We use the Hitachi Airis II Open MRI Imaging System. This state-of-the-art open imaging system is more patient-friendly than the enclosed high field MRI system and still delivers excellent diagnostic imaging for those who find the high field systems more intimidating or confining. However, some referring physicians still prefer the high field system. Ask your doctor for his/her preference.
This unit is capable of providing full-body imaging. It is similar to a CT scan, except that MRI uses magnetism and radio waves, not radiation, to generate an image. An MRI “sees through” the bones and focuses on the soft tissue. It will generate high-quality images of the brain, spinal cord, and interior of the bones, joints, soft tissues, and blood vessels.
Before the exam, you will be asked to fill out a very important questionnaire, asking you to identify, any metallic or electronic devices within your body, especially related to the brain or heart. Also, please identify any previous surgery. A family member can enter the room with you, if necessary and must fill out the same form prior to the exam.
Certified technologists will place you on a table that slides into the core of the magnet and will remain in constant communication with you. Even though they leave the room for the scanning sequences, they will always have visual and audio contact with you.
Your physician may order an intravenous (IV) contrast. This will require the technologist to insert a small catheter into a vein to use to administer the contrast at the appropriate time. Contrast can be helpful in identifying tumors or scar tissue but does have a slight health risk. Patients will be given a consent form by the technologist to sign after receiving a full description of potential side effects of the contrast.
The electronic images are acquired, transmitted and stored in a digital format. The images, along with its reports, are immediately available for electronic transmission to referring physicians. CD copies can also be generated. Our facility can also accept or acquire similar images from other facilities for comparisons to prior studies. This becomes very important in identifying any pertinent changes in the health status of the region of interest.
No preparation is required for this exam.
During the exam, you may be asked to change clothes and wear a gown.
Wearing loose fitting jogging clothes with no metal objects may allow you avoid changing clothes. Following the exam, the patient may resume his/her normal diet and activities.