Is an MRI Safe?
For most patients, having an MRI exam is safe and painless. However, because the MRI uses a strong magnetic field, some patients may not be able to have an MRI. Please check the following list and inform your medical provider if you have or have had any of the following:
- Aneurysm Clips
- Inner Ear (cochlear) Implants
- Implanted Spinal Cord Stimulator
- Metallic Implants
- Metal Fragments in One or Both Eyes
- Dental Bridges
- Hearing Aid(s)
- Have ever been a metal worker
- Are pregnant or think you may be
Some MRI exams require an injection of intravenous MRI contrast. Allergic reaction from gadolinium dye is extremely rare (less than 1%). Your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These may include rash, hives, or shortness of breath. Please notify the technologist immediately if you experience any discomfort.
How does MRI work?
The main component of the MRI scanner is a large magnet located in the middle of the scan room. This magnet causes your body’s hydrogen atoms to align themselves in such a way as to receive radio signals (RF) from the MRI. When your body receives these signals, it reacts by sending its own radio signals back to the machine. The RF transmitted by your body is computer-processed and turned into detailed MRI images which are then able to be interpreted by Inland Imaging radiologists.
What should I expect prior to my MRI exam?
There is usually very little preparation for an MRI exam. Take your daily medications as normal, unless instructed otherwise. For those exams with dietary restrictions, you will be notified of the requirements when scheduling.
What should I expect the day of and during my MRI exam?
It’s no secret, medical tests can make patients stressed, but as a Center of Excellence, PRO Medical believes in providing an experience that not only provides state-of-the-art imaging, but the most comfortable experience to help our patients feel empowered, distracted, calm and relaxed.
The following is what you may expect:
- You will be asked to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to your exam time.
- You will be registered and asked to complete an intake form. For convenience, you may print and complete the form prior to your appointment and bring it with you to your scheduled appointment.
- Once you are checked in, you will be asked to remove your clothing and change into a hospital gown. You should not wear jewelry, hair clips or other metal objects. A locker will be supplied to secure your belongings.
- If you have any type of electronic implant, please bring the device card or other documents with the device information with you, as these devices must be documented to be sure they are safe before you can go into the MRI room.
- A health care professional will explain the test and answer any questions you may have before the MRI begins.
- You will select your ambient immersive experience from a section of dynamic light themes, sound escapes, and videos to transport you into a relaxing environment of your choice.
- Upon entering the room, you will be welcomed with dynamic lighting and sound to aid in your comfort while transitioning into your examination.
- For the exam, you will be required to lie still during the MRI scan, as MRI is extremely sensitive to motion and any movement. Distracting engaging visuals viewed via a mirror in the head coil help in maintaining stillness. You will also be provided with comfortable headphones to receive breath hold cues and will be able to view a personalized progress bar indicating duration.
- During a scan, patients can expect the equipment to make a variety of different sounds, including muffled thumping and banging. These noises are reduced with the aid of headphones and soothing sounds.
- If you are claustrophobic, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication for you to take for your MRI appointment. Consult with your doctor on how long you need to take the oral medication prior to the MRI exam. If this is the case, be sure you have a driver check in with you before the MRI exam. However, our ambient immersive system is designed to reduce the feelings of claustrophobia.
- The MRI technologist will provide you with a button to alert the technologist of any discomfort you may experience at any point during the MRI exam. Please utilize this if you need to get the MRI technologists attention during the exam. They will be outside the exam room the entire time during your visit.
How long does an MRI last?
Exams may take 45 minutes to one hour depending on body part. If you are given IV contrast it will add an additional 15-20 minutes. You should expect to be onsite for one to two hours which includes checking in, changing, exam duration, changing, and discharge.
What should I expect after my MRI exam?
If MRI safe contrast is injected, the IV is removed from the arm before you go home. If you received IV contrast, drink plenty of water 24 hours after the exam. IV contrast is secreted from the body via urine.
Women who are breast feeding are recommended to pump and dump breastmilk for the following 24 hours following contrast injections.
Your images will be sent to Inland Imaging LLC and sent to your ordering physician. The average turnaround for image results is approximately one to two days.