What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a state-of-the-art imaging modality that uses magnetism and radio waves to produce ultra clear images of the body with the help of computer technology. No radiation is used. This advanced technology allows your doctors to obtain information in a painless and safe way that can lead to early detection of disease.
How should I prepare for my MRI examination?
No special preparation is needed prior to your MRI exam. You can eat or drink normally and take any of your usual medications. Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. Wear comfortable clothing. Please leave watches, jewelry, and other valuables at home. We may ask you to change to a gown Since belts, jewelry, and even thread in clothing may contain metal that will disturb the MRI signal. All personal items will be locked in a secure place.
What can I expect during the exam?
The MRI exam is simple. Our specially trained technologist will help position you on a cushioned scanning bed, which rests in the middle of the MRI magnet. You can use our headphones to listen to music for relaxation or use earplugs to minimize sound. The technologist will be in contact with you throughout the exam. For best results, you will be asked to lie very still, since movement blurs the image. You will hear a “knocking” sound that will last for several minutes. This is the magnet generating images. The MRI technologist will be able to see and hear you at all times, and will talk to you over an intercom. A family member or friend can stay nearby during your exam if you like.
You may be administered a contrast agent known as gadolinium intravenously at the discretion of your ordering physican and the radiologist. The contrast enhances organs and is sometimes indicated for certain MR studies.
How long will the exam take?
Your exam will take approximately 30-60 minutes depending on the body part studied.
MRI Patient Information
Please take note that you can not have an MRI if you have the following:
- Cardiac or other pacemaker, defibrillator or insulin pump
- Cerebral aneurysm clips (magnetic)
- Cochlear (middle ear) implant hearing device
- Certain heart valves
- Some implanted electrodes for pain control or seizures
- Some implanted neurostimulators
- History of working with metal that resulted in metal flakes in your eyes
- History of metal fragments (bullets or shrapnel) in your body
Pregnant women should inform the technologist.
If you think you may be claustrophobic, please check with your doctor ordering your exam. They may be able to prescribe medication prior to your MRI. If you are going to be pre-medicated, please bring someone to drive you home
MR Arthrography is an imaging study designed to diagnose problems within a joint (e.g. shoulder, hip, and wrist) with the aid of a contrast agent called gadolinium. When this contrast agent is diluted and introduced into the joint, it enhances the visualization of joint structures and improves MRI evaluation of joint abnormalities.
- Let your doctor know if you are on blood thinners since these may need to be held prior to your procedure. Refrain from taking aspirin for 5 days prior to the procedure and NSAIDS 48 hours prior to the procedure.
- Contact your doctor before you stop taking any medication.
- Please bring any previous imaging study results (MRI, CT, x-rays) such as films, reports, or CD-ROMs, if available.
- Please notify a member of CCI’s staff if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
During the procedure
- Using CT guidance a radiologist will place a thin needle into the joint (after numbing the area) and inject contrast (diluted gadolinium mixed with x-ray contrast).
- You may experience some slight pressure or discomfort as the joint is distended. The sensation is only temporary and will pass within 4-6 hours after the procedure.
- This portion of your procedure takes approximately 20 minutes.
- You will then be transferred have an MRI exam of the joint that contains the gadolinium mixture.
- The average length of an MRI is 30 minutes.
- All you need to do is relax and lie still.
After the procedure
- You may resume regular activities immediately after the procedure.
- The radiologist will recommend, however, that you limit strenuous or “stress-bearing” activities on the affected joint for 24 hours following the procedure.
How do I get the results?
Our Board Certified radiologists will study your images and dictate a report. These reports are sent to your doctor on the same day as your imaging study. Your doctor will give you the results of your exam.
Please call us if:
– You cannot keep your appointment.
– You may be pregnant.
*For any other questions, please call us at: (617) 383-6585