What is an MRI?
An MRI is an imaging technique that produces detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. The images are created through the use of magnetic fields and radio waves. For some procedures a contrast agent (Gadolinium) is used to increase the detail of the images.

Can anyone have an MRI scan?
Almost anyone can have an MRI. Although MRI is a non-invasive procedure that does not use any X-Ray radiation, it does require the use of a high strength magnetic field.

Are there any risks involved with having an MRI?
People with pacemakers cannot undergo a MRI scan, also other metallic implants, aneurysm clips, bullet fragments and all prosthetics will need to be checked before a person with these would be scanned. Some tattoos and permanent eyeliner may be heated during a scan. Our staff will go over any of these issues with you before your test.

Can someone who is pregnant undergo an MRI scan?
MRI is generally avoided in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. If after this time all physicians involved in your care and our radiologist determine it is absolutely medically necessary and is beneficial, then you may have an MRI.

How can I prepare for an MRI procedure?
Patients should dress in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing without metal snaps or zippers. All valuables should be left at home. Jewelry, glasses, hearing aids, dentures, hairpins, credit cards, coins, keys and other metal objects will need to be removed and placed in a safe location outside the scan room. Secure clothing lockers are provided for patients during their MRI scan. Patients are also advised not to wear cosmetics to their scan as many brands contain metal.

Can I eat and drink before my MRI?
Patients will receive individual instructions about eating and/or drinking from a staff member of Spring Hill MRI prior to their scan.

When should I arrive for my MRI?
Patients should arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment. This allows time to complete any necessary paperwork, answer any medical history questions, change clothes for the scan if necessary and ask any questions of the MRI technologist. Patients should bring their insurance card(s) and proper form of identification, i.e. driver’s license or identification card.

How long will my MRI and/or Cat Scan procedure take to complete?
MRI and CT scans are individualized and tailored to each patient’s needs. The time it takes to complete the procedure can vary anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes for most exams.

What will happen during the test?
When you are ready for your scan, a technologist will bring you into the MRI scan room and help you get comfortable on the padded examination table. The table will then move slowly into the opening of a large cylinder-shaped tube that houses the MRI magnet. You will hear a continual knocking noise while the machine takes images.

Earplugs are provided and significantly reduce the amount of noise during the scan. It is important to lie completely still while the images are being taken because motion will effect the sharpness of the image. The technologist will talk with you throughout your scan and keep you informed of what you can expect.

Will I receive an intravenous (I.V.) injection during my procedure?
Depending on the type of exam, patients may receive a contrast agent intravenously (I.V.) through a vein in the arm or hand. Contrast mediums or contrast agents are safe injections used to highlight organs and blood vessels to help produce a better image for the radiologist.

If your physician or radiologist has determined that an I.V. will enhance your MRI or CT scan results, you will receive an IV in your arm or hand during the test so the technologist can administer the contrast agent.

Will I receive oral contrast before my Cat Scan (CT) procedure?
Not all CT procedures require oral contrast. Only those patients having a CT Scan of the abdomen, pelvis, or abdomen and pelvis may require oral contrast.

Is breast-feeding safe after an injection of I.V. contrast?
Patients are instructed to wait at least 48 hours after an injection of I.V. contrast before resuming breast-feeding. Patients may wish to breast pump their milk and store for use during this waiting period.

Can CT be used in pregnancy?
Our policy is to avoid scanning during pregnancy unless there is a medically urgent indication. Please inform your physician if you are pregnant or if there is even the remote possibility that you may be pregnant.

How is the barium or I.V. Contrast eliminated from the body?
The I.V. Contrast is filtered unchanged by the kidneys with most of the administered dose appearing in the urine within a few hours. Orally administered barium passes through the intestine and is not absorbed.

Are the X-rays used in a CT scan harmful?
X-Rays are ionizing radiation and as such can alter chemical structure. In diagnostic imaging, the radiation dose is small and confined to the region of interest. The small risk associated with the procedure is outweighed by the benefit of the results from the test.

What if I am claustrophobic and don’t like to be in enclosed spaces?
The MRI team will work with patients who suffer from claustrophobia. Patients can come before their appointment and tour the facility to become better acquainted with the scanning process.

Music is provided in the MRI suite to help patients relax during their scan. A friend or family member (who has been screened for internal or external metal) may also accompany the patient into the exam room during the test.

Patients may request a mild sedative medication prior to their appointment and arrange for a responsible adult to drive them home.

What happens after my MRI?
Patients may leave immediately following their MRI scan and can go about their normal activities. Radiologists that read for Spring Hill MRI know that rapid results are essential for each patent’s peace of mind and so physicians can begin planning treatment immediately.

Your doctor will provide you with your results.