MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is a type of imaging test that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves. It generates clear images of the inside of your body. 

MRI scans are used in the diagnosis and evaluation of various conditions by examining soft tissues, such as organs, muscles, and joints. The scan is completely painless and does not require radiation to produce detailed images. 

At Grand Forks Clinic, our goal is to offer accurate diagnoses and timely results to help you regain your well-being. All imaging services provided at our facilities use cutting-edge technology and equipment to ensure you have the best care. 

Our team will provide you with high-quality diagnostic and monitoring services while always ensuring your safety.

What does an MRI help visualize?

Since MRIs do not need radiation to produce detailed images of your body, they are commonly used to evaluate and monitor sensitive structures, including: 

  • Brain and surrounding tissue
  • Organs in the chest and torso (heart, liver, kidneys, bowel, pancreas, and biliary tract)
  • Spine and spinal cord
  • Bladder, uterus, and prostate gland
  • Blood vessels

When is an MRI not suitable?

To know if an MRI is the best diagnostic tool for you, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and any medical or implant devices you may have in your body. 

If you have a metal implant or device in your body, it is important to notify your doctor. This ensures optimal results in your scans and prevents your devices from malfunctioning. 

MRIs are usually safe for everyone, including people with metal implants. However, if your device is categorized as unsafe for an MRI, your provider will discuss other scanning alternatives with you. 

Unsafe metal implants can distort MRI images, not allowing a precise visualization of your internal body structures. These can include:

  • Joint prosthetics made out of metal
  • Older models of cochlear implants
  • Metal coils in blood vessels
  • Older models of cardiac defibrillators
  • Metal braces

Please also inform your doctor if you:

  • Have spinal issues that do not allow you to lie on your back for more than 30 minutes
  • Have claustrophobia
  • Are pregnant

What can you expect during an MRI?

Preparing for an MRI

Before an MRI appointment, make sure to remove all jewelry. Wearing metal and electronic devices in the exam room could damage the magnetic field of the unit or cause dangerous burns. 

Items you should remove include:

  • Jewelry like earrings, necklaces, keychains, watches, or body piercings
  • Credit cards, cell phones, tracking devices, eyeglasses and hearing aids
  • Pins, underwire bras and metal zippers
  • Removable dentures

At Grand Forks Clinic, protecting your safety is our priority. Knowing this information and preventing the presence of hazardous items is important for your safety and comfort.

During an MRI

During the scan, you will be asked to lie on a narrow, motorized table that will slide into the MRI machine. Your doctor will give you a pair of earplugs to protect your hearing since the scanner will make loud noises while capturing the images. 

During the scan, you will be asked to stay very still to avoid any image blurring. Our technician will monitor the process from the adjoining room and instruct you through an intercom system. 

If you feel uncomfortable at any point during your scan, please notify our technician. 

After an MRI

MRIs are an outpatient procedure, which means you can resume your regular routine as soon as it's over. Sometimes, an injection of contrast material is applied before the scan.

If contrast material was used during your scan, we will provide instructions for post-exam care. Usually, drinking plenty of fluids helps flush out the contrast material from your body.

How can I manage anxiety during an MRI?

Although it is a completely safe procedure, some people may experience stress or anxiety during an MRI due to the amount of space within the machine. This is a normal experience that can be alleviated by following these tips:

  • Focus on your breathing
  • Plan for future events
  • Listen to music to avoid stress from the machine sounds
  • Wear an eye mask 
  • Bring a loved one along to your exam

Remember that anxiety during an MRI is a universal experience that can be managed without much issue. However, if you have or suspect having claustrophobia, make sure to notify your doctor.

How do you interpret MRI results?

Your MRI results will be electronically stored and reviewed by a radiologist who will interpret the images and create a detailed report to share with your doctor. 

Your doctor will discuss the results with you, providing direction on further monitoring, evaluation, or creating a treatment plan.

Schedule an MRI at Grand Forks Clinic

At Grand Forks Clinic, we offer advanced imaging & laboratory services, including MRIs, tailored to meet your unique healthcare needs. Our cutting-edge imaging technology and expertise ensure accurate and timely results.

We strive to deliver precise and personalized evaluations, ensuring the highest quality of care for your health. To schedule an MRI or other imaging services, call us at (701) 775-5800 or request an appointment online.

Grand Forks Clinic
5750 S Washington St
Grand Forks, ND 58201

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