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What is a MRI?

MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a dynamic way for doctors to diagnose certain problems. MRI does not rely on X-rays. Instead, it uses strong magnets and radio waves to create a very sharp picture of the internal body structures. MRI uses sensitive instruments and specially designed computers to create images of the entire area being scanned.

What do you need to do before your MRI?

There is no special preparation necessary before having an MRI exam. There are no restrictions on food. You will not be allowed to wear anything metallic during the exam. Because of the strong magnetic field and radio frequencies, individuals who have cardiac pacemakers cannot have an MRI done unless your physician knows about the metallic appliance and has approved the MRI exam. You should also be sure that the MRI technologist knows that you have any metallic appliances also.

What is the MRI procedure like?

The examination itself is preformed in a room that houses the MRI equipment. You will be asked to lie down on a comfortably padded table that glides you into the magnet. While the scanner is operating, you will hear some humming and thumping sounds. These sounds are normal and should not worry you. The most important thing for you to do is to relax and lie still. Most exams take about forty-five minutes, although some may take as long as one hour. You will be told ahead of time just how long your scan is expected to take.

When will you know your results?

Once your MRI exam is complete, you may go back to your normal activities. Your doctor will let you know when the results are in.