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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

In March 2018, Grant Regional Health Center opened our new in-house MRI within the Vesperman Radiology suite. This has helped patients get faster appointments and not have to travel to outside hospitals for their testing. By using an in-house MRI unit instead of the mobile semi unit, patients have a more pleasant experience. They feel less claustrophobic, don't have to go out into the elements, do have a choice of music to listen to and overall feel a better sense of comfort. Our MRI has a bore opening of 2.3 ft, making it one of the largest in the region.

MRI appointments can be made 5 days a week. Please call 608.723.2143 to schedule your appointment and be sure to ask if you need other time accommodations. Please allow up to one week for your insurance to be checked to verify prior authorization status. Many times this can be accomplished as early as 24 hours, however each case is different.

Please tell your provider, nurse, technologist, and scheduler if you have any of the following:

  • Cardiac pacemaker.
  • Aneurysm clip(s).
  • Cochlear implant or implanted hearing aid.
  • Hearing aid.
  • Implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
  • Electronic implant or device.
  • Magnetically activated implant or device.
  • Any type of prosthesis or implant.
  • Artificial or prosthetic limb.
  • Any metallic fragment or foreign body.
  • Any external or internal metallic object.
  • Neuro/spinal cord stimulator.
  • Insulin or infusion pump.
  • Implanted drug infusion device.
  • Medication patches.

Your provider, nurse, technologist and scheduler may ask you the same questions multiple times; however this is because any of the above items and any other metal containing items can cause discomfort, and in some causes injury, if placed in or near the MRI. We strive to be very thorough to ensure your safety while obtaining the best quality images possible. Any metal item can also decrease the quality of your images. That's why you will be asked to change out of all personal items and into hospital-provided gowns.

If there is any chance of pregnancy, or if you are breastfeeding, please notify your ordering provider and the technologist before scheduling your exam.

Commonly asked questions

Does MRI have radiation?

No. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and advanced computer technology to produce diagnostic images for your provider and the radiologist to review to help make your proper diagnosis.

What is MRI?

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It is a diagnostic imaging scan that uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and advanced computer technology to produce images of your anatomy. Advanced technology obtains cross-sectional images to provide clear, detailed images of the body. This helps your provider and the radiologist to see what may be happening within your body to aid in your diagnosis.

Does MRI hurt?

MRI is a generally a painless study. Patients may be uncomfortable lying flat, and some patients may need to have an IV started to complete the test. However, the exam itself is painless, although it could considered a noisy and lengthy study. We use different sponges to help aid you in the most comfortable position while still ensuring that we can obtain the best images possible.

What does a MRI show?

MRI can be used to visualize almost all parts of the body, but some other imaging modalities might show better detail. Your doctor, technologist and radiologist will help ensure you get the best imaging for what your provider is trying to pinpoint. MRI can be used for strokes, muscle/ligament tears, tumors, spine/disk disease, etc.

What can I expect during my MRI?

Before your exam, the technologist will go through a series of detailed questions. You may be asked to provide additional information if you have any surgical implants. You will sign a consent and be asked to remove all metal and to change out of your clothing and into a hospital-provided gown. If you bring a support person along, they will be asked to wait in the waiting room during the duration of your exam. Please make arrangements for child care during your appointment, as these exams can be as long as 60 minutes or more.

During your exam you will lie flat on the MRI table. Positioning sponges may be used to help make you more comfortable. Depending on the type of exam, an IV may be started to administer contrast or MRI dye.

You will hear a loud mechanical thumping or knocking sound and may hear a voice giving you breathing instructions. It is important to lie completely still while these sounds are happening, as this is when the images are being taken. If there is any motion during the images, the technologist may have to repeat that series of images.

During the scan itself, you are usually alone in the MRI room. However, the technologist is just behind a window barrier. They can see and hear you and can talk to you through an intercom during the scan.

How long before I get my results?

You will normally get your results within two to three business days. The technologist performing your exam is not able to release any results or information about your exam. Once the exam is completed, the technologist enters in the details of your history for the radiologist to review while looking at your images. There are many images for the doctor to review and once the finalized report is done, is sent to the provider who ordered your exam. They then take time to review the exam and report and decide any treatment or next steps that need to be taken before giving you the results of your exam.

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