MRI

MRI Services

 
Brain Pelvis Hip Front 
Lumbar Spine Shoulder Hand/Finger Extremity 
Cervical Spine  Elbow  Knee   
Thpracic Spine  Wrist  Ankle   

What is MRI?

 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field rather than x-rays to provide remarkably clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. It requires specialized equipment and expertise, allowing evaluation of some body structures that may not be as visible with other imaging methods.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

 
Because MRI can give such clear pictures of soft-tissue structures near and around bones, it is the most sensitive exam for spinal and joints problems. MRI is widely used to diagnose sports-related injuries. especially those affecting the knee, shoulder, hip, elbow and wrist. These images allow the physician to see injuries such as very small tears to both ligaments and muscles. An MRI of the heart is a fast, noninvasive tool for diagnosing coronary artery disease and heart problems. Physicians can examine the size and thickness of the chambers of the heart to determine the extent of damage caused by a heart attack or progresive heart disease. Organs of the chest and abdomen, including the lungs, liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas and abdominal vessels can also be examined in high detail with an MRI, enabling the diagnosis and evaluation of tumors and functional disorders. MRIs are growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional x-ray mammography in the early diagnosis of Breast Cancer. Because no radiation exposure is involved, an MRI is often the preferred diagnostic tool for examination of the male and female reproductive systems, pelvis, hips, and bladder.

 

How should I prepare for the procedure?

 
Because the strong magnetic field used for MRI will pull on any ferromagnetic metal object implanted in the body, MRI staff will ask you to disclose any prosthetic hip, heart pacemaker (or artificial heart valve), implanted port, infusion catheter, intrauterinedevice (IUD), or any metal plates, pins, screws or surgical staples in your body. In most cases surgical staples, plates, pins, and screws pose no risk during the MRI procedure if they have been in place for more than four to six weeks. You will be asked if you have ever had a bullet or shrapnel in your body or ever worked with metal. If there is any question of metal fragments. you may also be asked to have an x—ray that will detect any such metal objects. Tooth fillings usually are not affected by the magnetic field but they may distort facial or brain images. Please make your radiologist aware of them. Braces may make it hard to “tune” the MRI unit to your body. Please remove items that may degrade MRI images of the head such as hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and any removable dental work. Tattoos and permanent eyeliner may also create a problem.   

 

How is the Procedure performed?

 
The patient is placed on a sliding table and positioned comfortably for the MRI examination. The radiologist and technologist leave the room and the individual MRI sequences are performed. The patient is able to communicate with the radiologist or technologist at any time using an intercom. Many MRI centers may allow accompanying person such as a parent of a child be examined, to be present in the room. Depending on the number of images needed, exams generally take 15 to 45 minutes. A very detailed study may take longer. You will be asked not to move during the actual imaging process. Movement is allowed between sequences. Patients are generally required to remain still for only a few seconds or a few minutes at a time. Depending on the part of the body being examined, a contrast material (usually gadolinium) may be used to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. A small needle connected to an intravenous line is placed in a blood vessel in either an arm or hand .  About two-thirds of the way into the exam, a saline solution will drip through the intravenous line to prevent clotting, followed by an injected contrast material. Following the exam, the patient is asked to wait until the images are examined to determine if more images are needed. A radiologist experienced in MRIs will analyze the images and send a report with his or her interpretation to the patient's personal physician. This should take a few days.

 

What will I experience during the procedure?

 

 

An MRI causes no pain but some patients can find it uncomfortable to remain still during the procedure. Others experience a sense of being “closed in.“ Newer MRI systems has done much to reduce this reaction, though the a more open construction. You may notice a warm feeling in the area under examination; this is normal. Any discomforts should be conveyed to the radiologist or technologist.If contrast was used, you may experience discomfort at the injection site such as a cool sensation. Earplugs may be used to deminish loud tapping or knocking noises heard at certain phases during imaging procedures.