MRI

Preparing for your MRI :

It is important to note that not everyone can have an MRI. 

Certain implants may preclude you from having an MRI.  This includes:

• a cardiac pacemaker or old pacemaker wires
• a brain aneurysm clip
• a middle ear prosthesis
• neurostimulators

Please advise your doctor and Registration Clerk if you have any implanted devices. 

The Registration Clerk will provide you with a list of items that may preclude you from having an MRI, and is available to review these items and answer any questions you may have.  Please advise the technician if you have any prosthetic device (i.e., hip or knee replacement)  Do not wear any eye makeup or hairspray on the day of your exam.

Preparation for your MRI will depend on the type of exam you are having.  For example, if you are having a Cholangiogram (MRCP – Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography), you will need to fast for four hours prior to your exam.  If you are having an enterography exam, you will be required to drink an oral contrast.

Do I need to have my creatinine level performed before my exam?

If your doctor has ordered an MRI with contrast (Gadolinium) and you have a history of diabetes, kidney (renal) issues or hypertension, you must have your creatinine level obtained within 6 weeks prior to your exam. This blood work must be performed within one week of the MRI exam for all pre- and post- liver transplant patients.

What should I wear?
Gowns will be provided for your exam.  We recommend that you leave your valuables at home.  You will be asked to remove all body piercings, jewelry, watches, eyeglasses, hairpins, wallets and other metallic objects prior to your exam.

I am claustrophobic; will I be able to have a scan?
Our new GE Optima 450w MRI scanner uses “open bore” technology which caters to patient comfort and increased efficiency, but does not compromise image quality as does traditional open MRI scanners. The Optima MR 450w makes MR scans possible for the increasing number of patients whose medical problems are due to overweight related conditions, while calming the fears that cause scans to be cut short or deliver less than the best results due to patient fidgeting. Thus we can provide a more comfortable scanning experience.  If sedation is prescribed by your doctor, bring it with you on the day of your exam. Inform the front desk staff upon arrival that you need to take prescribed medication for your exam.  

What should I bring to my appointment?
You will be required to bring your prescription, insurance card, and any related insurance forms or pre-approvals. We are able to play a variety of music during your MRI—if you have a preference simply bring a CD or iPod.

When should I arrive for my appointment?
When you schedule your appointment, our scheduling associate will let you know how soon before your appointment time you should arrive.  Depending on the exam it may be 30-60 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This will allow time for any contrast preparation, registration and to complete all necessary paperwork/forms/questionnaires.

What if I might be pregnant?
Please indicate any possibility of pregnancy to your physician and the scheduling office when you book the appointment.  Inform the MRI technologist as well when you arrive at the department. 

During my MRI
After you have removed all metal objects, our MRI Technologist will position you on the table of the scanner.  Your head will be placed in a padded plastic cradle or on a pillow, and the table will slide into the scanner. Through an intercom system, you and the technologist will always be able to communicate with one another. 

In order to obtain clear pictures, you will be asked to hold very still and relax. In some cases, you will be asked to hold your breath for up to 20 seconds. While the machine is taking your pictures, you will hear rapid, loud thumping noises coming from the scanner.

There will be multiple noisy periods of image acquisition. The entire exam ordinarily takes between 30 and 60 minutes depending on exam type. 

After your MRI

After your procedure is completed, you will be escorted back to the dressing room. Generally, most patients are able to leave at this point and resume regular diet and activities; however, some procedures require that you stay and be monitored afterward.

How will I know the results of my MRI?
After your MRI our Radiologist will read the images and dictate a report that will be sent to your referring physician, who will contact you with the results.