MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

What is MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a no n-invasive, painless, diagnostic procedure that uses a permanent, super-conducting magnet that cannot be immediately “shut-off”. In fact you will not see or feel anything (some patients fall asleep during their MRI scan). All that is required of you is to be as still as possible during the exam. The procedure typically will last from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the type of information required by your physician.

What is the purpose of a MRI?

Provides detailed images for detecting disease. Provides two/three-dimensional images by using a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer. MRI does not use x-rays and is absolutely painless. Effective in early detection and treatment.

What happens during the exam?

A technologist will position you on the examination table. You may be offered music, depending on the type of exam.
You will then be moved into the scanner.
As the equipment scans you will hear very loud, knocking, peculiar noises, this means the scanner is doing its job.

What happens after the exam?

After the exam, the radiologist (a physician who specializes in Medical Imaging) will provide your physician with an interpretation of the results of your MRI scan. Your physician can then explain the findings.

Preparation for the exam…

To ensure your safety, you will be asked questions regarding your medical history. Because of the magnetic field, you will be asked to leave coins, jewelry, watches, glasses, credit cards, keys, hairpins, and other metal objects in a locker. Some items are allowed inside the scan room. Exceptions to these are pacemakers, which are never allowed near the MRI unit. If there are any questions concerning metal in your body, you should contact the MRI department prior to your study and review your concerns with the staff.
For most MRI exams, you may eat normally and go about your daily routine. If your MRI exam is being done on your gallbladder, pancreas, common bile duct or pancreatic duct, you may not eat or drink for 6 hours prior to your appointment.
If you are claustrophobic, talk to your doctor about this. Your physician may want to order a sedative for you to take before your MRI. Continue to take any medications prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed. In certain instances, a contrast agent may be administered by injection to allow the images to be more distinct.

MRI Risks, you may not be able to have the MRI if you have:

  • Pacemaker
  • Artificial heart valve
  • Brain aneurysm clips, intracranial clips
  • Cochlear implant
  • Metal in eyes, head, or skin
  • Are greater than 350 pounds
  • Insulin pumps, pain pumps, neurostimulators, implantable pumps
  • Penile implant
    Palmetto Primary Care Physicians’ MRI Department can be reached at 820-3310.

    ← Back to Diagnostics Page