Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to provide precise detail of the internal organs, body tissues and associated conditions. MRI can help visualize joint and musculoskeletal disorders as well as physical change resulting from cancer, stroke and vascular/heart disease.


Approximately 30 to 90 minutes should be allowed for the examination. You may be at The Radiology Clinic longer than that due to check-in and interview with the technologist. It is best to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time.

If you have children, please make arrangements for childcare, as there are no childcare facilities on site. Due to the strong magnetic field, children are not allowed in the examination room.

You will be asked to remove all metallic objects such as jewelry prior to the exam.

What to Expect

You will be asked to complete a safety checklist which asks if you have any of the following: pacemaker, surgical clips, pinsor plates, cochlear implants (for deafness), contraceptive coil (IUD), any metal fragments (x-ray may be needed to check), tattoos, permanent eyeliner, multiple metal tooth fillings or orthodontic braces.

You will be taken to the exam room and asked to lie down on the examination table. Most scans are done with the patient lying on his or her back. You will be asked to lie as still as possible, but to continue to breathe normally. It can be uncomfortable to lie still for this extended period of time, but it is important to avoid the need to repeat the exam. You will be offered earplugs as the machine emits a loud clanging inside the cylinder. Ear protection is preferred for safety and comfort.

The test is not painful. However, it is normal to feel a warm sensation in the area being scanned. If you feel uncomfortable let the technologist know. Some patients benefit from a mild sedation prior to the scan, but most often this is not needed. Although the technologist is not in the exam room, you will be able to communicate via intercom.

In some cases a contrast may be ordered to provide enhanced images in vascular studies (MRA). The Contrast Media is administered intravenously and is safe.

Follow Up

Your referring physician will be provided results within 2 -3 working days. Stat and emergency exam results are sent within 24 hours or less.

The MR department at The Radiology Clinic is accredited by the American College of Radiology.