Open MRI FAQs


What is MRI?
What should I expect during the test?
Will I get an injection?
What is the weight limit for that Stand Up Open MRI?
Can I have an MRI if I am pregnant?
Are MRI scanners dangerous?
Why are MRIs so noisy?
Why do MRI scans take so long?
How do I prepare for an MRI?

Q: What is MRI?
A: Magnetic resonance scanning or imaging (MRI) is a method of looking inside the body without using surgery, harmful dyes or x-rays. The MR scanner uses magnetism and radio waves to produce remarkably clear pictures of the human anatomy. When you are referred by your physician for an MRI, he or she is utilizing the most advanced method of diagnostic imaging available in the world today. An MRI provides your physician with a great deal of information about your condition. If you are fortunate enough to be referred for a scan in a FONAR MRI machine, it will be a quick, comfortable and safe experience.

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Q: What should I expect during the test?
A: You will be brought to a changing room and asked to remove anything you are wearing that has metal. That includes bras, belts, jewelry, metal zippers, metal buttons, and hair pins. You will be positioned for the test in the scanner and made as comfortable as possible. You will be allowed to choose the channel on the tv and then the test will begin. The scanner makes a loud knocking noise during the test. you must hold very still during the test so the pictures come out clear. Once the test is over you will be brought back to your things and before you leave you will be given a CD or the films to bring to your doctor on your next visit.

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Q: Will I get an injection?
A: You will only receive an injection if your doctor orders the test done with and without contrast. You will not be given an IV, we use a butterfly needle to do the injection and take it out as soon as we are done injecting the contrast.

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Q: What is the weight limit for that Stand Up Open MRI?

A: 500lbs

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Q: Can I have an MRI if I am pregnant?
A: This question is difficult to answer with a simple “yes” or ‘no”. MRI is considered a safe procedure because there is no ionizing radiation used. It is still important to tell the technologist if you could be pregnant. You doctor and the radiologist will consult to determine if the risk outweighs the benefit of the scan and you will be asked to sign a consent that you understand the risks.

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Q: Are MRI scanners dangerous?
A: For the vast majority of people, there is no danger associated with having an MRI scan. For those people whose anatomy contains one or more of the following items, however, it is important to be aware of the possibility that an MRI could cause serious injury or death. Besides complete information about your medical history, your doctor and the MR staff must know if you have any metal in your body which cannot be removed, including:

  • pacemakers
  • implanted insulin pumps
  • aneurysm clips
  • vascular coils and filters
  • heart valves
  • ear implants
  • surgical staples and wires
  • shrapnel
  • bone or joint replacements
  • metal plates, rods, pins or screws
  • contraceptive diaphragms or coils
  • penile implants
  • permanent dentures

In the case of metal implants, it is often possible for patients to be scanned without danger. It is very important, however, that you reveal the presence of such items to the radiologist and MRI staff in order for them to evaluate whether or not such danger exists. Also, it is important to tell a member of the staff if you are pregnant or if you believe there is a possibility you are pregnant.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SCANNED UNTIL YOU SPEAK TO THE TECHNOLOGIST IF YOU HAVE A PACEMAKER OR OTHER IMPLANTED MECHANICALLY, ELECTRICALLY OR MAGNETICALLY ACTIVATED DEVICE.

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Q: Why are MRIs so noisy?
A: MRIs are noisy because of vibrating gradients,These gradient vibrations have been reduced to a minimum in FONAR scanners. Because the main magnetic field in FONAR scanners is vertical, enabling an open patient environment, what noise is present is dissipated rather than concentrated.

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Q: Why do MRI scans take so long?
A: Most scans are completed in about 20 minutes, although it sometimes takes longer depending upon the anatomy or condition for which the patient is being scanned.

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Q: How do I prepare for an MRI?

  • When a slot is reserved just for you. You should arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to allow sufficient time to complete the required paperwork.
  • If you must cancel or reschedule your appointment, please call (504) 934 4000
  • Bring a copy of the physician order form with you to your appointment, as well as all pertinent insurance information. If you have any other paperwork, including old x-ray and MRI studies
    or reports, also bring these to your appointment.
  • Wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes. Avoid belts and metal buttons. If your clothes contain metal, an examination gown will be provided. You may eat prior to your appointment.
  • All jewelry and other metal-containing objects, including body piercing jewelry, must be removed prior to MRI. It is advisable to leave these items at home. A locker will be provided
    for keys and other valuables.
  • If you have ever been shot or worked grinding metal or have any other reason to suspect that you have metal fragments inside your body, please call (504) 934-4000 to discuss with our staff.
  • If you have a pacemaker, please call (504) 934-4000 to discuss with our staff.
  • Most insurance policies accepted.
  • All major credit cards accepted.

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