Lakes Radiology


What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the most accurate ways to examine the soft tissue areas of the body. MRI enables physicians to visualize differences among soft tissue with incredible acuity. It is a painless, noninvasive procedure that uses no ionizing radiation. Instead, MRI combines computer technology with magnetism and radio waves to create multiple pictures of the inside of the body. These images can be obtained in multiple planes of the body, thus creating a three-3 dimensional map of the area under study. After these images are transferred to film or digital archive, they are interpreted by a MRI radiologist to detect disease or injury.

MRI has become a very valuable exam in diagnosing disease and detecting abnormalities for a broad range of anatomic sites since its development in the early 1980’s. MRI uses no harmful radiation and there are no known health side effects, thus making MRI studies a very low-risk procedure for the carefully screened patient.

The Advantages of the 3T MRI

Better Quality

There are numerous advantages to a 3T MRI machine over a traditional MRI machine. First of all, it provides a doctor with more scanning options. These sophisticated imaging procedures are only available to 3T MRI machines not traditional one. Some of these new scanning options include the ability to scan in tiny slices as small as 1mm. This will help the diagnosis of more complex or difficult conditions.

3T MRI such as the one at our facility, the Siemens Verio, is also capable of scanning for new conditions like prostate cancer. This means there is less need for invasive catheter studies to the patient.

The scans that a 3T MRI machine yields are higher quality than traditional machines
which also allows for detailed imaging of ligaments, tendons and cartilage. In some
cases it can even show if there is bleeding in a fracture. Not to mention, the fact that
the 3T MRI is also an extremely sensitive method for detecting bone infections.

Elevated Patient Comfort

Patients with claustrophobia will also prefer a 3T MRI machine since the area that they are required to lay still to be scanned is bigger than that of a traditional MRI machine. This larger area also means that bigger patients can fit into the MRI machine easier. If you have a frail or injured patient who is receiving a multi-part MRI, they won’t have to be moved during the scans. This increases their comfort and also reduces the time it will take to perform the scan.

One of the best parts of 3T MRI scans is that it does not cost more than a traditional MRI scan. This means your insurance company can not force a patient into accepting a lower strength scan to save money.

By having two MRI systems a 3T and 1.5T, we can offer more scheduling availability and minimal wait time to our patients and referring physicians.

Another key advantage is that images are produced faster than traditional MRI machines. This means patients will be more comfortable as they do not need to spend as long being scanned. The scans themselves are less likely to be distorted, so there will not be a need for repeated scans making the scan time reduced to 15 minutes per scan in most studies.

MRI Preparation

  • Preparation for your MRI will depend on the type of exam; a Lakes Radiology representative will call you prior to your appointment to provide specific instructions, and review health and insurance information.
  • Please bring the date of the exam previous imaging study results (MRI, CT, x-rays) such as reports, films or CD-Roms, if available.
  • Due to the strong magnetic field, you will be asked to wear metal-free clothing, and at the time of the procedure you could be ask to change into a gown. You also will be asked to remove any metallic objects, such as jewelry, watches, and hair clips.
  • Please inform the technologist if any chance of been pregnant.
  • Please inform the technologist of prior surgeries or metal implants, such as aneurysm clips, stent, aneurism clips, or any other type of surgical device.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to verify your registration.

What to expect during the exam

  • After laying in the table an imaging device called RF Coil will be placed around the area of the body to be scanned.
  • Once you are comfortably positioned, the table will move into the bore of the magnet.
  • While images are acquired, a loud knocking sound will be hear, it is very important to lie as still as possible without movement at this point to ensure the capture of clear images.
  • In some cases, you will need contrast material to further aid in detection or diagnosis of potential abnormalities. In this instance, an I.V. will be placed in your hand or arm. Once the contrast is injected, you will feel a warm, flushed sensation, and may experience a metallic taste in your mouth that lasts for about two minutes.

What to expect after the exam

  • A Board Certified Radiologist will evaluate your images and dictates your report.
  • Your report will be sent to your referring doctor for further evaluation with you at the next visit.

ACR Accreditation

Lakes Radiology is an Accredited Facility with the American College of Radiology. ACR Accreditation is recognized as the gold standard in medical imaging since 1987.

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) is a nonprofit professional society representing radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, radiation oncologists and medical physicists. It is the largest and oldest imaging accrediting body in the U.S., with a current membership of 39,000 physicians and medical physicists. The core purpose of the ACR is to serve patients and society by empowering its members to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological and radiation oncology care. 

Schedule an appointment

To schedule an appointment at Lakes Radiology please call (305) 231-1115 or fill out the form below.

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