan and introduce you to the MRI technologist.

The technologist is specially trained and certified by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists to take care of you during your MRI scan. A device called a coil will be placed around the area of your body we are scanning. Once you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the MRI scanner. You will be able to speak and hear the MRI technologist over an intercom.

The scan takes from 20-40 minutes depending on the purpose of your scan. There is light and plenty of air within the magnet. The equipment does not touch your body but you will hear buzzing and tapping noises from the machine. These sounds are normal and will last a few minutes. We will supply you with ear plugs and/or headphones. Some patients also find it comforting to wear prism glasses, or other items to cover your eyes, which can help patients who are feeling claustrophobic. We have all these aids available for you.

Depending on your situation, you may receive an injection during the procedure. The injection is for what we call “contrast” and allows for greater visibility of some parts of the body. Some patients describe a metallic taste or cool sensation after the injection. This is normal and usually subsides quickly.

Prep & safety: A quality MRI study is dependent on your ability to remain still for the entirety of the exam. If you are taking any medication, please continue taking it as prescribed. If you feel you may be in too much pain to remain still, please consult your referring physician who may prescribe a pain medication for your study. If you are claustrophobic, please alert your referring provider so they can discuss pre-treatment options with you.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

  • If you have an implanted medical device, be prepared to provide the manufacturer name, model number and device name to the technologist.
  • Jewelry, including piercings, must be removed prior to your study. We encourage you to leave all jewelry at home.
  • You may listen to music during the scan. If you have specific music preferences, please inform your technologist at the time of your scan. (If you prefer something besides the radio, bring your iPod or a CD.)

Please alert your technologist if you:

  • Have renal disease, a kidney transplant, diabetes, or gout.
  • Have a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
  • Have aneurysm clips.
  • Have other implantable devices such as a heart valve, middle ear prosthesis or implanted neurostimulator.
  • Know or suspect that you have metal fragments in or around the eye.

Your results: A highly specialized radiologist will interpret your images and prepare a diagnostic report for your physician within 48 hours. If your exam was ordered “stat” your physician will be notified of the interpretation the same day. Your physician will determine how the radiologists' report can be used to develop a treatment plan and will speak with you about your results.

Breast Biopsy

How it works: The MRI scan uses a powerful magnet, radio frequency waves and a computer that processes the images to acquire extremely accurate images of organs, soft tissue, bone and internal body structures. The MRI is one of the safest and most comfortable diagnostic imaging studies available. We have two types of equipment: one with a 1.5T wide-bore magnet and another with a 3T wide-bore magnet. Our team of radiologists, technologists and schedulers are always available to help identify the most appropriate magnet for your study.

Why we do it: An MRI-guided breast biopsy is used to help guide the radiologist's instruments to the suspicious area to remove cells. It is typically used when the area in question is too small to be felt.

What to expect: During an MRI-guided breast biopsy, you will lie flat on your stomach for 30 to 40 minutes with your breasts resting inside a special device called a coil, which helps the scanner capture better images. Once you are comfortable, the technologist will start an IV to administer contrast agents and medication. The contrast agent is called gadolinium and helps the radiologist see certain tissue and blood vessels. Some patients describe a metallic taste or tingling sensation after the injection. This is normal and usually subsides quickly. Once your IV is ready, the technologist will move the table into the MRI. After taking images of your breasts to determine the exact location of the area of interest, a radiologist will perform the biopsy. The biopsy begins by sterilizing your skin with antiseptic that will feel cool and wet. The radiologist will numb the area with a local anesthetic and then guide a small, thin hollow needle into the breast tissue to collect a tissue sample. Our nurse will be with you during the entire procedure.

At the end of the procedure, a small metal clip will be inserted as a landmark to help a surgeon find the biopsy location if the results are positive. You should not be able to feel the clip and it will not set off metal detectors. If your biopsy is benign, the clip will remain in the breast and does not need to be removed.

Prep & safety:

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

  • Have renal disease, a kidney transplant, diabetes, or gout.
  • Have a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
  • Have aneurysm clips.
  • Have other implantable devices such as a heart valve, middle ear prosthesis or implanted neurostimulator.
  • Know or suspect that you have metal fragments in or around the eye.
  • If you are taking hormone replacement therapy medication, please discuss discontinuing use of medication with your doctor prior to your MRI study.
  • Please discuss discontinuing use of any type of anti-coagulant or blood thinning agent with your doctor two to three days prior to your study.

Your results: A highly specialized radiologist will interpret your images and prepare a diagnostic report for your physician within 48 hours. If your exam was ordered “stat” your physician will be notified of the interpretation the same day. Your physician will determine how the radiologists' report can be used to develop a treatment plan and will speak with you about your results.

Chest, Abdomen & Pelvis Study

How it works: The MRI scan uses a powerful magnet, radio frequency waves and a computer that processes the images to acquire extremely accurate images of organs, soft tissue, bone and internal body structures. The MRI is one of the safest and most comfortable diagnostic imaging studies available. We have two types of equipment: one with a 1.5T wide-bore magnet and another with a 3T wide-bore magnet. Our team of radiologists, technologists and schedulers are always available to help identify the most appropriate magnet for your study.

Why we do it: This MRI test can examine the heart, chest wall, liver, biliary tract, kidney, spleen and pancreas. It can also evaluate pelvic organs including the reproductive organs, such as the prostate, testicles, uterus and ovaries. Sometimes this test may also examine pelvic and hip bones.

What to expect:

During your visit, a patient advocate will show you to the changing area to change into scrubs and can assist you if necessary. Our changing rooms offer secure lockers, but we encourage patients to leave valuables at home. Once changed, our patient advocate will guide you to the sub-waiting area where you will find a selection of magazines and newspapers. A staff member will notify you when it is time for your MRI scan and introduce you to the MRI technologist.

The technologist is specially trained and certified by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists to take care of you during your MRI scan. A device called a coil will be placed around the area of your body we are scanning. Once you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the MRI scanner. You will be able to speak and hear the MRI technologist over an intercom.

The scan takes from 20-40 minutes depending on the purpose of your scan. There is light and plenty of air within the magnet. The equipment does not touch your body but you will hear buzzing and tapping noises from the machine. These sounds are normal and will last a few minutes.

We will supply you with ear plugs and/or headphones. Some patients also find it comforting to wear prism glasses, or other items to cover your eyes, which can help patients who are feeling claustrophobic. We have all these aids available for you.

Depending on your situation, you may receive an injection during the procedure. The injection is for what we call “contrast” and allows for greater visibility of some parts of the body. Some patients describe a metallic taste or cool sensation after the injection. This is normal and usually subsides quickly.

Prep & safety: A quality MRI study is dependent on your ability to remain still for the entirety of the exam. If you are taking any medication, please continue taking it as prescribed. If you feel you may be in too much pain to remain still, please consult your referring physician who may prescribe a pain medication for your study. If you are claustrophobic, please alert your referring provider so they can discuss pre-treatment options with you.

  • Arrange for a family member or friend to accompany you. We require you to have a driver before being discharged.
  • For your comfort, do not eat a heavy meal within two to three hours of your appointment, because you will be lying on your stomach for the duration of the exam.

Your results: A highly specialized radiologist will interpret your images and prepare a diagnostic report for your physician within 48 hours. If your exam was ordered “stat” your physician will be notified of the interpretation the same day. Your physician will determine how the radiologists' report can be used to develop a treatment plan and will speak with you about your results.

Extremity Study

How it works: The MRI scan uses a powerful magnet, radio frequency waves and a computer that processes the images to acquire extremely accurate images of organs, soft tissue, bone and internal body structures. The MRI is one of the safest and most comfortable diagnostic imaging studies available. We have two types of equipment: one with a 1.5T wide-bore magnet and another with a 3T wide-bore magnet. Our team of radiologists, technologists and schedulers are always available to help identify the most appropriate magnet for your study.

Why we do it: A MRI of the extremities may be used to examine the hands, feet, arms, legs, hips and joints, such as ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and shoulders.

What to expect:

During your visit, a patient advocate will show you to the changing area to change into scrubs and can assist you if necessary. Our changing rooms offer secure lockers, but we encourage patients to leave valuables at home. Once changed, our patient advocate will guide you to the sub-waiting area where you will find a selection of magazines and newspapers. A staff member will notify you when it is time for your MRI scan and introduce you to the MRI technologist.

The technologist is specially trained and certified by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists to take care of you during your MRI scan. A device called a coil will be placed around the area of your body we are scanning. Once you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the MRI scanner. You will be able to speak and hear the MRI technologist over an intercom.

The scan takes from 20-40 minutes depending on the purpose of your scan. There is light and plenty of air within the magnet. The equipment does not touch your body but you will hear buzzing and tapping noises from the machine. These sounds are normal and will last a few minutes. We will supply you with ear plugs and/or headphones. Some patients also find it comforting to wear prism glasses, or other items to cover your eyes, which can help patients who are feeling claustrophobic. We have all these aids available for you.

Depending on your situation, you may receive an injection during the procedure. The injection is for what we call “contrast” and allows for greater visibility of some parts of the body. Some patients describe a metallic taste or cool sensation after the injection. This is normal and usually subsides quickly.

Prep & safety: A quality MRI study is dependent on your ability to remain still for the entirety of the exam. If you are taking any medication, please continue taking it as prescribed. If you feel you may be in too much pain to remain still, please consult your referring physician who may prescribe a pain medication for your study. If you are claustrophobic, please alert your referring provider so they can discuss pre-treatment options with you.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

  • If you have an implanted medical device, be prepared to provide the manufacturer name, model number and device name to the technologist.
  • Jewelry, including piercings, must be removed prior to your study. We encourage you to leave all jewelry at home.
  • You may listen to music during the scan. If you have specific music preferences, please inform your technologist at the time of your scan. (If you prefer something besides the radio, bring your iPod or a CD.)

Please alert your technologist if you:

  • Have renal disease, a kidney transplant, diabetes, or gout.
  • Have a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
  • Have aneurysm clips.
  • Have other implantable devices such as a heart valve, middle ear prosthesis or implanted neurostimulator.
  • Know or suspect that you have metal fragments in or around the eye.

Your results: A highly specialized radiologist will interpret your images and prepare a diagnostic report for your physician within 48 hours. If your exam was ordered “stat” your physician will be notified of the interpretation the same day. Your physician will determine how the radiologists' report can be used to develop a treatment plan and will speak with you about your results.

Spine Study

How it works: The MRI scan uses a powerful magnet, radio frequency waves and a computer that processes the images to acquire extremely accurate images of organs, soft tissue, bone and internal body structures. The MRI is one of the safest and most comfortable diagnostic imaging studies available. We have two types of equipment: one with a 1.5T wide-bore magnet and another with a 3T wide-bore magnet. Our team of radiologists, technologists and schedulers are always available to help identify the most appropriate magnet for your study.

Why we do it: An MRI of the spine may be used to examine the spine, spinal cord and disc spaces.

What to expect:

During your visit, a patient advocate will show you to the changing area to change into scrubs and can assist you if necessary. Our changing rooms offer secure lockers, but we encourage patients to leave valuables at home. Once changed, our patient advocate will guide you to the sub-waiting area where you will find a selection of magazines and newspapers. A staff member will notify you when it is time for your MRI scan and introduce you to the MRI technologist.

The technologist is specially trained and certified by the American Registry of Radiological Technologists to take care of you during your MRI scan. A device called a coil will be placed around the area of your body we are scanning. Once you are comfortable, the technologist will move the table into the MRI scanner. You will be able to speak and hear the MRI technologist over an intercom.

The scan takes from 20-40 minutes depending on the purpose of your scan. There is light and plenty of air within the magnet. The equipment does not touch your body but you will hear buzzing and tapping noises from the machine. These sounds are normal and will last a few minutes. We will supply you with ear plugs and/or headphones. Some patients also find it comforting to wear prism glasses, or other items to cover your eyes, which can help patients who are feeling claustrophobic. We have all these aids available for you.

Depending on your situation, you may receive an injection during the procedure. The injection is for what we call “contrast” and allows for greater visibility of some parts of the body. Some patients describe a metallic taste or cool sensation after the injection. This is normal and usually subsides quickly.

Prep & safety: A quality MRI study is dependent on your ability to remain still for the entirety of the exam. If you are taking any medication, please continue taking it as prescribed. If you feel you may be in too much pain to remain still, please consult your referring physician who may prescribe a pain medication for your study. If you are claustrophobic, please alert your referring provider so they can discuss pre-treatment options with you.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

Your results: A highly specialized radiologist will interpret your images and prepare a diagnostic report for your physician within 48 hours. If your exam was ordered “stat” your physician will be notified of the interpretation the same day. Your physician will determine how the radiologists' report can be used to develop a treatment plan and will speak with you about your results.