Frequently Asked Questions
What is an MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays). Detailed MR images allow physicians to evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases.
What is a CT?
CT scanning - sometimes called CAT scanning - is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-sectional images of the area being studied can then be examined on a computer monitor, printed or transferred to a CD.
CT scans of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular x-ray exams. Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, appendicitis, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.
How do I prepare for my MRI?
Unless you are told otherwise, you may follow your regular daily routine and take food and medications as usual. You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or you may be allowed to wear your own clothing if it is loose-fitting and has no metal fasteners.
You should tell the technologist if you have medical or electronic devices in your body, because they may interfere with the exam or potentially pose a risk. Some implanted devices may not be safe for MRI examinations. Examples include but are not limited to:
•artificial heart valves
•implanted drug infusion ports
•implanted electronic device, including a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator
•artificial limbs or metallic joint prostheses
•implanted nerve stimulators
• metal pins, screws, plates, stents or surgical staples
•cochlear (ear) implant
I think I may be claustrophobic
We specialize in helping patients who experience anxiety when having an MRI performed. All of our locations have equipment that is designed with larger openings than traditional MRI machines to make it as easy as possible to complete the exam. If you have experienced claustrophobia in the past, you may want to ask your physician for a prescription for a mild sedative prior to the scheduled examination.