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MRI

overview

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Utilizing a high tech scanner, MRI allows doctors to see internal organs, joints, muscles, blood vessels, tumors, area of infections and more, without the use of X-rays or surgery and without exposing patients to ionizing radiation. It is one of the safest ways to get detailed pictures of organs and tissues and is critical for the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of many diseases and injuries.

MRI’s can be used when other types of testing are unable to provide sufficient information in confirming a patient’s diagnosis. In cases of brain aneurysms, brain and spine tumors, strokes or checking spinal cord integrity after trauma, an MRI is the least invasive method.

ACR-or-american-college-of-radiology-mri-accreditation-badge
frequently asked questions

How does an MRI procedure work?

The procedure for an MRI utilizes a magnetic field, radio waves and a specialized computer to construct detailed images of the body. Most MRI machines consist of a large, tube-shaped construction that houses a large magnet within the circular area. A patient is required to lie inside the machine, where the magnetic fields inside will temporarily realign hydrogen atoms in a patient’s body.

Once the patient lays down on the table or movable bed, the medical technician will slide a coil to the specific area that needs to be imaged. The coil is the part of the MRI machine that receives the signal.

An electric current that runs through the wire loops will result in creating a strong magnetic field. Additionally, other magnet coils will send and receive radio waves to trigger protons to realign within the body. As the protons align, the radio waves will be absorbed by those protons and stimulate spinning, which releases energy by these “excited” molecules. The resulting energy is picked up by the magnetic coils and sent to a computer for processing.

Once processed, the final imaging result will be a 3D representation of the examined area. The image and resolution that is produced by the MRI scans are quite detailed and can locate small changes of structures within the body. In some of the procedure types, contrast can be used to increase the accuracy of the generated images.

How much preparation do I need to do before my MRI?

There is not much preparation necessary for patients to get ready for an MRI. The patient will arrive at the diagnostic center, dress in a gown and remove all metallic or magnetic objects such as jewelry or credit cards. Given that MRI utilizes magnets in their operation, it can interfere or be damaging to the patient’s property. It can also lead to inconclusive/incorrect results, as well as generate poor quality images. In other instances, patients with heart pacemakers, metal chips, clips or implants may not able to be scanned due to the magnetized effects.

Is an MRI the same as a CT scan?

MRI scanning is different than a CT (Computed Tomography) scan or even general X-ray diagnostics, since there is no ionizing radiation involved.

The MRI exam is a painless procedure that will not cause any additional injury or discomfort for the patient. The test itself will last anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes on average, but may run longer if multiple scans have to be made.

MRI’s are one of the safest ways that doctors can get a detailed overview of organs and tissues and is a critical aspect for early detection and diagnosis, as well as the treatment of many diseases and injuries.

How can you help me with my claustrophobia?

We understand that a lot of people are claustrophobic and worry about having an MRI. SDMI is the best place to have your MRI done because we offer more “wide bore” scanners, meaning they have the largest opening (71 cm) of any scanners on the market. We also offer the option of oral or IV sedation to make patients more comfortable, as well as your favorite genre of music to listen to during the scan to help you relax.

What can I expect during an MRI?

SDMI’s Chief Technologist, Rayland Chow, explains what patients can expect when getting an MRI at SDMI.

https://youtu.be/GhppfpXYHyw

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2767 N. Tenaya Way
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800 Shadow Lane
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9070 W. Post Road
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