What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an imaging procedure that uses strong magnets and radio-frequency pulses to generate signals from the body. These signals are processed to create very detailed images of the body. No harmful radiation is used.
What to expect during your MRI?
You will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire. There are some implants that cannot be scanned safely.
It is necessary to change out of your clothing prior to the exam. Your clothing and valuables will be placed in a locker during the exam.
The machine will make a knocking noise. The technologist will speak to you periodically.
The exam may require an injection of contrast. The contrast is called Gadolinium. It may be injected into a vein. If you are having an arthrogram, you will have an injection of contrast into the joint. The contrast provides the radiologist additional information. This information may be necessary for a better diagnosis.
The body part that is being examined will be placed in the center of the scanner. You may be positioned in such a way to better the see the anatomy. The scanner may move and you may be scanned lying down, standing up. You may be asked to change positions during the exam. The technologist will explain to you what you will be doing before and during the exam.
A coil will be applied to the body part that is being imaged. There may be sponges or straps to help position you. You will need to remain very still.
The machine will move the body part of interest into the center of the scanner. There will be a series from exams ranging from 4 minutes-8 minutes. The technologist will communicate with you between each exam,
The exam is usually painless. A specialized doctor, called a radiologist, reads these images and the report is sent to your doctor. Your doctor will explain your results you at your follow up exam.
How long does an MRI exam take?
An exam may take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the exam.
What are the risks? Is MRI safe?
MRI is generally safe. There are no known side effects. You will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire. There are certain metallic and electronic implants that cannot be scanned safely or only scanned under certain situations. Pregnant patients can be scanned with special precautions. There is a small risk of allergic reaction to the contrast. You will be given a medication guide prior to the administration of intravenous contrast. If you are on dialysis or have severe kidney disease, your doctor may need to draw labs before you have intravenous contrast.
How can I make an appointment?
Please give us a call to schedule an appointment or send us a message via our CONTACT FORM.
A report will be sent to your doctor. Your physician will explain your results to you.
Is there a parking place next to the clinic?
We have expansive parking behind the center. Should you need assistance to enter the clinic, please call us at 623-1000 and someone will meet you at your car to assist you inside.
Before the Examination
Before your MRI examination, you should inform your caregiver if you have food allergies, drug allergies, hay fever, hives, or allergic asthma. Your caregiver should also know if you have any serious health problems, and what surgeries you have undergone. Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility they are pregnant.
We will not perform an MRI on a patient during the first trimester (the first three months) of pregnancy. If you are breastfeeding at the time of the examination, you should ask your technologist how to proceed.
You should not have an MRI if you have anything in your body that a magnet attracts. Because they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI machine, metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the examination room. Items that may interfere with your having an MRI include:
Clothing and accessories:
- Jewelry including rings, earrings, necklaces, or watches
- Pens, pocket knives, and eyeglasses
- Credit cards and other cards containing magnetic data
- Pins, hairpins, and similar metallic items, which can distort MRI images
- Clothing has metal hooks, buttons, zippers, or other metal items on it
Metal from surgery or injury:
- Removable dental work
- Bullets or pieces of shrapnel
- Pieces of metal fragments in your eyes from welding
Medical aids and implants:
- Hearing aids and cochlear (ear) implants
- Artificial or prosthetic limbs or joints, such as an artificial knee joint
- Aneurysm clips
- Heart pacemaker
- Implanted cardiac defibrillator
- Implanted IV ports
- Implanted spinal stimulators
- Insulin pump
- Certain intrauterine devices or "IUDs"
- Medication patches - also called a "transdermal" or "skin" patch. Some medication patches may have metal in or on them. Examples of medication patches are nicotine, birth control, and nitroglycerin patches.
- Some metal surgical pins, plates, screws, or surgical staples. In most cases, these things will not cause a problem with an MRI.
Can I bring my belongings into the room?
MRI scanner is an extremely powerful magnet. If a metal object is brought into the room, it will be attracted to the strong magnetic field and become a projectile. Electronic devices might be rendered useless by a strong magnetic environment. You will be asked to change into hospital approved attire for your examination to avoid such incidents.
Why does MRI make so much noise?
Noise is the byproduct of electrical pulses within the MRI scanner. These electrical pulses produce the images.
Who will perform my MRI?
A certified and licensed MRI technologist will be helping you. In addition, our technologists are certified to start IV catheters, perform CPR and are required to have ongoing continued education.
Who will read my MRI?
Your MRI exam will be read by a board certified radiologist with extensive subspecialty training.
Can I have a copy of my images?
Yes, at the end of the exam, you will be provided with a USB or CD of the images and/or you will be instructed on how to log into the patient portal to download your images.
What will happen to me during the registration process?
You will be registered the day of your exam. This process takes about 15 minutes. You will be asked to provide your medical history in detail and sign consent forms. Before your MRI exam you will need to fill out an MRI screener to verify it is safe for you to have an MRI. The technologist performing your exam will thoroughly evaluate your screener, explain the procedure and answer all your questions.
What if I need to cancel?
If you need to cancel your exam, please call us at least one day in advance.
What if I am claustrophobic?
Cayman Medical Ltd has a large scanner that easily accommodate anxious and claustrophobic patients. Additionally, if you are severely claustrophobic, you should speak with your physician.
What should I bring to the exam?
Please remember to bring all insurance information and ID cards.
Wear comfortable clothing. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown or scrubs that will be provided for you.
If you were instructed by your physician to obtain previous X-rays and CT films, please remember to bring them with you.
Please leave all your valuables at home since you will not be able to wear most jewelry and watches in the scan room. The magnet can affect these items. Lockers are available for safekeeping, but we cannot take responsibility for lost or stolen items.
You will be given specific instructions, depending on the area to be examined. For example, for a head scan you may be asked to remove bridgework and non-permanent dentures.
What are my rights as a patient?
We are committed to maintaining the rights of patients and will assure patient confidentiality, dignity, privacy and the right for you to understand and consent to the test.
Why Is MRI Important?
This technology is important because MRI scans illustrate more clearly than ever before, the difference between healthy and diseased tissue, and can provide important information about the brain, spine, joints and internal organs. It can lead to early detection and treatment of disease and has no known side effects. Consequently, your physician will be better able to determine the most appropriate treatment for you.
What Is the Difference Between MRI and CT?
Both MRI and CT create cross-sectional images of the body. The main difference is that MRI uses a large magnet and radio waves to produce images where as a CT scanner uses ionizing radiation. The systems complement each other well as they both have their inherent strengths and weaknesses. CT, however, can only directly acquire transverse and coronal images, whereas MRI can directly acquire slices in any plane and is superior when it comes to soft tissue contrast.
Can You Scan My Entire Body While I Am in There?
No. The MR scanner can scan almost any part of the body but each scan is limited to a specific area. It can take from 30-60 minutes to scan each area.
Why Is My Whole Body in The Scanner If You Are Only Scanning My Head?
The area of the scanner that creates the images is located in the center of the magnet and is called the isocenter. Therefore, in order to scan your head most of your upper body will be in the scanner. The same is true when imaging the spine and upper extremities.
Can I use lotions before my MRI?
NO. Please wear no body lotion the day of the exam as some lotions have tiny metal flakes in them.
Can I use a Motor Vehicle Accident claim, Personal Injury claim, or Worker's Compensation claim?
Yes. Cayman Medical Ltd. are happy to accept claims for Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury, or Worker's Compensation. If you have a claim, be sure to have your claim number and attorney information available when you call.
Does this include my co-pay and deductibles?
Yes, we will collect amounts equal to your in-network benefits and will notify your insurance plan accordingly. Deductibles and co-insurance must be paid at the time of the examination.
How does the insurance verification process work?
We contact your insurance provider and confirm your benefits along with providing notification that we will honor the co-insurance portion of your benefits.
I have a question about my statement who do I contact for information?
For any questions regarding your statement, including your Explanation of Benefits (EOB), please contact our Billing Department via our online contact form, they will be happy to assist you.
How long are my records kept on file?
We maintain the films and reports from your exam(s) in accordance with laws (in most cases, for a minimum of five to seven years).
What is an Open MRI?
Unlike a traditional MRI which is shaped like a tunnel, the Open MRI is more like a flying saucer or a hamburger bun. This allows you to turn your head to either side, so you can see the room. There's also more airflow in the High-field Open MRI which creates a more pleasant experience for patients who are anxious, claustrophobic or need more room.
What is an Upright Open MRI?
The Upright Open MRI is similar to an Open MRI but with this machine, you can also sit up, stand upright, and look out forward. Upright Open MRI has the lowest magnet strength of the alternatives, but the image quality is still good enough to help your doctor understand what's going on inside of you. Furthermore, for certain conditions, the Upright Open MRI can image the patient in the position in which they're experiencing pain, whether that be upright, in a seated position or lying on their back
How soon can I book an appointment? Can I fit my appointment into my work schedule?
Our centers offer extended hours, including early mornings, evenings and weekends. In many cases, we can schedule you for the same day you call for an appointment. Our goal is to schedule your appointment at the best possible time for you.
What if I am unable to keep my appointment?
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call the clinic and your physician will be notified and your examination rescheduled. If transportation is an issue, the clinic can help make arrangements for you.
What if I don't have health insurance, or my insurance has a high deductible?
We offer payment plans and in certain circumstances offer charity plans.
What services does Open MRI provide?
All Open MRI locations offer Open MRI - exclusively. We do not have any "closed" MRI machines, and we do not offer X-Ray, CT Scan, Ultrasound, Mammogram, PET Imaging, or any other types of radiology.
How can I pay my bill?
You can use our credit-card terminal at our facility. You can also call our billing office.
Will I need a driver?
Some procedures require a driver for your safety (i.e. if sedation or anesthetic are administered). When the appointment is made, you will be told if a driver is needed. Please make the necessary arrangements or let us know in advance so we can make arrangements for you.
I heard a MRI scan is very loud? Is this MRI machine loud?
Traditional MRI scanners are very loud, which is limited due to its physics and to protect your hearing these require ear protection such as earplugs, ear defenders/headphones, or a combination of both that must be used. However, our ultra silent MRI scanner produces barely audible noises, whichallow even communication between the patient and the technologist during teh exam. There is no need for ear protection with us. For your comfort and safety.
Can I take a break during the exam?
An MRI examination is made up of a series of scans (also termed sequences) which can each last between 1-5minutes depending on what is being performed. Whilst a member of staff can talk to you between each scan, whilst we are performing a single body area it is best to remain in the same position throughout so as not to require resetting and add delay to the examination. However, if at any point you do need to come out this is possible.
When scanning more than one body part which will take longer, there are often natural breaks when equipment may need to be changed or repositioned before continuing. At these points you will be bought out of the scanner and have an opportunity to take a breather or have a wriggle as required.
Your comfort is important and helps us achieve the best possible images so please discuss this with the scanning team on the day. We have plenty of pads and techniques which may help.
In some circumstances music can also be played over the ear protection to help provide some better background to the scan and help pass the time quicker.
Do you see the pictures and can you tell me the results?
The person who operates the scanner is not the person who will write a report on what is shown. Therefore, they cannot tell you anything immediately. Your GP or whoever referred you will get a written report plus copies of the images.
However, if anything which concerns us is seen, your GP/whoever referred you will be telephoned and action taken as appropriate as soon as practicable.
Exact time ranges vary between sites but should you need to chase results please contact your referring clinician not our scanning departments.
How much radiation do I receive?
There is no ionizing radiation used in the acquiring of MR images. Once cleared to be safe to enter the magnetic field the imaging tool is a safe technique used to image the body with no adverse side effects.