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Procedure Prep - MRI

What information will I need to provide prior to my MRI examination?

You will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire that will assist the technologist in assuring that the highest quality exam is performed.

Please make sure your physician and the technologist performing your exam know if you have a pacemaker, prosthesis, aneurysm clips, metal implants or other metal objects in your body. If you know you have had metal in your eyes, please inform us, as you may require an additional study prior to your MRI.


What should I wear to my appointment?

Our facilities will provide cloth gowns or robes for all patients scheduled for an MRI. Lockers are available to store your personal belongings.


What should I bring to my appointment?

  • Your insurance card
  • A valid photo ID
  • Your appointment form
  • Previous x-rays


Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete registration.


How should I prepare for my exam?

If your previous imaging was not done at one of our locations, you may be asked to contact your former provider and request that your film be sent to us for a comparison study.

Please follow any instructions given by your healthcare provider.

MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to make detailed pictures; please review our MRI metal safety checklist.

Wear comfortable clothes without metal fasteners, including zippers, buttons and snaps.


How long will my exam take?

Most MRI exams take 30-45 minutes.


What happens during my exam?

Depending on the MRI exam requested, you may be asked to change into a gown and robe. Jewelry, watches, hair clips, piercings and possibly dentures will need to be removed. You will have to leave all items containing metal, valuables and cards with magnetic strips (such as credit cards) in a locker outside of the MRI room.

A highly-skilled imaging technologist will operate the MRI scanner and tell you what to expect. An intravenous (IV) line may be placed in your arm so that contrast material can be injected. Images will be taken before and after the contrast material is injected.

You will be asked to lie on a cushioned, moveable table and may be positioned comfortably with bolsters. The technologist will provide you with headphones to listen to music. Earplugs are also available to muffle the noise. For the best quality images, you need to be as still as possible during the exam. You will hear a drumming sound as the machine captures the images. MRI exams often include multiple phases or sequences, some of which sound different and vary in length of time. You may be asked to hold your breath for approximately 20 seconds while the images are acquired.

The technologist is immediately available at all times, and can be summoned by using a call button, which will be placed in your hand. You will be in full view of the technologist by means of a window and video camera during the exam. Most exams take between 30-45 minutes to complete. A parent may be in the room during a child's exam.


What happens after my exam?

Your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified radiologists. The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider.

You may resume regular activities immediately after your exam.


What if I'm claustrophobic?

Some of the options include light sedation that can be taken before your exam, and MRI scanners with larger openings (called Open MRI) that allow for more space between the body and scanner.

Please note: When receiving sedation, you must bring a driver with you, as you will be unable to drive for 12 hours after your exam.