MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a dynamic way for doctors to diagnose certain diseases. MRI doesn’t reply on x-rays. Instead, it uses magnetic field and radio waves to create a very clear picture of internal body structures. MRI uses sensitive instruments and specially designed computers to create images of the entire area being scanned. This exciting technology provides information to help you and your doctor make better decisions about your medical care.
MRI has become a preferred method for diagnosing potential problems in many different parts of the body. While x-rays are best for showing bones, MRI creates pictures that can show differences between healthy and unhealthy tissue. Doctors use MRI to examine soft tissue like organs, muscle, cartilage, ligaments and tendon in many parts of the body. That means MRI is helpful when looking at the brain, spinal column, breast, abdomen, pelvic region and joints like your knee and elbow.
Having an MRI doesn’t hurt during the scan or afterwards. Millions of patients have had MRIs, and the procedure has proved extremely safe.
There’s no special preparation necessary before having an MRI exam. Unless your doctor specifically requests that you not eat or drink anything before the exam, there are no restrictions on food. You won’t be allowed to wear anything metallic during the exam, so it would be best to leave watches, jewelry or anything else containing metal at home. Even some cosmetic contain metals, so don’t wear make-up when you go to Good Samaritan Imaging Westbourne.
When you leave for your MRI exam, be sure to have your insurance forms and your doctor’s prescription for the MRI exam with you. That will help reduce the time spent on paperwork while you are at the center.
People of all ages, from very young children to very elderly people have had MRI examinations. Because of the strong magnetic fields and radio frequencies, people who have a heart pacemaker or any kind of metallic implant in their body shouldn’t have an MRI unless their doctor knows about the metallic appliance and has approved the MRI exam. You should also be sure that Good Samaritan Imaging Westbourne knows about any metal fragments that may remain in your body from an old accident or war wound.
The examination itself is performed in a room that houses the MRI equipment. You’ll be asked to lie down on a comfortably padded table that gently glides into the magnet. While the scanner is operating, you’ll hear from humming and occasional thumping sounds. These are normal and shouldn’t worry you. In some cases, your doctor may have requested that you receive an injection of a contrast agent to give a clearer picture of the area being examined.
The most important thing for you to do is to relax and lie still. Most exams take between 30 and 45 minutes, although some may take as long as 60 minutes. You’ll be told ahead of time how long your scan is expected to take.
Once your MRI exam is completed, the pictures will be looked at by a radiologist – a specially trained doctor who is able to interpret the scans for your doctor. The radiologist will send your doctor a written report. You should contact your doctor within a day or two of your scan to make an appointment to go over your results and discuss your next step.
Take exit 2B (Harrison Avenue). Follow Queen City Avenue to its end; merge onto Werk Road. Cross Glenway Avenue and turn right at the second light onto Westbourne Drive. Good Samaritan Imaging Westbourne is on the left, across from Time Warner Cable.
Take the I-74 East exit. From I-74 take the Harrison/Rybolt exit. Turn left at the end of the exit ramp onto Rybolt. Take the next right onto Harrison. Turn right onto Race Road. (Race Road will become Glenway after you have crossed Bridgetown.) Turn right onto Westbourne Drive, just past Western Bowl. Good Samaritan Imaging Westbourne is on the right past Graeters.