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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields instead of radiation to take highly detailed pictures of the body. The images are obtained by surrounding the area of study with a magnet, which causes the water molecules inside the body to move. A computer picks up the movements and converts them into pictures. The images are then displayed on a computer screen for the radiologist to examine.
Martha Jefferson Hospital has the latest in high-field strength magnets, which are scanners that fully surround the body so that optimal images are obtained. Martha Jefferson also has a wide-bore MRI machine designed to make our patients feel more comfortable and at ease.
You will lie on a table that slides into the opening of the MRI machine.
While the scan is in progress, you will hear banging noises that are caused by the changing magnetic fields. To make you more comfortable, you will be offered earplugs to block the noise. If your MRI exam is scheduled at the main hospital, please feel free to bring your favorite CD to listen to during your exam.
The two-way microphone and speakers inside the MRI machine allow you and the technologist to speak to each other during the scan.
An MRI takes 30 to 45 minutes or longer, depending on the area of the body being scanned.
In most cases your MRI exam requires no special preparation or restrictions. Wear loose, comfortable clothing for your appointment. No jewelry or clothing with metal materials will be allowed into the exam room (i.e. zippers, snaps). It is important that we know if you have any of the following:
MRI with Contrast
If your MRI was ordered with contrast, you will be receiving the contrast through an IV. Please note that lab work is required for the following patients prior to their appointment: history of diabetes, history of hypertension, history of severe hepatic disease, or over the age of 65. Lab values obtained within 6 weeks of the scheduled appointment are acceptable. We are also able to obtain lab values at the time of appointment if needed. Your physician's office must notify us if this service is needed at time of scheduling.
MRI of the Abdomen
No eating or drinking 4-6 hours prior to your exam.
MRI Patient Screening Form
Download MRI Patient Screening Form