What is an MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases, MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan.
What can I expect before my MRI exam?
- Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your exam.
- You will be asked about your medical history (including allergies), your symptoms and if you have properly prepared for the exam.
- You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and a locker will be supplied to secure your belongings.
- A technologist will verify your identification and the requested exam.
- Your screening form will be reviewed by the technologist in consultation with the radiologist if indicated.
- You DO NOT receive radiation from an MRI.
What can I expect during my MRI scan?
- The duration of the procedure will vary, but the average is 45 minutes to one hour per body part.
- You will be required to lie still during the actual MRI scanning.
- The magnet is permanently open on both ends. It is well lit and there is a fan for patient comfort. There is also a two way intercom system for communication between patient and technologist.
- During the actual imaging, you will hear a loud intermittent banging noise, but you will be provided with earplugs or head phones to minimize the noise.
- The technologist will also provide you with an alarm button to alert the technologist of any discomfort you may experience at any point during the exam.
What can I expect after my MRI scan?
- In the event that sedation is needed (such as for claustrophobia or anxiety), someone must drive you home.
- You will receive two bills for you exam. One from UnityPoint Health and one from the radiologist who reads the exam.