Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have a question?  Simply browse our FAQs for the answer.

1. What is MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. An MRI offers a safe and efficient method for medical diagnosis of many conditions, without the use of harmful x-rays. In many cases, MRI can lead to early detection and treatment of disease without surgery or biopsy. It is a noninvasive method of examining the soft tissue of the body including organs, muscles and tendons.

2. Is MRI safe?

The strength of the magnetic field and the frequency of the radio waves have no known harmful effects. However, there are some patients who cannot have an MRI test due to certain metallic and or electronic implanted devices. Not all metallic implants are contraindicated for MRI. You will be thoroughly screened prior to your exam to determine your safety.

3. I have heard that MRI's can make you feel claustrophobic?

This is a common occurrence with the "tunnel" style MRI's. Our MRI system is open on all sides making it airy, bright, and OPEN. You should not have that "closed-in" feeling. Most patients who could not tolerate the "tunnel" have no trouble and do not feel claustrophobic in the OPEN MRI.

4. Does My Size Matter?

Our MRI systems are built to accommodate patients up to 500 lbs+. We will assist in making you feel as comfortable as possible during your exam.

5. Do I need a referral from my doctor?

In order to perform the study we need a referral from your physician. Your doctor will provide us with the necessary information to perform the most accurate study.

6. How do I prepare for an MRI Scan?

The best way is to come metal free wearing loose fitting clothing with no buttons, zippers or metal. Leave all jewelry at home. Should you need to change, we do have changing rooms and lockers for your personal belongings. The technologist will instruct you on what items of clothing you need to remove prior to your exam.

In most cases you will not have any eating or drinking restrictions. Exceptions to this rule will be explained thoroughly when you call to schedule your appointment.

7. What happens during an MRI Scan?

You will be asked to lie down on the scanning table, usually on your back. We will make you comfortable with the aid of pillows, blankets and sponges. A MRI coil is placed around the part of the body to be scanned. This acts as an antenna that sends and receives signals from the body part. MRI is motion sensitive so you will be asked to lie still during each scan. The technologist will be in contact with you throughout the exam.

8. Will I hear any noise during the scan?

Once the machine starts you will hear a variety of knocking sounds during each scan. Earplugs are available OR we will provide you with piped in music. You are welcome to bring your own CD! There is a two-way intercom system allowing communication between you and the technologist.

9. What do I need to tell the technologist before the scan?

When you schedule your exam, you will be screened for MRI safety. Some implanted devises, particularly ones with batteries are contraindications for MRI. Advise the technologist of any previous surgeries, any reactions to previous MRI or CT contrast and all history specific to your exam that day.

10. How soon will I receive the results of my MRI?

Your doctor will receive faxed results within 24 hours. If you would like a copy sent to another medical practitioner, inform the office at the time of your exam. If you would like a copy of your report, please let the office know and they will mail or fax a copy to you.

11. Is the Image Quality the same as a Closed MRI?

Yes, the images from our open MRI Systems are comparable to the images from a closed system. Using state-of-the-art technology, and aggressively pursuing the latest protocol developments have dramatically improved the quality of scans generated by Open Advanced MRI.

12. Are there any people who cannot, or should not have an MRI?

MRI poses no danger to the majority of patients. Certain medical conditions will prevent someone from having an MRI. The strong magnetic field can cause disruption to internally placed devices such as pacemakers, heart valves, aneurysm clips.

13. Can my child have an MRI?

Yes, your child can have an MRI. With the open MRI system, a parent may stay in the scan room with the child and hold their hand during the scan. This is a great way to relieve any apprehension the child or the parent may have about the procedure.

14. What if I'm pregnant?

MRI is not usually recommended for women in their first trimester. Although there are no known side effects from MRI, your referring physician, OBGYN and our radiologist will decide whether an MRI is warranted.

15. Who Reads my MRI?

A board certified radiologist is a medical doctor specifically trained to read diagnostic images including X-rays, CT Scans, Ultrasounds and MRI's. The Radiologists who work for Open Advanced MRI have completed a fellowship in MRI.

16. What is Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)?

While the most common MR Angiograms ordered are of the carotid and vertebral arteries of the head and neck, MRA’s can be done of other major arteries such as the Aorta, the Renal and the Femoral arteries. MR Angiography is used to generate images of the arteries to evaluate them for stenosis, occlusion, malformations or aneurysms.

17. What is the difference between MRI and CT Scan?

One of the most basic differences between the two tests is that CT Scanning uses radiation whereas MRI uses a magnetic field and a radio wave. Both disciplines have a purpose in medical imaging however; MRI is superior to CT in the demonstration of soft tissue pathology. Your doctor can best advise which test would be most appropriate for you.