MRI Questions and Answers

Q. What is an MRI?

A. MRI is short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI looks at the interactions between a magnetic field and the different types of atoms in your body. It produces detailed images of various structures, many of which cannot be seen well with X-rays. MRI is particularly useful for evaluation of soft tissues.

Q. Can I choose where to go for my MRI?

A. Yes, you most certainly can choose where you want to have your MRI. Most doctors will respect your preferences if you make them known. Most insurance carriers consider the Stormont Vail MRI Center to be a “network” provider.

Q. How long will my MRI take?

A. Most studies at Stormont Vail MRI Center take about 20 minutes. Stormont Vail MRI Center also offers you close parking and access for your appointment. Our focus is to make sure you get a high quality MRI scan as quickly and as comfortably as possible.

Q. What happens during an MRI?

A. You will lie on a contoured couch. The portion of your body to be studied will be centered within the magnet. Nothing touches your body, and you won’t feel any pain or other unusual sensations. The machine will make some noise during the exam.

Q. When will my doctor receive a report?

A. Within one to two business days.

Q. Can someone accompany me into the exam room?

A. Yes, provided they are properly screened and cleared for any metallic objects or implants.

Q. Will I be exposed to radiation?

A. MRI does not involve ionizing radiation like X-rays. It utilized a magnet and radio waves.

Q. I had a reaction in the past to X-ray contrast/dye, and my doctor wants me to have contrast with my MRI. Should I be concerned?

A. No, the materials used for contrast in X-ray and MRI are very different. Reactions to gadolinium (the material normally used for MRI contrast) are extremely rare.

Q. Can you accommodate larger people?

A. We can normally accommodate people weighing up to 600 pounds on the open high field magnet.