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What to Expect and Preparing for an MRI

What to Expect and Preparing for an MRI

What to Expect

Each exam is tailored to answer specific questions about a patient's medical condition. The procedure time depends upon the area of the body being examined. The procedure is safe and there is no radiation involved.

When the exam is complete, all images and information are examined by board-certified, MRI-subspecialty-trained radiologists. Results are usually available to the referring physician within two working days of the procedure.

Patients can expect:

  • Most advanced MRI technology to date with
  • Full range of advanced studies, providing physicians with detailed, cross-sectional images of the body
  • Fastest scan times available
  • Comfortable scans for children and adults weighing up to 550 pounds.

The most advanced MRI technology available, designed for patient comfort. Learn more about 3T MRI

Preparing for an MRI

A physician's referral, as well as a valid insurance pre-certification, are necessary to schedule an MRI.

For many MRI exams, no special preparation is needed. For some, you may need to fast for 4 to 12 hours. Others require you to swallow a fluid or have an injection that helps show details inside your body. Guidelines vary with the specific exam and also with the facility.

You will be asked to remove all metal (earrings, watches, bobby pins, etc.) and credit cards. You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or wear loose-fitting clothing with no metal fasteners, zippers, or buttons. Private dressing areas are available for changing. Valuable personal items can be stored in secure private lockers during appointments.

Patients are asked a series of questions to identify those who may not be able to receive an MRI. Patients with implanted medical devices containing ferrous metal (objects containing iron) cannot be brought into the MRI unit (i.e. pacemakers, cochlear implants, cerebral aneurysm clips and prosthetic devices).

Unless instructed otherwise by your physician, follow your usual routine on the day your MRI is scheduled. Please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment, so that any necessary paperwork can be filled out and so your questions about the MRI can be answered.

Common MRI Scans

MRIs can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases. Common MRI scans include:

Neurologic Imaging

  • Brain: (for stroke, tumor, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, surgical planning, spectroscopy)
  • Spine: (cervical, thoracic and lumbar spines) this includes SI joints, Brachial and Lumbar plexus. For pain, disc issues, tumor and infection.

Orthopedic Imaging

For various issues, such as tendon tear, tendonitis, meniscal tear

  • Shoulder
  • Humerus
  • Elbow
  • Forearm
  • Wrist
  • Hand
  • Hip
  • Thigh
  • Knee
  • Tib-Fib
  • Ankle
  • Foot

GI and GU Imaging

For tumor, obstruction, Crohn's disease, fistulas, gallbladder stones

  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Gallbladder
  • Spleen
  • Small and Large Bowel
  • Kidney and Bladder
  • Prostate
  • Uterine

Dedicated Breast Imaging

For detection of cancer and infection. Accredited by the ACR, specifically for high quality imaging.

Cardiac Imaging

For infarct, tumor, valve problems, congenital abnormalities, various cardiomyopathies


For various vessel abnormalities, stenosis and clot

  • Brain
  • Carotid
  • Upper extremities
  • Aorta
  • Lower extremities

Schedule an MRI Appointment

Request your MRI appointment or call 215.345.2600.

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