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Imaging & Radiology

Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas

 
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is a noninvasive, painless way to look inside the body at your organs and other body tissues. An MRI is a test that can find changes in your body and can lead to early diagnosis and treatment of disease. MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to create images of your organs and tissues. MRI does not use radiation, and there are no known side effects.

What happens during an MRI?

During the MRI, you will lie on a padded table. The table then moves into the MRI machine. During most MRI exams, you may hear loud thumping or knocking sounds while the machine is working. Headphones are available for your comfort during most exams. You will be able to speak with the technologist during the MRI by intercom. It is very important that you lie as still as possible so the clearest picture can be obtained. The MRI takes approximately 60 minutes depending on the area you are having scanned. A contrast material may be used for some MRI studies. If contrast is needed, it will be injected by IV during the MRI. Should you feel any discomfort from the contrast, please inform the technologist.

What do I need to do to get ready?

Since MRI uses a magnet, certain types of metal will interfere with the study. An MRI may not be performed if you have a pacemaker, metal clips in the brain (placed to stop bleeding), or cochlear implants in the ear. You will be asked several questions about past surgeries or injuries to ensure you can safely have the MRI exam. Please let the technologist know of any metal you have on, or in, your body. If you are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, call the location where your appointment is scheduled prior to your appointment. 

If you have documentation or an implant identification card, please bring this information with you. The technologist will research the implant(s) to check for their safety and compatibility before you enter the magnet room. Before entering the MRI room, please remove: glasses, pens and pencils, hearing aids, hair accessories, dentures and partial plates, infusion insulin pumps, jewelry, TENS units, coins, credit cards and bank cards, wallets and purses, keys, pocketknives, pagers, phones and safety pins. Women may be asked to remove make-up for certain types of MRI exams. 

We recommend that you wear comfortable, athletic-style clothing without metal snaps or zippers for the MRI. You may need to wear an exam gown during the study because snaps, zippers, hooks, belt buckles, and any other metal objects on your clothing affect the MRI. You may eat or drink before having your MRI. If you feel you may be claustrophobic, please arrange to have anti-anxiety medications ordered through your referring physician. 

What happens after the MRI?

A radiologist reads your MRI, and the results are reported directly back to your doctor. Your insurance is filed for the MRI. You are responsible for any co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles that have not been met. Some insurance providers require a pre-authorization process before your imaging appointment. Please check with your insurance provider before your appointment on co-payments, co-insurance, and the deductible amounts as these are due at the time of service.

Questions about this procedure?

If you have any additional questions about this procedure, please contact a member of the Baylor Diagnostic Imaging Center staff where you are scheduled.