Open MRI Preparation

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.

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 adquired 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 reffering doctor for futher evaluation with you at the next visit.

To schedule an appointment at Lakes Radiology please call (305) 231-1115 or email us at