FAQ ~ High Field MRI & Open MRI
Frequently Asked Questions about the MRI Procedure & Your Appointment
What should I do to prepare for my MRI?
No special preparation is required prior to your MRI exam. You may eat normally and go about your daily routine. Continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed.
Because of the magnetic field, you will be asked to leave the following items in a safe place outside the scan room:
- Credit cards
- Hearing aids
- Hair pins
- Other metal objects
We recommend that you wear comfortable clothing. You may also be asked to remove makeup and dentures and to wear a hospital gown to avoid magnetic interference from belt buckles and zippers.
Because of the potentially harmful effects associated with some metallic objects in a magnetic field, you should check with your physician or MRI technologist if you have had any brain, ear, eye, or other surgeries or any of the following:
- Neurostimulator (TENS-unit)
- Metal implants
- Intrauterine device (IUD), etc.
- Aneurysm clips
- Surgical staples
- Implanted drug infusion device
- Foreign metal objects in the eye
- Shrapnel or bullet wounds
- Permanent eyeliner
If you are pregnant, please notify your physician.
What happens during the MRI procedure?
While the MRI is being conducted, you will lie on a table while the technologist conducts the test from an adjacent room. Once you are situated on the table, make sure you are comfortable so that it is easy to keep still. Breathe normally, and try to remain as relaxed and still as possible. There is nothing about the procedure to make you uncomfortable. The only thing you will notice is a faint knocking sound that represents the changes in the magnetic field that are part of the imaging process. Once the exam is over, the technologist will assist you out of the scan room. Our staff will do everything they can to make sure that your MRI experience is a pleasant one.
How long does the MRI procedure last?
The procedure typically will last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the type of information required by your physician. You just need to be as still as possible during the exam. In fact, some patients fall asleep during the MRI exam.
A technologist will be able to see you at all times. For your convenience, an intercom system is built in, so that if you need anything, the technologist will be right there. In certain instances, a contrast agent may be administered to enhance the study. There are no extra precautions if your doctor requires this. Consult the doctor or technologist if you have any questions.
When will my doctor get the results of my MRI?
Results can be expected within 24 to 48 hours. STAT results can be requested by your doctor.
Can I eat before my MRI?
You may eat normally and go about your daily routine before your MRI. Continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed.
I'm very claustrophobic. What can I do?
Our Open MRI system helps relieve anxieties of many of our patients who are uncomfortable in enclosed spaces. Open MRI offers more space and allows you to relax. However, if you anticipate that a high level of anxiety might otherwise prevent you from remaining still while undergoing your MRI exam, please ask your doctor to prescribe a sedative for you to take just prior to your exam. Such a request is not uncommon.
What insurance policies do you accept?
Insurance is often complicated. Nearly all insurance carriers will cover a percentage of fees for an MRI exam. The percentage of coverage does vary with policies. To avoid confusion, it is best to review your personal policy, consult with your insurance carrier, or contact our offices at:
- Main Office: (800) 943-8099
- MRI Office: (925) 838-1440
- Physical Therapy Office: (925) 838-1550
Will I have a co-pay at the time of service?
That will depend on the type of insurance coverage you have. We should be able to tell you that at the time you schedule your appointment.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
We can only work with one patient at a time, so an appointment means that we have reserved that time especially for you. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call us at least 24 hours in advance, so that we may meet another patient's needs.