MRI at MedX Imaging & Eve's breast center has never been more comfortable for our patients. Your diagnostic images are pivotal in the diagnosis process by your physician. We are here to help you with the latest in technological advancements to gather the best images possible. As always we want you to know...
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE YOUR RADIOLOGY CENTER
We have installed a beautiful new MRI suite with a short-bore magnet. Withe a short-bore magnet, there is an improved comfort level which can ease the sensation of claustrophobia that some people experience with this procedure. Additionally, there are windows at the end of the bore to help alleviate these effects. Response to the natural cues of sunlight make this procedure a more pleasant experience at our facility.
WHAT IS AN MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI, uses magnetic and radio waves to provide clear and detailed diagnostic images of internal body organs and tissues. There is no radiation exposure with MRI. There are no known harmful effects from the magnetic field. MRI is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of a broad range of conditions, including:
- neurological disorders
- joint and musculoskeletal disorders
- spine disorders
- vascular evaluation
- women's imaging
- breast evaluation
MRI allows for the evaluation of some body structures that may not be as visible with other diagnostic imaging methods.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON USES OF MRI?
Imaging of the musculoskeletal system: MRI is often used to study the hip, knee, ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. MRI is a highly accurate method for evaluation of soft tissue structures such as tendons and ligaments, which are seen in great detail, and which are not seen on standard X-Rays. Even subtle injuries are easily detected. In addition, MRI is used for the diagnosis of spinal problems including disc herniation, spinal stenosis, and spinal tumors.
Imaging of the brain: MRI gives exquisite detail of the brain. It is useful to evaluate a large number of neurological disorders such as headaches, stroke, growth disturbances, seizures, and dementia.
Imaging of the Abdomen and pelvis: Organs of the abdomen such as the liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands can be examined in great detail with MRI. This aids in the diagnosis and evaluation of tumors and functional disorders. Furthermore because there is no radiation exposure involved MRI is often used for examination of the male and female reproductive systems.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING MY MRI?
Depending on how many images are needed, the exam generally takes between 30 to 45 minutes. However, very detailed studies may take a bit longer to complete.
- You will lie down on a sliding table and be comfortably positioned
- You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or may be allowed to wear your own clothing if it is loose fitting and has no metal fasteners.
- Two piece clothing like elastic band pants, jogging pants, sweatshirt, or t-shirt is recommended.
- Even though the technologists must leave the room you will be able to communicate with them at any time using an intercom.
- If necessary, we allow a friend of family member to stay in the room with you during the exam. This is particularly true if you are a parent and you wish to remain in the room with your child.
- Depending on the part of the body being examined a contrast material may be injected into your vein to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels in the body.
- MRI's are painless
- The technologist monitors you throughout the exam and will tell you what to expect during the course of the exam. You will be in constant contact.
- Some patients experience a 'closed in' feeling called claustrophobia, which can lead to a strong desire to move into an open area. Our short-bore MRI machine has helped to alleviate this feeling and make the experience a more comfortable one. However if you still have an issue with claustrophobia, you can have your doctor prescribe tranquilizers to take prior to your exam. Be sure to have someone available to drive you home if this is your preferred method.
- You will hear loud tapping or thumping during the exam. Earplugs or earphones will be provided to you by our technologist. You also have the option of listening to music.
- You may feel warmth in the area being examined. This is normal but not uncomfortable.
- Some MRI examinations require the patient to receive an injection of contrast material into the bloodstream. The radiologist or technologist may ask you if you have any allergies of any kind, such allergy to iodine or x-ray contrast material, drugs, food, the environment, or asthma. The contrast material most commonly used for MRI exams is Gadolinium, and it does not contain iodine and is less likely to cause side effects or an allergic reaction. If a contrast injection is needed there may be some slight discomfort at the injection site. You may also feel a cool sensation at the site during the injection.
WHAT SHOULD TELL MY RADIOLOGIST?
There are certain conditions and health issues that you should always make your radiologist aware of before an MRI. Tell them if you have recently had any surgery and be sure to tell your technologist if you have any of the following;
- Kidney Problems: Some conditions such as severe kidney disease may prevent you from being given contrast material for an MRI. If there is a history of kidney disease, it may be necessary to perform a blood test to determine whether the kidneys are functioning adequately.
- Pregnancy: Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Pregnant women should not have this exam unless the potential benefit from the MRI exam is assumed to outweigh the potential risks.
- Metallic Items: Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home if possible, or removed prior to the MRI scan. Metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the exam room because they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit. Examples of these items include
- Jewelry, watches, credit cards and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged.
- Pins, hairpins, metal zippers and similar metallic items which can distort MRI images
- Removable dental work
- Body piercings
CAUTION: NO MRI SCAN!
In most cases an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants with a few exceptions. People with the following implants CANNOT be scanned and should NOT enter the MRI scanning area unless explicitly instructed to do so by a radiologist or technologist who is aware of the presence of any of the following.
Again: do NOT enter or have an MRI if you have...
- Internal defibrillator
- Pacemaker or pacing wires
- Brain aneurysm clips
- Some types of metal coils placed within blood vessels
- Metal fragments in the eyes
- Implanted spinal cord stimulator or brain stimulator
TELL YOUR RADIOLOGIST THESE THINGS.
Please inform your technologist or radiologist if you have any medical or electronic devices within your body because they may interfere with the exam or potentially pose a health risk depending on their nature and the strength of the MRI magnet. Examples of these devices are:
- Artificial Heart Valves
- implanted drug infusion ports
- Implanted electronic device, including cardiac pacemaker
- Artificial limbs or metallic joint prostheses
- Implanted nerve stimulators
- Metal pins, screws, plates, stents, or surgical staples
In general most metal objects used in orthopedic surgery pose no risk during an MRI however, a recently placed artificial joint may require the use of another imaging procedure. If there is any question of their presence, an x-ray may be taken to detect the presence of and identify any metal objects.
Patients who might have metal objects in certain parts of their bodies may also require an x-ray prior to an MRI. You should notify the technologist or radiologist of any shrapnel, bullets or other pieces of metal which may be present in your body due to accidents. Dyes used in tattoos may contain iron and could heat up during an MRI, but this is rarely a problem. Tooth fillings and braces usually are not affected by the magnetic field but they may distort images of the facial area of the brain, so the radiologist should be made aware of them.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY MRI?
We have a radiologist scheduled on site so that the test will be interpreted promptly. The results will be faxed, phones, delivered electronically, or mailed to the referring physician. These results will then be shared with you by the referring physician.