Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging examination?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe technique that allows doctors to see inside the human body in remarkable detail without using x-rays. Instead, MRI uses a powerful magnet, radio waves and a sophisticated computer system. This scan will provide your doctor with important information on certain types of body tissue (internal organs, joints, brain and spine) differently than an x-ray or a computed tomography (CT) scan.

How do I prepare for my MRI scan?

Preparation varies depending on the type of exam you are having. You may be asked to not eat or drink anything depending on the type of exam. Please give us a call if you are unsure if your exam requires special preparations.

Please wear clothing free of any metal. Don’t worry, we have something for you to change into if you don’t have clothing without any metal.

You will be asked to remove all metallic items, such as watches, jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, hearing aids, credit/debit cards or other cards with a metallic strip.

You will be asked to fill out a safety questionnaire. The technologist will review it with you prior to your procedure, to make sure it is safe for you to enter the scan room. You can find the form on the Patient Resources Tab in the Patient Information and Forms table if you’d like to fill it out ahead of time.

What can I expect during the MRI scan?

The scan is performed by a technologist. During the scan, it is important to hold very still, as movement can cause your pictures to turn out blurry. Throughout the examination you will be able to speak to the technologist via an intercom. When the scanner is operating, you will hear a loud thumping noise and may feel a slight vibration.

How long will the MRI scan take?

Each exam is different, but most scans take 45-60 minutes.

How do I find out the results of my MRI scan?

Your MRI scan will be reviewed by one of our radiologists. The radiologist will fax a report to your physician. Results are sent to your physician within 24 hours of your examination.

What will happen following my MRI scan?

Immediately following the scan, you may resume normal activities, diet and medication.


It is very important to inform the doctor or the technologist if you have any of the following metal implants or objects:

  • Aneurysm clips
  • Artifical heart valve
  • Bullets, Pellets, BBs
  • Cardiac Pacemaker or defibrillator
  • Eye orbital prosthesis
  • Insulin pump implant
  • Intercranial bypass graft clips
  • Middle or inner ear prosthesis
  • Shrapnel
  • Sternal wire sutures
  • Stents
  • Tantalum mesh
  • Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation device

If you have every been a metal worker, it is important to inform the doctor or technologist, as you may be required to have your eyes x-rayed prior to having the scan.

Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Sedation services are provided for pediatric and claustrophobic patients as needed to ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible.

MRI Scan

MRI Space in the Scanner

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