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What to Expect Test

What to expect during the exam: 
The scan room contains a large window to help patients who may feel claustrophobic. Inside the room there is a large donut-shaped magnet with a padded table, which moves you into the center of the machine. For most patients having a lower extremity or lumbar spine MRI, the head and shoulders are left out of the machine. There is no pain or other sensations during the exam; however, an MRI is a noisy machine that produces intermittent humming, clicking, and knocking sounds. Earplugs are available, and we provide an assortment of music to help you relax during your exam. You are also welcome to bring your own CD. The scanner is equipped with a two-way intercom for communication with the technologist. You are never left unattended during an MRI exam.

For some exams, a "contrast agent" will be injected into a vein in your arm to improve the quality of the images. If the "contrast agent" will be used in your exam, staff will inform you in advance.

How long does an MRI exam take:
The length of MRI examinations can vary from 20 minutes to an hour, but generally average about 45 minutes.

After the exam:
After checking to be sure your exam resulted in high-quality images, the technologist will remove you from the scanner.  There are no post-exam instructions. You may resume to your normal diet and activities after the exam is complete.