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Why have an MRI?

MRI uses

MRI has a multitude of diagnostic uses. In general, your doctor may use it to help diagnose neurological disorders (disorders of the brain or spine), to look at tendons in your knees, shoulders or other extremities.

When MRI is used to look at the arteries throughout your body – it is called an MRA or MR angiogram (similar to CT angiogram or CTA). Another common use of MRI is to evaluate the spine, discs, and vertebra. Doctors will use this method to diagnose bulging discs or disc herniation.

Talk to your doctor about whether MRI is the best available option for you.

What to expect

MRI’s can take 30 minute to several hours depending on the exam your doctor has ordered. Some exams, like a scan of the entire spine, can last for several hours. Our office will ask you to arrive 30 minutes to an hour early.

Patients may request sedation prior to an MRI if they are claustrophobic or if they have some other issues such as chronic pain. You can request sedation when you speak to your doctor, and they will order it through our system.

A scheduler from the Imaging Center will contact you and schedule two appointments; one will be the actual scan and the other will be a visit with a nurse. At the nurse visit, you will receive sedation and they will monitor you until you are ready for the scan. If you are sedated, you must have someone drive you home.

Let the scheduler know if you have an implanted medical device (pacemakers neurostimulators etc.) or if you have any metal fragments in your eyes, your body, or if you have done any welding.

How to get your results

After the scan is completed and read by the radiologist, a report will automatically go into your electronic medical record.

A copy should be entered into your chart within a couple of days. Your doctor’s office will contact you with the results. They may want to schedule a follow up visit to review your findings even if it is normal.