MRI

WMHS is the only diagnostic provider in the area to offer CinemaVision! CinemaVision allows patients to watch a movie during their MRI. This can alleviate stress and provide entertainment for the duration of a patients exam.  

If your doctor has arranged for you to be examined with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The following information should be helpful in answering any questions you may have about this procedure.

What Is MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field rather than X-rays to provide remarkably clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. MRI gives a very clear picture of soft tissue structures near and around bones and is widely used to diagnose spinal and joint problems. MRI also is frequently used to diagnose cancer and sports-related injuries.

In addition to standard MRI, Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a noninvasive technique used to evaluate blood flow and identify blockages within the arteries and blood vessels.

Your MRI Exam
An MRI exam is really quite simple. It’s also painless and you will not experience any discomfort or side effects of any kind. With the assistance of our technologists, you will be placed on a padded table and made as comfortable as possible. You may notice a slight chill in the exam room, and blankets are available to help keep you comfortable.

The exam begins once the table slowly slides inside the opening of the magnet. You will not feel anything during the examination, but you will hear a sound similar to a muted drumbeat. This sound occurs as images are being taken and ranges from barely noticeable to being rather loud. Please ask our staff about how we can help reduce the noise level for you and make you more comfortable.

Some examinations require the injection of a contrast medium, which is used to outline less dense, hollow vessels and organs for better visualization. The contrast medium is injected by the MRI technologist and feels similar to having blood drawn from your arm.

The entire exam lasts approximately 5-45 minutes. Your technologist will be able to see and hear you at all times. Should you become uncomfortable at any time, please say so and the technologist will be in to assist you.

Magnets and Metals Don’t Mix
It is essential that we know about all metallic devices that may be present inside your body. Please let your physician or the MRI technologist know if you have any of the following devices:
Pacemaker
Brain aneurysm clips
Inner ear implants
Heart valve
Neuro-stimulator or implants

Patients who have ever had metallic foreign bodies in their eyes or an injury to the eye involving a metallic object must have X-rays of the orbital area (the area of the face around the eye) prior to their MRI. This also applies to all patients who have done sheet metal work, welding, or grinding. Please contact your primary care physician to make the arrangements for this examination.

Most patients with post-surgical clips or prosthetic devices other than the ones mentioned above can be safely imaged. Please consult your physician or the MRI staff at the WMHS Diagnostic Center if you have any questions about your eligibility for an MRI.

Preparing for the Exam
For most MRI exams, no special preparation is required. You may eat or drink prior to the examination and take any prescribed medications as usual. For an MRI of the abdominal area, we recommend that you do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours prior to your exam.

Clothing
Please wear comfortable clothing, such as a sweat suit or another type of garments without metal snaps or zippers. You also will be asked to remove all loose or foreign metal objects, such as jewelry or watches, before the exam begins.

If you are scheduled to be sedated for your procedure, you will not be permitted to drive home after your exam. Please make arrangements for your transportation home. Medications for pain or depression/anxiety or other types of “nerve pills” should not be taken the day of your test if you will be sedated.

Appointments
You or your physician can make the appointment for your MRI. Your physician will provide you with a written order, which you must bring with you the day of your examination. Please check with your insurance carrier to see if you need a “referral” or “authorization” prior to your exam. Please have your insurance card with you at the time of registration.

To schedule an appointment at the WMHS Diagnostic Services, please call WMHS Centralized Scheduling at 240-964-8888. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 7:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. The OPEN MRI is available twice a month on Thursdays from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Examination Reports
The results of your MRI will be available to your physician within 24 hours. Copies of the MRI study will be sent directly to your referring physician, who will notify you about your results. If you have any questions about the results of your MRI, please contact your physician.

Additional Information
If you have any questions prior to your MRI or would like additional information, please contact Stacy Becker, Lead MRI Technologist, at 240-964-1140.