FAQ

What is MRI?  

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI is considered to be a gold standard of imaging for many cases and continues to evolve. An MRI scanner is a very powerful magnet that is up to 50000 times stronger than the earths magnetic field. We image hydrogen protons because the body is made up of 90% water. When the body is subject to a magnetic field in the MRI environment, the hydrogen protons align to the field. With the use of radiofrequency waves, the hydrogen protons are knocked off their axis and as they realign with the magnetic field they give off a signal. The signal is received by the specific coil that is placed over the area to be scanned, and with computer technology it is transformed into a very detailed image. MRI is a safe and painless exam that does not use X-rays or ionizing radiation. 


What is the difference between a CT scan and an MRI scan?  

Both modalities are able to image in cross section and compliment each other well, however they each have their strengths and weaknesses. CT is very fast and shows great detail when evaluating lungs, bones, and intra-abdominal organs. MRI can be more specific and sensitive depending on the area being imaged. MRI is very good at looking at the brain, spine, joints, and soft tissues of the body such as muscle, fat, ligaments, tendons, and other organs. While CT uses x-rays, MRI uses a powerful magnet and radiofrequency waves.  


What does the MRI scanner look like?


Our GE 1.5T (Tesla) system has a flared bore design, offering a shorter and wider appearance. The scanner is lit throughout and open on both ends.


What if I’m claustrophobic?

Claustrophobia is defined as "a fear of being in a confined or enclosed place."  

We strongly believe that by understanding the MRI procedure, many patients with claustrophobia realize their fears can be minimized.  Our team of staff will make sure to do all that we can to help you overcome your claustrophobia through keeping you informed every step of the way. Remember, we are here to assist you. Should you have any questions, need assistance, or become uncomfortable during your exam, you can contact the technologist at any time. Some remedies to claustrophobia include:

  • Placing a towel over your eyes during the scan
  • Listening to music during the scan
  • Positioning feet first (not all exams can accommodate this)
  • Having a mirror to see out of the scanner
  • Having a family member or friend come into the exam room with you
  • Taking a mild sedative that must be prescribed by your doctor ahead of time and brought with you to your appointment. This will require you to have a driver after your exam.

Can you scan my whole body? 

MRI is most effective when individual body parts are scanned separately. The various types of coils used to collect the image are designed to image each body part individually. This allows us to zoom in and see the anatomy in detail. It's similar to photography; if you zoom into one persons face you can see all their features including their freckles and wrinkles. If you try to include two or more faces in the picture, you have to zoom out and thus lose the detail of each face.


Why do I need to provide my surgical history and implanted devices? 

Because the MRI scanner is a very powerful magnet, it is important to make sure all patients are safe to enter the MRI environment. Knowing a patients surgical history and implants they have will help us ensure that they are safe to go into the scanner. Most implants are safe to go into the scanner; however there are some that cannot. Please try to provide as much detail as possible so we can ensure that you are safe.

Surgically implanted metallic pins, wires, rods, etc. are usually okay to be scanned, as are hip or knee/shoulder replacements, etc. All dental implants and fillings are also okay. However, certain metallic devices can cause interference with the scan. It is particularly important for us to know if you have a pacemaker, a defibrillator, a muscle stimulator, any other implanted electrical device, a history of heart or brain surgery, brain aneurysm clips, shrapnel or a history of getting metal fragments in your eyes.


What if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

At Image One MRI we do not scan pregnant women. If you think you might be pregnant, you must have a pregnancy test done or wait until your menstrual period before we can perform your exam.

If you are breastfeeding it is safe to have an MRI. However, if you will be receiving a contrast injection we will instruct you to pump and dispose breast milk for 24 hours post injection to make sure the contrast has passed from your body.


How long will my exam take?

MRI exams will range from 20 minutes to 90 minutes depending on what is being examined.


Can I eat and drink before?

Unless we are scanning your abdomen, you can go about your regular daily activity before your MRI exam. For abdomen exams we ask that you do not eat or drink for 4-6 hours prior to your test. Instructions will be given upon booking your appointment.


What should I wear for the MRI?

We will provide comfortable, metal free clothing for you to wear for your exam. We recommend you remove jewelry and piercings before arriving.


Do I need a doctors referral to have an MRI?

Yes, a general practitioner, specialist, chiropractor, or nurse practitioner will have to provide us with a requisition for you to have an MRI exam.


When can I get in for an MRI?

We try our best to have patients booked within  2-4 business days of receiving the requisition.


How long will it take for my doctor to get the results?

Doctors will receive the results within 2 business days of the exam.


Are there any health concerns related to receiving an MRI?

To date, there are no known harmful side effects from having an MRI scan. However, some surgical implants could be unsafe in the MRI scanner. We perform a very thorough screening process to make sure that you will be safe.


Are there any hotels near the clinic?

You can find local hotels here.

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