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What can I expect during an MRI exam?

Dr. Ed Cordivin  

Ed Cordivin, MD, is a radiologist at Page Hospital.

Question:  What can I expect during an MRI exam?

Answer:  Although MRI is an advanced medical technique, the exam is probably one of the easiest and most relaxed you may ever experience.

  • The technologist will ask you to lie down on a cushioned table that automatically moves into the center of the magnet after you have been comfortably positioned.
  • The technologist will leave the magnet room, but (s)he will be in constant contact throughout the exam. The magnet makes a knocking sound as images are taken, but earplugs and headphones will be provided for your comfort. Since MRI is a non-invasive procedure, it is painless.
  • Relax - even take a nap.
  • Lie as still as possible. Moving during the procedure may require repeating parts of the exam.
  • The doctor may ask for a contrast agent to be administered, so the machine can visualize a certain part of your body. If this is the case, you may have an intravenous (IV) line inserted. The contrast agent should not make you feel different at all.
  • Depending on the area of the body being scanned, the exam will last 30 to 60 minutes. 
Page Last Modified: 02/22/2010
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