What is an MRI?
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging examination, abbreviated MRI, produces detailed images of the body’s soft tissue, including the brain, spine, joints, and internal organs. Using a strong magnetic field, combined with non-ionizing radiofrequency pulses, MRI units create cross-sectional anatomical images that are used for diagnosing pathologic processes within the body. Our MRI program offers an efficient, safe imaging experience while producing the high-quality examination your provider needs for diagnosis.
High Field Strength MRI
The quality of an MRI is directly related to the strength of the magnet within the machine. Magnet field strength is measured in Tesla. At The Radiology Clinic we ONLY use magnets with field strengths of 1.5 and 3T. Using these high field strengths we can achieve extremely high resolutions and produce the high quality, diagnostic imaging that patients need to make important decisions about their care.
Wide Open Bore MRI
If you are nervous about small spaces, we offer Wide-Open Bore technology. Many patients are claustrophobic but need the quality of a high field magnet for diagnosis. At The Radiology Clinic, you get the best of both worlds. Our high field magnets offer the resolution of a traditional closed machine with the spacious aspects of an open magnet. As you can see from the image below, there is a tremendous amount of room within the bore. Additionally, our magnets support weight limits of up to 500lbs.
How Should I Prepare for an MRI?
In general an MRI is a fairly easy procedure to prepare for. MRI examinations are non invasive and, apart from a select few studies, require little to no preparation. Patients should consider wearing loose, comfortable clothing with no metal if possible. Metal objects can pose a hazard in the MRI scanner and cause artifacts (black marks) on the images themselves. If you are not able to arrive without metal on your person or clothing it’s not a problem! Our team will have you lock up your belongings and change into a gown if necessary.
Make sure the doctor is aware of any previous surgeries, and whether or not you have any implants including pacemakers, defibrillators, pain management pumps, bone growth stimulators, neurostimulators, bladder stimulators, diaphragm stimulators, breast tissue expanders, or other electronic devices. The vast majority of implants are MRI safe. If you have an implant please inform our scheduling team when making your appointments. They can speak with one of our radiologists to determine the safety of the implant, and if any special imaging protocols should be used.
To allow time to complete paperwork and be interviewed by your technologist, please arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment time. Once you are escorted in the examination area, our team of professionals will make sure you are comfortable before your exam begins, and communicate with you during your study. Even if you are claustrophobic, our scanner, the environment, and our caring technologists will ease your mind and seamlessly get you through the procedure. At The Radiology Clinic, we consider all variables to make our patients as comfortable as possible.
What Should I Expect?
After a comprehensive screening process, you will be escorted into the scan room and asked to lie down on the table bed. Our technologist will assure that you are comfortable and understand the process before we begin the study.
During your exam, the unit will produce loud knocking noises. MRI machines produce multiple magnetic fields that allow for precise localization of anatomy. Your job, as a patient, is to hold as still as possible. Motion is the enemy of an MRI; the more still the patient, the sharper the images.
Most MRI studies take between 15-30 minutes to complete. Once the exam is finished, the technologist will escort you back to the waiting room. We will provide a free copy of your images, in CD format, for your provider to review upon your next appointment. The images will be interpreted by a fellowship-trained, board-certified radiologist within 24 business hours.
What Do My Results Mean?
Once your study has been completed, your results will be interpreted by our expert fellowship-trained board-certified Radiologist. The doctor who ordered your examination will receive a written report within 24-48 hours detailing the study technique and what was found. Your doctor will use the MRI report, along with their clinical findings and other test results, to develop a care plan to take care of your concerns.
What Makes The Radiology Clinic Different?
The Radiology Clinic offers multiple technological advantages to our patients. First and foremost, our radiologists are intimately involved with the scanning process to assure that we are able to provide the most appropriate imaging techniques to address the reason your exam is being performed.
All of our MRI exams are performed using high field, high-resolution machines. We carefully choose coils (think of them as small cameras) to assure that your images are of the highest quality.
To add to the efficiency, all of our machines utilize parallel imaging. This is a cutting edge software option that allows for high-quality imaging in roughly half the time of a normal MRI. For those who prefer to spend less time in the magnet, children, or anyone who has trouble remaining still, this feature permits a quick scan with the same level of resolution.
Whether you are ready to schedule your exam or just have questions about MRI, please give us a call or email us. We are proud to have the opportunity to serve you!