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Frequently Asked Questions (MRI)

What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI is a diagnostic tool used to visualize the inside of the human body. It uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer system in order to obtain detailed images that cannot be seen on x-ray or CT scan. Studies show that there are no proven side effects to having an MRI and NO radiation is used during the scan.

What is an OPEN MRI?

An open MRI scanner produces the same quality images as a traditional closed MRI Scanner. The most notable difference between the two is that an open MRI is conducted in an open and much more comfortable environment. A traditional closed MRI involves a patient entering a narrow tube where mobility and visibility are limited. In the Access Open MRI and Imaging Center, patients rest comfortably in an open pavilion where they are able to communicate freely with the MRI Technologist and even look out the windows.

What if I am Claustrophobic?

While most patients that are scanned in our Open MRI scanner do not experience claustrophobia, we are sensitive to the fact and understand that this may still be a problem for some patients. If you are concerned that this may be a problem for you, it is possible in many cases to obtain a prescription for a mild sedative from your physician. However, if a patient is given a sedative, we require that a family member or friend drive them to and from their exam. For additional comfort and peace of mind, we do allow patients to have someone accompany them into the MRI Pavilion during the scan. If you have any concern about being claustrophobic, please let us know and we will work with you to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

I have heard that MRI Scanners are very loud, will I need ear plugs?

Traditionally, closed MRI scanners produce loud “knocking” sounds throughout the exam. The Access Open MRI Scanner is much quieter, producing only a soothing white noise throughout most of the exam. Patients will also have the opportunity to listen to satellite radio during the exam and will have a wide variety of musical genres to choose from.

How long will my exam take?

Each scan time differs depending on the body part being examined. On average, each scan takes about 30-40 minutes. We do ask that you arrive 5-10 minutes prior to your appointment for screening to ensure your safety in the magnetic field.

When will I get my results?

After your scan, the technologist sends your images and paperwork to an offsite Radiologist Center where a team of highly specialized, board-certified and fellowship-trained radiologists will read and interpret the results of the scan. It takes approximately two business days for a report to be generated. When the results have been generated they are sent directly to the ordering physician and they will be discussed with you at your follow-up appointment. When the scan is completed, you will be given a CD containing the MRI which is yours to keep and you should bring with you to your follow-up appointment.