Patient safety tips prior to the MRI
Because of the strong magnetic field used during the exam, certain conditions may prevent you from having a MR procedure. When scheduling your appointment and prior to your exam, please alert our staff and technologist to the following conditions that may apply to you. The radiology staff will let then let you know whether you can have the MRI exam and whether the exam needs to be modified for your particular condition.
- History of kidney problems
- Skin tattoos
- Implanted Neurostimulator (TENS-unit)
- Implanted drug infusion device (i.e., insulin pump)
- Exposure of metal fragments to your eye
- Metallic heart valves
- Aneurysm clips
- Cochlear implants
- Metallic implants and prosthesis
- Vascular stent or stent graft
- History as a metal worker
- Shrapnel or bullet wounds
- Dorsal column stimulators
- Other conditions you believe to be relevant
- Please leave your valuables at home, including jewelry, to prevent it from being lost, for they have to be removed prior to entering the scan room.
- If you experience anxiety related to claustrophobia, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication for you to take prior to your MRI appointment. If doing so, please have someone drive you.
What can I expect before my MRI?
- Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your exam and check in with the receptionist. You will need to complete the MRI screening form.
- Wear comfortable clothing without any metal. To eliminate possible MR safety issues, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown. A locker will be supplied to secure your belongings.
- Our technologist will review and verify your identification, screening form, and requested exam. If contrast is indicated, they will insert an IV catheter in your arm.
What can I expect during my MRI?
- The duration of the procedure will vary but the average is 30 minutes per body part.
- You will be required to lie still during the actual MR scanning. If your abdomen is being examined, you may be instructed to hold your breath for up to 30 seconds.
- The MRI machine is open on both ends. It is well lit and there is a fan for patient comfort. There is also a two way intercom system for communication between patient and technologist. The part of the body being scanned will be placed in the middle of the magnet.
- During the actual imaging, you will hear a loud intermittent banging noise. You will be provided with earplugs or head phones to minimize the noise during the procedure.
- The technologist will provide you with an alarm button to alert them of any discomfort you may experience during the exam.
- Some MRI exams require an injection of intravenous MRI contrast. Inform the technologist if you experience any discomfort during the injection.
How are CT scans performed?
A radiology technologist will perform the CT scan. During the test, you will lie on a table inside a large, doughnut-shaped machine. As the table slowly moves through the scanner, the X-rays rotate around your body. It’s normal to hear a whirring or buzzing noise. Movement can blur the image, so you will be asked to stay very still. You may need to hold your breath at times.
Your doctor might tell you not to eat or drink for a few hours before the procedure. You may also need to wear a hospital gown and remove any metal objects, such as jewelry.
How long the scan takes will depend on what parts of your body are being scanned. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a half-hour.
A computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan uses a combination of X-rays and a computer to create pictures of your bones, organs, and other tissues. It shows more detail than a regular X-ray. The data collected may be assembled to form three-dimensional images.
Some CT exams require an injection of intravenous contrast. Inform the technologist if you experience any discomfort during the injection.
You Can Expect:
- Ease of Scheduling
- On-site Board Certified Radiologist
- Accurate reports within 12-24 hours
- Images available to referring offices via internet viewing or CD- ROM
- Most Insurances accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA IMAGING