You are here: Deaconess Hospital > Deaconess Hospital Services > Radiology & Imaging > MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI Team
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a highly advanced diagnostic technique which combines a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency waves and computers to produce high quality images of the body's internal tissues. These images help physicians diagnose a particular medical condition.

Before Your Test Begins

Since a strong magnetic field is always present within the scan room, not all patients should undergo an MRI scan. Please let your physician or the MRI technologist know if you have any of the following:

  • Cardiac pacemaker
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Joint replacement
  • Hearing Aid
  • Heart valve prosthesis
  • Neurostimulators (TENS-Unit)
  • Shunts
  • Insulin Pump
  • Electrodes
  • Cochlear prosthesis
  • IUD
  • Penile implant 
  • Metal mesh
  • Shrapnel/bullets
  • Orbital prosthesis
  • Dentures
  • Bone/joint prosthesis 

The technologist may also ask if you have done welding, grinding, or sheet metal work at any point during your lifetime. Let the technologist know if you're pregnant or you think you might be. Any of these conditions could make a different diagnostic exam a better choice than MRI.

Preparing for Your MRI

You may eat normally and take any prescribed medications prior to your MRI exam. After you arrive in the radiology department, you will be asked to put on a hospital gown. You'll be provided with a secure locker to store your personal belongings. For your safety, any objects that could be attracted by the magnet or interfere with image quality will not be allowed in the scan room. See below for a list of items which are not allowed in the scanning area.

Usually, family members and visitors are asked to wait for you in the waiting room. In special circumstances, they may be allowed to stay with you during the procedure. They must also undergo the same screening procedure as the patient and must leave any of the listed items in a secure locker.

MRI and MRA Safety Questionnaire
You may complete this form and bring it to your procedure or a copy will be provided to you when arrive.

Prohibited Items

During an MRI scan, the following items could interfere with the procedure or even become unsafe. Therefore, they are not allowed in the MRI scanning area. You may leave them at home, with family or friends, or in a secure locker which we will provide for you.
  • Keys
  • Watches
  • Hearing aids
  • Jewelry
  • Glasses
  • Bras with hooks/underwires
  • Metal zippers
  • Metal buttons
  • Wallet/money clips
  • Pocket knife
  • Pens/pencils
  • Credit/bank cards (magnetic strip)
  • Coins
  • Belt buckles
  • Safety pins
  • Removable dental work
  • Hairpins/barrettes

During Your Examination

The technologist will position you on the padded table and make you as comfortable as possible for the exam. The table will then be maneuvered into the MRI chamber. You'll enter the chamber either head-first or feet-first, depending on the area of your body to be scanned.

If you are claustrophobic, alert your physician before arriving!

Depending on the type of scan being performed, your physician may ask the technologist to administer a contrast material to enhance the magnetic effects within your body. This is administered through an intravenous injection, similar to what you experience when you have a blood test. You will hardly notice the injection, and your body will eliminate the contrast in approximately 24 hours.

It's very important that you remain still during the MRI scan. Even slight movement can result in blurry images and may make it necessary to take more images. As the scanning begins, you will hear nearly continuous tapping noises. These sounds are a normal part of the operation of the scanner and are no cause for alarm.

Relax And Enjoy The Music

Headphones and music are provided for most examinations. Some studies require you to use earplugs instead of headphones because of the position of your head or neck during the exam. You may bring a favorite CD or tape, and we'll play it for you if possible. The technologist will communicate with you via an intercom system during the procedure and will be in visual contact at all times.

Following Your Exam

The entire exam will take about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the type of exam being performed. When it is complete, you may leave the hospital and immediately resume normal activity. A physician specially trained in MRI will interpret your study and send the results to your doctor, who should then inform you of the results.

Contact Us

Questions about your upcoming procedure? Contact your primary physician or call the Radiology front desk at 812-450-3471.

ACR Accredited Facility