FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The staff at Alliance Imaging MRI Norton understands that this is a stressful time for you and your family. We make it our mission to provide you with exceptional care and greater piece of mind leading up to and during your exam. Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive.
What are your office hours?
How do I make or cancel an appointment?
We understand that life happens and appreciate a minimum of 24 hours notice to cancel or change your appointment. There is no charge to you if changes are made within the allotted time frame. Please call us at (508) 285-2523 and we would be happy to assist you.
If you reach us after hours, please leave a message and we will return your call promptly the next business morning.
What if I have questions about paying for my exam?
For more information on insurance coverage and payment plan options, please click here.
What is an MRI?
How should I prepare?
- Dress comfortably in lose fitting clothing, avoiding zippers, snaps, buttons, underwire or wicking/metallic fibers.
- Remove all metal items including watches, jewelry, piercing, hairpins, belts, dentures, or external medical devices including hearing aids and patch medications unless instructed not to by your referring physician.
- We will provide a secure place for your cell phones, keys and credit cards as they are not allowed in the scanning room.
Our staff will advise you should it be deemed necessary for you to change into one of our gowns. It is important to remove all metal objects before entering the scanning room as metal interferes with the imaging. As the magnetic field is very strong, it is for your safety and comfort that we ensure all metal items are removed before entering the scanning room.
Some exams require an injection of a contrast agent, which allows the radiologist to see the image more clearly. In this case, it is best not to eat or drink two hours prior to your exam. For more information, please call our office to speak with a technologist at (508) 285-2523.
What pre-existing medical conditions should I notify the technologist of?
- Pacemaker (including those that are labelled MRI safe/conditional)
- Neurostimulators (TENS-unit)
- Implanted defibrillators
- Implanted drug infusion device (i.e., insulin pump, pain pump)
- Artificial heart valves
- Dorsal column stimulators
- Aneurysm clips
- Cochlear implants
- Metallic implants and prosthesis
- Vascular stent or stent graft
- Exposure of metal fragments to your eye
- History as a metal worker
- Shrapnel or bullet wounds
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Weight in excess of 450 lbs.
- History of kidney problems
- Allergy to iodine, or gadolinium
- History of diabetes
What happens during the exam?
During your MRI scan, you will lie on a cushioned table that moves into the scanner. The most important thing to remember is to lie still and relax as any movement during this time can distort the image. You may bring a family member or friend into the scanning room to help you relax. As the scanner is rather loud while in progress, we provide ear plugs and/or head phones and you may listen to music of your choice to make you more comfortable. You will be able to communicate with your technologist throughout the exam, which usually lasts between 20-60 minutes depending on what your doctor has ordered.
Fear of being confined is a common phobia and one that our technologists are trained to assist you with. If you are claustrophobic or prone to panic attacks, you may want to consult with your doctor who can prescribe a sedative. We are unable to prescribe medication for you onsite so make sure you speak with your referring physician about your concerns prior to your exam. If you are prescribed a sedative for your scan, a friend or family member will need to drive you home. We will be unable to discharge you following the exam without a driver present.
Are there any risks or side effects of having an MRI?
As very little research has been conducted on the safety of MR imaging during pregnancy, the benefit of performing the scan must outweigh the risks to the fetus and mother. Your doctor and the radiologist will make an assessment on a case-by-case basis and assist you in making an informed decision regarding your scan.
Your doctor or technologist may recommend that the MRI exam be done with contrast. Contrast is a medication that allows body tissues to be more clearly visible on an MRI scan. While MRI contrast (gadolinium) is safe for most patients, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medicine (prescription or nonprescription), are pregnant, breastfeeding, history of kidney disease or if you have had an allergic reaction to any medical imaging contrast agents in the past.
When will I receive the results of my exam?
Should you need images or a report sent to additional physicians, we would be happy to accommodate that request and can fax the report to them and provide you with a CD containing the images to take with you.
If we can answer any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at (508) 285-2523.