Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Important information to know

Doctors use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to find diseases or abnormalities in the body without using X-rays. MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body. MRI is non-invasive and painless and most scans generally take 20-60 minutes, depending on the type of exam your doctor has ordered.

During an MRI scan, you lie on a cushioned table that moves into the scanner. An injected contrast agent may be used. MRI contrast agents rarely cause allergic reactions.

The technologists stays in contact with you throughout the exam. When the scan begins, you will hear a muffled sound for several minutes. Lie as still as possible, as any movement during this time can distort the image.

MRI Patient information

Arrive 30 minutes early to complete paperwork.

  • There are no diet restrictions to follow prior to your exam.
  • Take your regular medications prior to your exam.
  • Bring your insurance information, photo ID, as well as any applicable diagnostic films, CDs or DVDs.
  • Leave valuables at home. No metal objects can be worn during your scan (such as watches, jewelry, keys, or cell phone).
  • You will be asked to wear a hospital gown for the exam. We have private dressing rooms where your belongings will be locked for the duration of your scan.
  • Inform your referring physician if you have ever experienced claustrophobia. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe a mild sedative before your appointment. If you receive medication, bring someone to drive you home.

Notify our staff in advance if you:

  • Have implanted devices
  • Have any serious health problems
  • Have had any surgery within the last six to eight weeks
  • Have ever had surgery on your brain, ears, eyes, or heart
  • Have metal in your eyes, or work with metals
  • Have a bone or joint replacement or any prosthesis
  • Are or may be pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Weigh more than 350 pounds

Once your scan is complete, you may resume normal activities and diet. If you had a contrast injection, please drink plenty of water following your scan and follow the post-care instructions that the technologist will provide.