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MR Imaging

MR Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a technology that allows radiologists to acquire images of the inside of the body using the body’s own magnetic properties. In contrast to conventional x-rays, MRI permits evaluation of much more than simply bones in the body; it provides detailed information about soft tissues, muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, and blood vessels.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

  • MRI is an excellent tool for evaluation of disorders of the brain and spine.
  • MRI is widely used to diagnose very small tears or other injuries to ligaments and muscles around the knee, shoulder, hip, elbow, ankle, and wrist.
  • MRI of the heart, aorta, coronary arteries and blood vessels is a fast, noninvasive tool for diagnosing coronary artery disease and heart problems.
  • Organs of the chest and abdomen can also be examined in high detail with MRI, allowing the diagnosis and evaluation of tumors and certain functional disorders.

How much radiation do I get from an MRI exam?

None. An MRI exam uses magnets to measure the small magnetic changes in your own body to generate detailed images. Magnetic resonance imaging does not rely on ionizing radiation.

How long is the MRI exam?

Most studies take 20-45 minutes. Depending on what part of the body is studied, it may take as long as two hours. When you schedule your appointment, the schedulers and technologists will be happy to explain your anticipated procedure time in more detail.

What if I am claustrophobic and get uncomfortable in small spaces?

Some people do get claustrophobic and are uncomfortable in the MRI machine. If you think this will happen to you, please talk about it with your doctor. He or she may give you an oral medication to take 30 minutes before the study to minimize the claustrophobic feelings that some individuals experience during an MRI examination. Usually this is all you need to overcome a claustrophobic reaction during the examination.

I have heard that an “Open MRI” is less claustrophobic. May I have it?

Several of our MRI machines have large openings which result in a more comfortable exam, and less claustrophobia. If you do have claustrophobia or are uncomfortable fitting in a traditional closed MRI, an alternative is a new type of open MRI available now at Open MRI of the Rockies. This new high-strength open MRI will provide high quality images in a more comfortable, open environment.

I have too much pain to lie still. How can I have my MRI?

Specially trained radiologists and technologists will work with you to ensure that you have a comfortable, pain-free test. Sometimes this is as simple as helping you find a comfortable position while you lie down for the test. Depending on your condition, you may receive a shot, an IV medicine, or complete anesthesia. Our goal is for you to have your test as quickly and comfortably as possible.

When will my doctor get the test results?

Our radiologists interpret all of your pictures and compare your current study with any previous radiology examinations. Our typed report is available to your doctor usually within one day.


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