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What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?

The MRI examination utilizes a powerful magnetic field and radio waves, combined with computer technology, to produce detailed images of internal body structures. MRI does not use radiation to obtain the images.

What is an MRI exam like?

During the MRI examination, you will be placed within the MR scanner. After the technologist positions you on a padded table, he/she will leave the room and communicate with you through an intercom system. When the exam begins, you will hear repetitive knocking or “thumping” sounds which are normal when the machine is acquiring images.

We require all patients to wear hearing protection. You will be given earplugs or headphones with a choice of music. It is important while the images are being obtained that you lie as still as possible. A routine MRI exam takes between 30 and 60 minutes.

The body part being examined needs to be in the center of the magnet. If you have experienced anxiety in confined spaces, you may want to consult with your doctor before your appointment.

Planning Your Visit

Approximately 48-72 hours before your exam, someone from our Imaging Department will contact you to review pre-screening safety questions and prep instructions. It is extremely important that we have these questions answered prior to your exam. Continue to take any prescribed medication unless otherwise directed.

Please notify staff if your insurance information has recently changed and if you have had prior exams for the same body part being evaluated.

Any pre-approvals required by your insurance company will be obtained through your clinician’s office before your scheduled exam.

Cancellations are sometimes unavoidable. However, we ask that you notify us at least one day in advance if you are unable to make your appointment.

  • If you are unable to secure childcare, please call to reschedule your appointment, as children cannot be left unattended in the waiting area or exam room during the exam.
  • If your appointment is at our Kenmore location, please check the Red Sox Schedule and plan your travel accordingly.

Please Note:

  • You will not be able to have an MRI exam if you have a pacemaker, defibrillator or nerve stimulator.
  • You might not be able to have an MRI exam if you have a brain aneurysm clip or other specific metallic implants. (Surgical notes may be required.)

Upon Check In

You will be asked to complete and sign your pre-screening paperwork. If required a co-pay, co-insurance or deductible may be collected.

Lockers are available in changing areas for safekeeping of personal items.

If possible, wear comfortable clothing without metal. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for the exam.