MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in your body. MRI is a noninvasive way for your doctor to examine your organs, tissues and skeletal system. It produces high-resolution images of the inside of the body that help diagnose a variety of problems.

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MRI Safety

The powerful magnetic field of the scanner can attract certain metallic objects known as “ferromagnetic” objects, causing them to move suddenly and with great force towards the center of the MRI system. This may pose a risk to the patient or anyone in the way of the object. Therefore, great care is taken to prevent ferromagnetic objects from entering the MRI system room.

MRI facilities have screening procedures that, when carefully followed, will ensure that the MRI technologist and radiologist know about the presence of metallic implants and materials so that special precautions can be taken (see below). In some unusual cases the examination may be canceled because of concern related to a particular implant or device.

How to Get Ready for an MRI

  • Before the MRI procedure, you will be asked to fill out a screening form asking about anything that might create a health risk or interfere with imaging. You will also undergo an interview by a member of the MRI facility to ensure that you understand the questions on the form. Even if you have undergone an MRI procedure before at this or another facility, you will still be asked to complete an MRI screening form.
  • In order to prevent metallic objects from being attracted by the powerful magnet of the MRI system, you will typically receive a gown to wear during your examination.
  • You may also be asked to remove your makeup as some makeup contains some metals.

What Is the MRI Examination Like?

  • The MRI examination is performed in a special room that houses the MRI system or “scanner”. You will be escorted into the room by a staff member of the MRI facility and asked to lie down on a comfortably padded table that gently glides you into the scanner.
  • You will be required to wear earplugs or headphones to protect your hearing because, when MRI scanners operate, they produce loud noises. These loud noises are normal and should not worry you.
  • For some MRI studies, a contrast agent called “gadolinium” may be injected into a vein to help obtain a clearer picture of the area being examined. At some point during the examination, a technologist will slide the table out of the scanner in order to inject the contrast agent.
  • The most important thing for the patient to do is to relax and lie still. Most MRI exams take between 30 to 60 minutes to complete depending on the body part imaged and how many images are needed.
  • Once the entire MRI examination is completed, the pictures will be looked at by a radiologist, a specially-trained physician who is able to interpret the scans for your doctor. The radiologist will send your doctor a report. You should contact your doctor to go over your results and discuss your next steps.

Advanced MRI Options at Community

  • OASIS high-field, open-sided MRI - The most powerful open-sided MRI available in Central Indiana. The open-sided MRI is excellent for all patient types, especially large or claustrophobic patients and children. Now the high-quality images you expect are on the imaging system patients prefer.
  • 3T MRI - Available at Community Imaging Center South. The short, wide bore 3T MRI is quieter and faster than the typical MRI on the market and its geometry is optimized to reduce patient anxiety by providing more space in the bore.
  • CinemaVision - What’s the latest multimedia entertainment system doing inside a state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging scanner? That’s not just entertainment—it’s a better MRI experience, especially for those who find the procedure uncomfortable or scary.