High-Field MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in your body.
Most MRI machines are large, tube-shaped magnets. When you lie inside an MRI machine, the magnetic field temporarily realigns water molecules in your body. Radio waves cause these aligned atoms to produce faint signals, which are used to create cross-sectional MRI images — like slices in a loaf of bread.
The MRI machine can also produce 3D images that can be viewed from different angles.

Be Prepared

Preparation for Procedure

The presence of metal in or on your body is a safety hazard for an MRI exam. There are some medical conditions that may prevent you from having an MRI exam. You need to answer a series of medical history questions before having an MRI exam. You will be asked to remove all metal or electronic objects from your body before the exam.

Tell your technologist at the time of your exam if you have any metal or electronic devices in or on your body including, but not limited to:


Tell your technologist at the time of your exam if you have any metal or electronic devices in or on your body including, but not limited to:

  • Watches or jewelry
  • Cell phones or PDAs
  • Implanted electronic devices
  • Implanted metallic joint prostheses, artificial heart valves, cochlear implants, hearing aids or metallic dentures.
  • Tell your technologist and your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.
  • Your doctor may postpone the exam or choose an alternative exam.
  • No preparation is necessary prior to your exam.

Some patients may feel anxious due to the confining nature of the MRI scanner. If you feel this way, talk to your doctor. He or she may feel it necessary to prescribe a sedative prior to your exam to help you relax.

Your doctor or radiologist may request that your MRI scan be enhanced via the use of contrast material. If contrast is required, the technologist will start an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm to administer the contrast.

Most reactions are minor such as itchiness, hives, and nausea or vomiting. In very rare instances, an allergic reaction may cause swelling in your throat or other areas of your body. Tell your technologist or doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms during or after your exam.

Don’t be Surprised!

What to Expect During the Exam?

The exam is painless and on average takes between 30 to 45 minutes, excluding preparation time. The amount of time varies depending on the type and number of exams for which you are scheduled.

During the exam, you should lie on a movable table. A coil or small antenna-like device may be placed over the body part to be examined. Once you have been positioned the technologist will move the table into the MRI scanner which is a long tubular shaped machine.

During the MRI scan, the magnet produces repetitive thumping and tapping sounds. You will be given earplugs to help block the noise of the scanner. You will also have the option of listening to the music of your choice.

The technologist monitors you throughout the procedure. A microphone system enables you to communicate with the technologist at all times. You will also be given a device that will allow you to alert the technologist if you are having any difficulty during the procedure.

After MRI

What Happens After an MRI?

After the test, you can get dressed and leave the testing facility. If you were sedated for the exam, staff may move you to a recovery area until you wake up — usually one to two hours after you received the sedative.

A radiologist will analyze your MRI images and provide your doctor with the results. Your results will be available quickly if your head MRI was an emergency procedure.

The next steps will depend on whether the results revealed anything unusual or discovered the cause of any abnormalities.

We Will Take Care of The Rest!

What About the Results?

When your exam is complete you may leave and resume regular activities. If a sedative is administered for your exam you will need to arrange transportation home.

A radiologist will review your exam images and report the findings to your doctor within 24 hours. Your doctor will then discuss the findings and the next steps with you.