Is there any radiation?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) does not use radiation. The basic components of MRI are a strong magnetic field and a brief pulse of a radio frequency. There are no known side effects related to MRI. Since there is a strong magnetic field however, people with certain devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, aneurysm clips and certain cochlear implants must NOT enter the MRI room.
Will I be alone?
You will be in contact with a technologist at all times. Even when the technologist is not in the MRI room, you will be able to talk via intercom. The technologist is always able to see you through a large patient viewing window.
Does the machine make a lot of noise?
The magnet makes a knocking sound as images are being taken. In between scans, the machine is quiet. Ear plugs are available to you for your exam, and their use will not prevent you from hearing the technologist speak to you during the exam.
Can I listen to music during the exam?
Yes, for most exams. However, if you are having a head scan that requires the patient’s head to rest in a special coil positioned in the middle of the magnet, there is no room for headphones.
Do I have to hold still the entire time?
You do have to remain as still as possible, but the time passes quickly. Moving during the procedure may require repeating parts of the exam, so it is best to remain as still as possible to ensure the best results.
How long will the exam take?
The length of the exam depends upon what is being studied. A typical exam lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. You should always allow extra time in case the exam lasts longer than expected.
Are there things that will prevent me from being scanned?
Some patients with metal implants cannot safely be scanned in the MRI. People with pacemakers, aneurysm clips (especially in the brain) and neurostimulators generally cannot be scanned. Anyone with surgical pins, shrapnel, plates or other type of metal implants should notify the technologist. You will be required to provide a health history when you arrive for your exam explaining any metallic implants you may have.
How long before my doctor gets the results?
After the exam is completed, the radiologist will complete an in-depth review of all images to provide an accurate report of your examination. The final report will be sent to your referring physician within 24- to 48-hours.
Will I be claustrophobic?
Most people have no reaction at all. However, if you feel you may need a bit more room, you can be scheduled on our high resolution “open” oversized bore MRI that can accommodate claustrophobic or high weight patients up to 550 pounds. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to be taken prior to the exam. Being medicated will require you to have someone available to drive you home after the exam.
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