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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI produces images of the body's internal structures by passing radio waves through a powerful magnetic field. Differing frequencies of radio waves are produced by the different body structures, in return, and these are mapped and converted into digital images by a computer. MRI is especially good for imaging soft tissues in the body, including the brain, nerves, muscles and organs.

How Do I Prepare?

First, you will need to complete a detailed screening sheet, on which you will be asked whether or not you have any metal or other devices implanted in your body that may interfere with the scan or cause injury to you.

You must remove all loose metal objects, because you will be positioned within a large, very strong magnet. Doing so is important for your safety, the safety of our staff, and for proper functioning of the equipment. You may be asked to change into a gown if you are not wearing metal-free clothing.

If you have any questions or concerns about the procedure, please call any time before your appointment at 515.244.5109 or ask the technologist before you enter the room. Some types of scans require fasting beforehand. You will be instructed if fasting is necessary for your procedure.

Please let us know if you have any of the following:

  • Cardiac Pacemaker
  • Artificial heart valve prosthesis
  • Eye Implants or metal ear implants
  • Any metal implants activated electronically, magnetically, or mechanically
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Copper 7 IUD
  • Penile implant
  • Shrapnel or non-removed bullet
  • Pregnancy
  • Claustrophobia
  • Any metal puncture(s) or fragment(s) in the eye

What Should I Expect?

During an MRI scan, you will lie comfortably on your back on a table that is moved inside a large magnet. A coil will be placed around the area being examined. During the scan, as with all MRI exams, you will hear various noises, ranging from a buzzing to a loud knocking. You will be given earplugs to diminish the noise. Because an MRI exam takes images or "slices" from various angles, several sequences or sets of images will be taken. Each sequence will last from one to 10 minutes, and the technologist will inform you before the scanning noise begins. The total exam time for a scan can range from 30 to 60 minutes. You must lie very still during each sequence, in order to produce clear, diagnostic images.

Depending on your symptoms or prior medical history you may be given a contrast medium intravenously for your scan. The technologist will explain this procedure to you if necessary.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).pdf

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