Catholic Health Locations
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a procedure in which detailed pictures of areas inside the body are created by a magnet linked to a computer. The procedure is sometimes called nuclear magnetic resonance imagine (NMRI).
A prescription from your doctor is needed to make an appointment.
Preparing for Your MRI Scan
The MRI staff will ask if you have had brain, ear, eye or other surgeries, or the following:
- Neurostimulators (TENS-unit)
- Metal implants
- Aneurysm clips
- Surgical staples
- Implanted drug infusion device (insulin pump)
- Exposure of metal fragments to your eye
- Permanent eyeliner
- Heart valves
Please check with your physician if you are uncertain about any of these items.
If you are pregnant, please notify your physician and the MRI staff.
The Day of Your MRI Scan
It is recommended that you wear comfortable, athletic-type clothing (like a sweat suit) without metal snaps or zippers. Gowns and scrubs will be available.
Because of the magnetic field, you will be asked to leave the following items in a safe place outside the scan room:
- Credit cards
- Hair pins/wigs
- Other metal objects
You may also be asked to remove makeup, dentures and hearing aids.
During Your MRI Scan
In the magnet room, a technologist will assist you onto the padded table. The table will move slowly into the magnet opening. You will hear sounds similar to a drumbeat as pictures of your body are formed. Your doctor may order contrast (dye) to be administered for your test to enhance areas of interest.
At all times during the exam a technologist will be able to see and hear you.
The exam takes about 30 to 75 minutes depending on the type of information your doctor needs. It is important to lie completely still while the images are being acquired. Motion will affect the sharpness of the images.
After Your MRI Scan
You may leave immediately following the procedure.
The radiologist will study the MRI images and report the results to your physician. Your doctor will schedule a time with you to discuss the results of your MRI exam.
We will bill your insurance company directly. Please bring your insurance card and referral or authorization form (if necessary) on the day of your exam.
Some insurance carriers require pre-certification for MRI exams. Please check with your insurance provider to see what their requirements are.