Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive test that uses a large magnet and radio waves to produce detailed images of organs, tissues, bones and other body structures. Unlike CT scans or X-rays, the test does not expose you to any ionizing radiation.

When Is MRI Used?

Because MRI scans are a noninvasive way to create very accurate, high-resolution images, the tests are used to diagnose or monitor a variety of conditions. Your doctor may use MRI to:

  • See parts of your body that can’t easily be viewed with another imaging test, such as your organs, blood vessels or lymph nodes
  • Diagnose conditions in your heart, liver or other abdominal organs
  • Detect and diagnose abnormalities of the brain or spinal cord
  • Identify tumors or cysts
  • Investigate the cause of pelvic pain in women
  • Evaluate injuries to your joints, ligaments, tendons or cartilage

MRI also may be used to guide a surgeon during a biopsy procedure.

MRI of the breasts

Additionally, MRI can be used with mammography to detect breast cancer, particularly in women who have dense breast tissue or who might be at high risk of the disease.

Tell your physician if you’re pregnant or have metal or electronic devices in your body, such as a pacemaker or an artificial joint. He or she will tell you whether it’s OK to get an MRI scan.

Technology at Pardee

Making MRI More Comfortable For You: At Pardee Outpatient Imaging, you’ll find advanced technology that creates high-quality images as efficiently as possible, so your exam is finished more quickly.

Additionally, we are proud to offer the state of the art MRI Caring Suite. 

If you experience claustrophobia, require more space inside the scanner, or are just looking for a more comfortable experience take advantage of our MRI Caring Suite which offers the following benefits for patients:

  • Creates a calming environment
  • Improves patient comfort
  • Reduces patient motion
  • Reduces need for sedation
  • Feet first or head first advantage for claustrophobic patients

Learn more about the Caring Suite here. 

MRI Scan: What to Expect

Before the procedure

When you come to Pardee Outpatient Imaging for an MRI scan, wear loose, comfortable clothing without metal button, zippers or clasps. Your doctor may ask you to avoid food or fluids before the test; and you should follow instructions for the most accurate results.

You may be asked to change into a hospital gown, or to remove jewelry, glasses, hearing aids or dentures before your test. For some MRI tests, you’ll receive an injection of contrast material, or dye, to make areas of your body show up better on the images.

During The Procedure

MRI exams are painless and usually take 15 minutes to an hour. You’ll lie on an exam table, which gently glides into the MRI machine. The exam includes several rounds of scans; you’ll be asked to lie very still while images are being recorded to avoid blurring.

A technologist will supervise the exam from an adjacent room. Your technologist will be able to see, hear and speak with you through the test; you can communicate with an intercom.

During a functional MRI, you might be asked to perform a number of small tasks — such as tapping your thumb against your fingers, rubbing a block of sandpaper or answering simple questions. This helps pinpoint the portions of your brain that control these actions.

If you haven't been sedated, you can resume your usual activities immediately after the scan.

Your MRI Results

A radiologist will interpret your results and give a report to your doctor. Your doctor will share the results with you and discuss any follow-up care.