Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of technology’s most advanced diagnostic tools. An MRI uses a powerful magnet, low-intensity radio waves, and computer technology to create detailed images of soft tissues, muscles, nerves and bones in your body.
The MRI machine is a large cylindrical structure covered in white plastic. It is similar to a hollow tube that is open at both ends. You will be asked to lie on a table that slides into the tube. Your technician will conduct the test form an adjacent room but you will be able to speak to the technician through an intercom system during the entire exam. Should you need assistance, have any questions, or become uncomfortable, please let your technician know. You should remain as relaxed and as still as possible. You will hear a knocking sound from the MRI system that ranges from barely audible to quite noticeable. This is normal. The scan will last about 30-45 minutes per area scanned. When the test is completed, you can resume your normal activities.
It is recommended that you wear something soft and comfortable. You may be asked to change into a gown. You will be asked to remove any personal objects like jewelry, belts, and the contents of your pockets. It is best to leave unnecessary items or valuables at home. Please bring any medications you routinely take during the day.
If you are aware that being in very close places makes you nervous or anxious (claustrophobic) please notify Dr. Gordon’s office prior to your exam.
Notify Dr. Gordon’s office and your MRI technician if you have any metal in your body such as pacemakers, shrapnel, bone plates or pins, aneurysm clips, metal fragments in your eyes, implanted spinal cord stimulator, or inner ear implants as the MRI is a very powerful magnet which has radio waves. The presence of these “implants” may not allow you to be eligible for the MRI scan.
If you have had previous back surgery sometimes you will need a small injection of a contrast agent. This will help differentiate scar tissue form previous surgeries. If it not like x-ray dye or CT dye, and doe not contain iodine.
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