Imaging and Radiology Services

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What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?

An 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 the MRI exam like?

During the MRI examination, you will be placed within the scanner, and after the technologist positions you on a padded table, he or she will leave the room but will remain in constant communication with you through an intercom system.

When the exam begins, you will hear repetitive knocking or “thumping” sounds. This is the normal sound the machine makes. For your comfort, we offer earplugs and for certain exams, headphones with your choice of music. It is important that you lie as still as possible while the images are being taken.

A routine MRI exam takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Some MRI exams require an injection of a contrast agent called Gadolinium.

The area of the body being examined needs to be in the center of the magnet.

If you have experienced anxiety in confined spaces, please speak with your doctor if you are concerned.

How do I get the MRI results?

The images are interpreted by our radiologists and the results are sent to your physician typically within 48 hours. Your physician will then contact you to discuss the findings and any treatment options if warranted.

Planning Your Visit

Approximately 48 hours before your exam, someone from the Imaging department will contact you to review pre-screening safety questions and prep instructions. It is extremely important we have these questions answered prior to your exam. Continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor 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 need to be obtained through your physician’s office before your scheduled exam.

If your examination will be performed with a contrast agent, blood work will be required prior to your exam if you:

  • Are 60 yrs of Age or Older
  • Have Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Have a history of Kidney Disease, Kidney tumor (cancer), Transplant or Solitary kidney
  • Have Diabetes
  • Have a history of Severe Liver Disease -e.g., hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Cancer, Transplant
  • Have Collagen Vascular Disease (Lupus or Sarcoid)
  • Are a habitual user of NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – Advil, Motrin or Aleve)

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.

  • Childcare is not provided in the Imaging Department
  • If your appointment is at our Kenmore location, please be aware of the Red Sox Schedule and plan your travel accordingly.
  • Specific instructions on entering the building for evening appointments will be given by phone.

You will not be able to have an MRI exam if you:

  • Have a Pacemaker/Defibrillator
  • Have metal in your eye (must have x-ray first for clearance)

You may not be able to have an MRI exam if you:

  • Have a Surgical Aneurysm Clip or other specific metallic implants (Surgical notes may be required)

Upon Check In

You will be asked to complete and sign your prescreening paperwork.

We suggest you wear comfortable clothing without metal snaps or zippers. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for the exam. Lockers are available in changing areas for safekeeping of personal items.