MRI= Exquisite Anatomic Detail

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a safe, painless, and potentially one of the most accurate, non-invasive procedures available to obtain images of the body. In many cases, a high quality MRI reveals exquisite anatomic detail and eliminates the need for additional diagnostic procedures.

In MRI, a magnet is used in conjunction with radio waves and a sophisticated computer system to generate accurate images of the body without using any radiation. MRI is frequently used to study muscles, joints, the brain and spine, the abdomen, pelvis, chest and blood vessels.

Our 1.5 Tesla MRI is perfect for multiple applications and enhances our Radiologists’ ability to interpret exams for conditions such as cardiac disease, vascular disease, stroke, musculoskeletal joint disorders, abdominal/pelvic conditions and brain disorders.

The MRI Procedure

Because MRI uses a strong magnetic field, please notify your physician or our office prior to your exam if you have a pacemaker, artificial heart valve or any other metal inside your body. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, and may be asked to wear a gown to prevent any magnetic interference with buckles or zippers.

You will be positioned on a cushioned table that will slide into the MRI machine. A Technologist will monitor the exam at all times and a speaker system keeps you connected to the Technologist. Depending on the type of exam ordered a special coil may be used to image certain areas of the body, or a contrast agent may be injected through an IV.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field and radio frequency pulses to provide clear and detailed diagnostic images of internal body organs and tissues. MRI is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of a broad range of conditions, including, but not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Heart and vascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Joint and musculoskeletal disorders 

MRI allows evaluation of some bodily structures that may not be as visible with other diagnostic imaging methods.

What are some common uses of MRI?

Imaging of the Musculoskeletal System. MRI is often used to study the knee, ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. MRI is also a highly accurate method for evaluating soft tissue structures, such as tendons and ligaments, which can be seen in great detail with this method. Many subtle injuries are easily detected. In addition, MRI is used for the diagnosis of spinal problems, including disc hernia, spinal stenosis, and spinal tumors.

Imaging of the Head and Spine. MRI for neurological/brain imaging and spine studies provides outstanding image quality for diagnosis. The MRI software offers many mode and viewing options including the ability to reconstruct and rotate images to show soft tissue of the brain. MRA studies offer enhanced images of vascular structures.

Imaging for Cancer and Functional Disorders. Organs of the chest and abdomen, such as the liver, lungs, kidney and other abdominal organs, can be examined in great detail with MRI. This aids in the diagnosis and evaluation of tumors and functional disorders. For early diagnosis of breast cancer, MRI is a supplement to traditional mammography. Furthermore, because no radiation exposure is involved, MRI is often used for examination of the male and female reproductive systems.

What should I expect during this exam?

Depending on how many images are needed, the exam generally takes 20 to 45 minutes. Very detailed studies may take longer.

  • You will be asked to lie down on a sliding table and will be positioned comfortably.
  • The technologist will leave the room for your exam, but you will be able to communicate with them at any time using an intercom.
  • In certain circumstances, a friend or family member will be allowed to stay in the room with you during the exam.
  • You will be asked to remain still during the actual imaging process. However, between sequences, which last between two and fifteen minutes, slight movement is allowed.
  • Depending on the part of the body being examined, a contrast material may be used to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels.

What will I experience during an MRI?

  • MRI is a painless procedure.
  • Some claustrophobic patients may experience a “closed in” feeling. If this is a concern, a sedative may be administered. (Please notify us ahead of time if you will require a sedative.)
  • You will hear loud tapping or thumping during the exam. Patients may choose earplugs to block out the noise.
  • You may feel warmth in the area being examined. This is normal.
  • If a contrast injection is used, there may be some discomfort at the injection site. You may also feel a cool sensation at the site during injection.