Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a technique used to form pictures of anatomy and the physiological process of the body. MRI scanners use magnetic fields to produce images. MRI does not involve the use of X-rays or ionizing radiation.

Compared with CT scans, MRI scans typically take longer, ranging from 30 minutes to over an hour. They are also louder and many machines are more enclosed. They are also unacceptable scans for patients with certain medical implants or other non-removable metal inside their body.

At Midland Memorial Hospital, the MRI department maintains American College of Radiology accreditation on all of our machines. The American College of Radiology sets strict quality standards that must be followed by an organization to maintain this accreditation.

What can I expect during the exam?

The scanner is essentially a large, circular machine with a table extending from the opening of the machine. A registered MRI technologist will position you on the table and assist you in getting situated and comfortable. They will also explain the procedure and answer any remaining questions you may have. The technologist will monitor the exam from the adjacent control room. You will be able to communicate with the technologist via an intercom system in the machine itself.

As the exam begins, the table will slide into the scanner’s opening. Throughout the exam, you may hear a series of loud noises and chirps. You have the option of wearing headphones for most procedures to drown the noise out if you choose. Depending on the exam performed, you may be given an intravenous injection to increase the contrast between different tissues. This is accomplished via a small catheter inserted into a vein.

Will I be exposed to radiation?

MRI does not involve X-rays or the use of ionizing radiation. The scanners use strong magnetic fields to generate images.

How do I prepare for the exam?

If any special preparation is required for your examination, your provider’s office or the Midland Memorial Hospital scheduling department will inform you upon scheduling the exam. If you still have questions, please call (432) 221-2300.

In order to obtain the highest quality images, you will be asked to remove any items that could obstruct the scan, such as jewelry. Most scans will require you to change into a hospital gown.

How will I know the results?

Following your exam, a radiologist will analyze and interpret the data from your exam and prepare a full report. The report will be sent directly to your physician who will share the results with you. To request a copy of the report, you may contact your physician's office or the Medical Records Department at (432) 221-1600.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Your physician's office will provide you with the necessary referral and will either contact Midland Memorial Radiology scheduling or may have you call and make the arrangements. To schedule an appointment, you may contact us at 432.221.2300

What do I need to bring with me the day of the exam?

You will need to bring the order your physician gave you, a form of personal identification and any insurance or Medicare information. If you are taking any medications, please print and complete the second page of the Pocket Medication Card and bring the list with you. Please do not bring the medications. This will help expedite your visit and reduce the possibility of losing any of your medications.