Diagnostic X-Ray is the oldest and most widely used means of medical imaging. It is also the most familiar means of medical imaging. Diagnostic X-Ray uses an external radiation source to image the human body. The source is placed over the area of concern or interest, and a technologist controls the amount of radiation from a control console. Images are often obtained in fractions of a second, and then processed and analyzed for quality.
What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or MRI) is a unique tool that constructs cross-sectional pictures of internal organs and structures using radio waves and magnets. MRI technology utilizes a powerful magnet to create a magnetic field that attracts and aligns hydrogen atoms inside the body. Radio wave pulses are then focused on the aligned atoms in a specific organ or body part. These radio signals are returned to a computer which translates them into three-dimensional images that radiologists can use to depict small and hidden structures within organs, blood vessels or joints or to contrast benign and cancerous tissue.
MRI imaging provides a unique view into the interior of the human body and has become an essential tool of modern medical imaging and disease diagnosis. In many cases, MRI provides important diagnostic information that cannot be obtained with other imaging techniques.
MRI is particularly useful for:
Edgewood Surgical Hospital utilizes the latest Open MRI technology. This newer machine offers extremely precise and detailed views of the body, aiding in complex diagnoses. And with the open and less confining space, the new high-field magnets provide a greater degree of patient comfort than older MRI machines.
MRI has proven itself as an invaluable tool for the last 20 years, and Franklin and Seidelmann Radiology Group are confident that advancing technology will find new applications for this important diagnostic resource.
Why Choose Edgewood Open MRI?
All MRI imaging requires a high-power magnet as part of the imaging process. People with prostheses, artificial heart valves, implants, or any metal device in their body must notify the MRI technologist before entering the MRI. Under no circumstance should any patient with a pacemaker enter the MRI room. Metalworkers who may have metal fragments in the eyes have a risk of damage to the eyes if a small metal fragment is present, and must have either a plain film or CT scan of the orbits before entering the MRI. Hip prostheses and other imbedded prostheses are usually safe for MRI imaging. As a precaution, every patient is asked about any metal before entering the MRI. If you have any implant or prosthesis, please have as much information about the implant on hand for your MRI appointment.
“The diagnostic capabilites of the Open MRI at Edgewood Surgical Hospital are superior. I can count on accurate and detailed results quickly, allowing me to administer treatment of surgery in a timely manner, getting the patient on the road to recovery faster.”
– Michael J. Jurenovich, D.O.
State-of-the-art MRI scanners must place the magnetic field in very close proximity to the body to create a good quality image. This requires the patient to lie very still on a sliding table. The table is then slid under the open cylinder where each of the MRI sequences is performed. When the MRI exam is completed, you are slid out of the machine. The entire procedure is painless.
Some people can feel uncomfortable, even in modern short-bore MRI magnets. "Open" MRIs have been developed for this reason. Edgewood Surgical Hospital does have an open-bore MRI for those patients unable to tolerate conventional MRI scanners. In addition, your doctor might prescribe a one-time dose of oral sedation. This dose can do wonders for making you more comfortable and can also reduce motion, which degrades the images.
Most MRI studies can be performed within 20-30 minutes. Some specialized MRI studies or dual studies can take longer. If you think you may need sedation, consult your primary doctor for a prescription for sedation before the examination. It will make your MRI experience much more comfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions on Open MRI
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a method of looking inside the body. Instead of X-rays, the MRI scanner uses magnetism and radio waves to produce remarkably clear pictures of your head, spine, or other parts of your body. An MRI scanner consists of a strong magnet with a radio transmitter and receiver. These instruments gather the information out of your body. MRI produces soft-tissue images and is used to distinguish normal, healthy soft tissue from pathologic tissue.
Depending on what information your doctor needs, the MRI scan may require the use of a contrast-agent given intravenously to assist in visualization of certain structures in your body.
Do I Need to Take Any Precautions When Having an MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a non-invasive and safe test. As Magnetic Resonance Imaging works with a strong magnet and radio waves, you need to tell us, if anything of the following applies to you or the person that accompanies you into the exam room:
Any metallic substance on you can affect the quality of the diagnostic images. It can also cause discomfort or even injury to you when placed into the metallic field.
Also, tell us if you are pregnant!
How Do I Prepare for an MRI?
No special preparation is needed prior to the exam, unless your doctor has given you other instructions. You will be asked to complete a safety screening form and answer questions pertaining to your medical history. Please wear loose clothing without zippers or metallic parts. Remove all jewelry, watches, hairpins, glasses, wallets and other metallic objects.
What Happens During an MRI Scan?
After you have removed all metal objects, the technologist will position you on a special table. Your head will be placed in a padded plastic cradle or on a pillow, and the table will then slide into the scanner. The MRI system makes scanning extremely comfortable and convenient for the patient. At all times you will be able to communicate with the technologist during the scan.
For clear pictures, you will be asked to hold very still and relax. In some cases, you will be asked to hold your breath. Any movement, especially of your head or back (even moving your jaw to talk) during the scan will seriously blur the pictures. While the machine is taking your pictures, you will hear rapidly repeating, thumping noises coming from the walls of the scanner, earplugs may be provided. During this time, you should breathe quietly and normally but otherwise refrain from any movement, coughing or wiggling. When the thumping noise stops, you must refrain from changing your position or moving about. This whole procedure will usually be repeated several times, and the entire exam ordinarily takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete.
What Happens Next?
An experienced radiologist at Franklin and Seidelmann Radiology Group will analyze your MRI images and send a report to your referring physician, who will inform you on your test results. Results cannot be given directly to the patient or family.
Ultrasound is a procedure that uses high-frequency, inaudible sound waves that penetrate the body and "echo" off the internal organs to produce high-resolution images. This is very similar to the sonar technology used by submarines. The returning "echoes" are processed by a computer to produce high-resolution detailed images in real-time - a feature that is useful for visualizing movement and intricate details in tissues, organs and blood vessels.
Ultrasound is a non-invasive process - which means it does not penetrate the skin or body opening - and is used to safely examine many parts of the body, such as the kidneys, liver and spleen, pancreas, thyroid, brain, female pelvis, heart, and hips. Special techniques have been developed to detect and examine blood flow in the arteries and veins. Ultrasound can also be used to guide minimally invasive procedures such as needle biopsies.
Because ultrasound uses sound waves and not radiation, there is no danger of prolonged exposure. Ultrasound imaging can be performed safely on any patient, even on pregnant women and small children.
The ultrasound technologists at Edgewood Surgical Hospital have certifications in all areas of ultrasound such as vascular and abdominal imaging. While a radiologist may not be present during the study, the ultrasound study is reviewed by a radiologist. An ultrasound study usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete.
Do I Need to Prepare for an Ultrasound?
Depending on the type of ultrasound study you are having, there may be a preparation required. Please see the instructions below:
What Happens Next?
An experienced radiologist will analyze your ultrasounds and send a report to your referring physician, who will inform you on your test results. Results cannot be given directly to the patient or family.