Commonly Asked Questions.
What is an MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic imaging technology that uses a strong magnet and radiofrequency waves to produce pictures or “images” of the inside of the body. It does not use radiation. Because an MRI allows your doctor to see inside your body from any angle with great clarity, it gives doctors a wealth of information quickly and without surgery.
Is there anything that I must do to prepare for my MRI scan?
No special preparation is needed for your MRI examination. In most cases, you may follow your normal routine prior to your scan. You may eat and drink normally and take any prescription medications as usual.
When should I arrive for my MRI?
You should plan to arrive at the Diagnostic Suite a minimum of 15 minutes prior to your appointment time. This will allow you to complete the necessary paperwork specific to the MRI scan. Please bring photo identification and current insurance card.
What should I expect? What is the test like? Will I feel anything?
An MRI exam is really quite simple. With the assistance of an MRI technologist, you will be positioned on the exam table. The patient table will be lowered to a minimum of 18 inches from the floor for easy patient access. The table will move smoothly into the magnet opening and the exam will begin. An MRI scan is painless. During the exam, you will not feel anything. The only thing you will notice is a knocking sound that occurs as the images are being taken.
For most exams you are lying on your back. We are limited by the body part we are imaging, but we try to make you comfortable so that you can lie still for the exam.
For your comfort, you may listen to the radio or a CD – one of ours, or bring your own.
How long will my MRI scan take?
The length of your exam is dependent on the type of study performed. Most MRI exams are completed between 30 and 60 minutes. However if you have multiple scans, the exam could last longer.
Are there any reasons why I could not have the scan done?
Because of the potential harmful effects associated with all metallic objects in a magnetic field, you should check with your physician or MRI technologist if the following conditions exist:
- metal implants (plates, screws, pins, rods)
- permanent eyeliner
- aneurysm clips
- recent surgery
Can I have an MRI if I have metal in or on my body?
Patients with pacemakers, certain ear implants, shrapnel near the heart, and brain aneurysm clips cannot be examined. Our technologists will carefully assess your situation and prepare you for your procedure. If you have been given a card indicating the type of implant you have, please bring it with you for the radiologist and technologist to review.
Is your MRI machine “open”?
Our MRI magnet is not open-sided. However, it is a 56 foot long donut-shape that is open on both ends. The diameter of the opening is 46 inches. This type of unit was selected because of its high quality images.
Will my head stick out?
Your head may stick out depending on your height and what part of your body is being scanned. The part that is being imaged is in the middle of the magnet. For example if your ankle is being scanned, your head will be outside the MR scanner. If your head, neck or chest is scanned, your head will be inside the scanner.
Will I be claustrophobic?
The magnet is located in a spacious suite which has an exterior window providing natural light. Our magnet is a ‘short bore magnet’ which means only the portion of your body being scanned will be enclosed in the magnet. If you are concerned about the possibility of claustrophobia, please speak with your Campbell Clinic physician prior to scheduling your procedure.
Will I be alone?
You will be in contact with the technologist at all times. Even when he or she is not in the MRI room, you will be able to talk to him or her by intercom. The technologist is just steps away and is always able to see you through a large patient viewing window.
Can your MRI accommodate larger patients?
Yes, our machine can accommodate up to 300 pounds and large athletic builds.
When do I learn the results?
We will send the physician who ordered your exam the results within a few working days. After your physician has had an opportunity to review your results, that office may communicate the results.
Why should I have my MRI performed at Campbell Clinic?
Not all MRIs are equal. Campbell Clinic is proud to utilize a state of the art MRI which is designed to permit excellent image quality over a wide range of clinical applications.