Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced imaging technique that uses large magnets, radio waves and a computer to produce very clear pictures of the body without X-rays.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a form of MRI that visualizes blood flow. IV contrast may be administered while performing an MRA to enhance the images obtained. MRA evaluates the severity of vascular diseases and can identify aneurysms, narrowing and obstructions or thrombosis in the arteries or veins.
We can study nearly every part of the body with an MRI. However, MRI’s are most often ordered to evaluate disorders of the brain, spine, bones and joints, soft tissue and some blood vessels.
MRI/MRA might not be an option if you have:
A cardiac pacemaker
Inner ear implants
An aneurysm clip
Metal sutures from recent surgery
Metal fragments in your eyes
Are pregnant (please discuss with your healthcare provider)
If your exam requires intravenous (IV) contrast, please eat or drink lightly, if at all, before your appointment. If you have medications prescribed by your healthcare provider, they can be taken with a sip of water. If you’ve had other imaging exams previously, it is helpful to bring the images with you for radiologist comparison. Wear comfortable clothing that does not have any metal, such as zippers, metal buttons or glitter. Plan to remove all hairpieces, pins, clips and barrettes. If you are in pain or claustrophobic, please discuss this with your healthcare provider at least one day prior to the test.
You may be asked to change into scrubs or a gown that we will provide. The technologist will help you onto the examination table. Once you are in place and comfortable, the exam will begin. During the exam, you will hear a knocking noise as the machine takes the images. You must be very still during the knocking. The knocking can be loud. We provide earplugs, and some facilities can play music through earphones to make this experience more relaxing. Through the entire test, a certified technologist is nearby if you need assistance or have questions.
Contrast media is a substance that highlights certain tissues or blood vessels. The most common MRI contrast agent, gadolinium, is safe and easy to tolerate. It is usually given through an intravenous (IV) line. It is injected into the joint for an MR arthrogram. For minors, a parent or guardian must give written permission before we can administer the contrast media.
Plan to spend approximately 1 to 1.5 hours with us. The length of time will depend on the type of exam your healthcare provider has ordered.
Results are available within 24 - 48 hours.
Once the exam is complete, a physician will review the study and dictate a report. This report will be sent to the doctor who ordered your study. We recommend that you call and schedule a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss the results.
Typically, the healthcare provider calls, faxes or submits an online request for the MRI/MRA. Then we call you to confirm your appointment date and time. However, if your healthcare provider asks you to schedule your exam, simply call us or visit our Request an Appointment page. We will make sure the exam is timely and convenient and that it meets any special requirements of your insurance carrier and healthcare provider.
When you call, we will need to know which exam your healthcare provider ordered and why. We will also ask you for your insurance information. You will need to pay any co-pay or deductible at the time of the exam. We conveniently file your claim with your insurance provider.
Most of our facilities offer same-day (insurance permitting), evening and weekend appointments. Prior to your appointment, we will give you the estimated total cost, what you will owe at the time of service, and payment options. We will also fax reports and provide images to your healthcare provider.