Have you ever had an MRI? Some patients are nervous when they get the first referral to have an MRI done, thinking it will take a long time, in an uncomfortable and tight position. Many people don’t even know what an MRI is. Our patient care specialists walk you through the entire process so that you are comforted with information and the confidence needed to make your visit easy and successful.
An MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Image, allows doctors to see inside the body to properly assess and diagnose medical conditions. Unlike X-rays, an MRI uses a magnet, radio waves and coils to detect electrical signals from the body. A computer processes the information to create detailed images doctors can understand to see what’s going on inside.
CareFirst Imaging gives each patient a CD of their MRI to take with them after the test is complete and share with their provider. We also offer transportation services for patients unable to drive.
Here are a few key details that our patients find helpful in understanding the MRI process at CareFirst Imaging:
- CareFirst Imaging uses cutting-edge technology that offers higher image quality, faster exams and greater patient comfort.
- MRIs do not use harmful radiation; there are no known health side effects. However, some patients are not good candidates for MRI – please inform your physician if you have a pacemaker, aneurysm clips in the brain, a shunt with telesensor, inner-ear implants, metal fragments in one or both eyes, implanted spinal cord stimulators or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- All patients are required to remove all metal, including jewelry and watches, and credit cards, too. You may need to wear a gown or wear loose-fitting clothing devoid of zippers, buttons or metal hooks.
- Most patients are very comfortable in CareFirst Imaging’s MRI. It is so open that most exams allow a patient’s head and feet to be outside of the system during imaging!
- This is not a noisy process; the magnet makes a slight rapping sound as images are recorded. You will be provided with headphones for hearing protection before your scan begins.
- At our facility, patients are always in close proximity to the MRI technologist as well as to family members who accompany them for the scan. You will not be alone.
- MRIs provide the best results when a patient holds still during the exam.
- Scans take between 8-40 minutes to complete.
For additional information about radiology examinations, please visit https://www.radiologyinfo.org/ The radiology information resource for patients.