You will need to pre-register for your MRI exam. Call:
- Toll-free 1-855-273-SCAN (7226)
- 704-384-SCAN (7226)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to create detailed images of the organs and structures inside of the body. MRI technology doesn't use radiation, and there are no known harmful effects from the magnetic field or exposure to radio waves associated with creating MRI images.
For Your Safety
Tell your technologist and your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant. Your doctor may postpone the exam or choose an alternative exam.
- You weigh over 300 lbs.
- If you have any of the following:
- A cardiac pacemaker
- Eye implants or metal ear
- Penile implants
- Shrapnel or non-removed bullet implants activated electronically
- Aneurysm clips
- Any metal implants anyplace in your body
Some MRI exams require patients to consume a contrast material (either by mouth or IV) in order to create a better image. If you have allergies or asthma and your MRI scan requires a contrast material, there is a slight risk of an allergic reaction to the material. Most reactions result in itchiness or hives. For individuals with asthma who are allergic, the reaction can be an asthma attack. In very rare instances, an allergic reaction may cause swelling in your throat or other areas of your body. Diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or thyroid conditions also increase your risk of reaction to the contrast material. Immediately tell your technologist or doctor if you experience any of these symptoms during or after your exam. Our staff and physicians are prepared should any type of emergency situation occur.
Please note: Parents will not be allowed to remain in the MRI or CT room with children who require sedation.
Preparing for an MRI Exam
Prior to your scan, you will be asked to remove all metal or electronic objects from your body. These can interfere with the magnetic field and can be very dangerous if taken into the exam room. If you have ever had metal in your eyes you may need to have an X-ray of your head prior to undergoing an MRI.
No other preparation is necessary for an MRI exam.
What to Expect during an MRI Exam
For the exam you will lie on your back on a table that can be moved into the scanner. During the scan you will hear a series of thumping and tapping sounds made by the scanner during your exam. We will give you earplugs to minimize this noise. Our technologist will always be there to monitor the test and you will have a microphone to speak with them at all times.
Some patients may feel anxious due to the confining nature of the MRI scanner. If you feel this way, talk to your doctor. He or she may feel it necessary to prescribe a sedative prior to your exam to help you relax.
Your doctor or radiologist may request that your MRI scan be enhanced via the use of contrast material (usually a liquid such as barium or iodine that is generally ingested or injected, to help differentiate structures or fluids within your body). If contrast is required, the technologist will start an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm to administer the liquid.
When your exam is complete you may leave and resume regular activities. If a sedative is administered for your exam you will need to arrange transportation home.
A radiologist will review your exam images and report the findings to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss the findings and next steps with you.