Frequently Asked Questions

Does MRI hurt?

No! MRI uses harmless radio waves and a magnetic field. These have been proven to be extremely safe and painless. All that is required is that the patient remain as still as possible during the exam.

Is it noisy?

During the scan, a soft humming and thumping sound is all the patient will hear. These sounds indicate that a scan is in progress. We encourage you to bring your favorite CD or tape for listening during your MRI procedure.

What if I am claustrophobic?

Many patients find the traditional tunnel or closed MRI scanners uncomfortable and intimidating. Open Air MRI, with its open magnet configuration, alleviates these problems. Patients’ anxiety subsides when they see that the scanner is open on all four sides. This eliminates the confined spaces and dark tunnels of typical high field scanners. You can enjoy the benefits of MRI scanning without the fear of confinement and sedative injections are rarely necessary. Additionally, a friend or family member can accompany the patient during their procedure.

Can Open MRI Centers accommodate larger patients?

The scanner couch can easily accommodate patients up to 500 pounds.

How do I prepare for my MRI exam?

Follow all of your normal daily routines, such as eating and taking regular medication. If you have been prescribed any pain medications or muscle relaxers, please take them as instructed, before your exam. Wear loose, comfortable clothes, preferably without metal clasps or zippers. A sweat suit is ideal. You may want to leave jewelry and valuables at home. Upon your arrival, a technologist will provide an explanation of the procedure and will assist you into the scan room.

Is it safe?

Yes, our MRI uses safe radio waves. There are no side or after effects. However, potential harmful effects may arise from the presence of metal objects in the strong magnetic field used for MRI scans. Please check with your physician or inform us if you have had brain, ear, eye or other surgeries or any of the following:

  • Cardiac pacemaker
  • Intra-cranial aneurysm clip
  • Ear implant
  • Spinal cord stimulator or pain pump
  • IUD
  • Shrapnel, bullet or other metal fragments
  • Metal clips, pins, rods, surgical steel
  • Prosthesis or artificial limbs
  • Braces or dentures
  • Surgery on area being examined

How long does it take?

Most exams are scheduled for 30 to 45 minutes; although an individual scan series takes only two to eight minutes to complete, a portion of the total exam time is devoted to computer data entry and patient positioning in the scanner. Our physicians will frequently enhance or modify an exam as it is being performed to provide the best diagnostic information to your physician.

Will I have to lie on my back?

Typically, most exams are performed with you lying on your back. However, the open design of our scanners allow scanning of lumbar spine and knee lying on your side.