Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive medical test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves to create images of the body’s internal organs and structures. The resulting images reveal details that are invisible or hard to see when using other imaging methods, such as x-rays, ultrasound exams or CT scans. Physicians often rely on these MRI images in order to properly diagnose a variety of injuries, conditions and diseases.
Raleigh Radiology offers several MRI services to patients, including:
• Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
• Open Bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Open Bore MRI)
• Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Breast MRI)
Raleigh Radiology performs MRI scans to examine the following body parts and organs:
• Head (to search for brain tumors, aneurysm and nerve injury)
• Chest (to examine the heart, valves and coronary blood vessels)
• Blood vessels (to examine the flow of blood through the blood vessels and search for possible aneurysms)
• Abdomen and pelvis (to search for tumors, bleeding, infection, and blockages in the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys and bladder)
• Bones and joints (to look for signs of arthritis, bone marrow problems, bone tumors, cartilage problems, torn ligaments, torn tendons or infection)
• Spine (to examine the disks and nerves, and look for signs of spinal stenosis, disk bulges and spinal tumors)
• Breast (to detect and stage breast cancer and examine other breast abnormalities)
Note: Radiation is not involved in an MRI exam. There are no known harmful side effects from the magnetic field or radio wave exposure associated with an MRI exam.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big is the MRI machine?
Open Bore MRI at all Raleigh Radiology locations: 4 feet long & 28 inches in diameter
Is there a weight limit on the scanner?
Yes. Our weight limit is 550 lbs. at all MRI locations.
Does my head have to go in the scanner?
If the body part being evaluated or imaged must be in the center of the scanner, therefore most upper body exams will require you to go in the machine head first.
What happens if the electricity goes off?
The table has a manual override that enables it to unlock and bring you out of the scanner.
Where will you be while I’m in the scanner?
The technologist will be just outside the scanner door at the opening console. The technologist will also be in visual contact with you through the glass during your exam.
How will you know if I need you?
The technologist will be in contact with you throughout the test. You will also have a call button.
Why do I have to have contrast?
Contrast may enhance the images and gives the radiologist more detailed information about your exam.
Will the contrast make me sick?
It is very unlikely. The only thing you should feel is a coolness at the injection site.
Can we do the test without contrast?
Yes; however, specific information that your physician wants, may not be able to be obtained by doing the test without contrast. The test could be inconclusive.
Will I be able to drive after the exam?
Yes, as long as you did not have to take an oral sedative for your exam.
Do I have to hold my breath the whole time I’m in the machine?
No; however, you may be asked to hold your breath for specific exams for a period of 30 seconds or less as we are obtaining the images.
Can you scan my head without putting it in the head coil?
No. It is the antenna that picks up the signal to create the images of your brain.