WHAT CAN MRI SEE?
MRI of the spine allows detailed noninvasive images of the spine that are impossible with any other type of testing. In other words MRI has become the "gold standard" for accurately diagnosing any anatomic abnormality of the spine.
MRI of the spine is used to diagnose disc disease, malformations, tumors, and fractures. MRI has no equal in the diagnosis and treatment of spine disorders.
WHY IS ADVANCED RADIOLOGY HEALTHCARE BETTER?
The GE 3 Tesla HD MRI at Advanced Radiology Healthcare gives noticeably better images than images from 1.5 Tesla (or less powerful) MRIs. This improved resolution, or image clarity, is easily apparent in spine imaging. Advanced Radiology Healthcare MRI images allows your Radiologist and your Personal Doctor to see details not always visible from lesser-powered MRI machines. When your Doctor sends you to Advanced Radiology Healthcare, feel confident that your MRI is the very best available.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE MRI EXAM?
MRI of the spine is no different than MRI of other areas of the body. A "coil" is placed over the area to be imaged. The coil is a radio antenna hidden within a plastic mold. Different coils are used to take images of the cervical spine, the thoracic spine, and the lumbar spine.
Most exams are done without any contrast. If contrast is indicated, it's an intravenous injection that is simple to administer.
While you're lying on the MRI table the MRI technologist customizes scanning parameters to maximize the image quality for your anatomy. You have your choice of audio headsets or video viewing goggles for your comfort during your exam. The technologist uses a microphone and speaker to constantly monitor you in the MRI machine. He or she will be talking to you from time to time during your exam. In addition, the MRI technologist is in constant visual contact with you through a large viewing window.
You will hear loud noises when the MRI is operating. That's normal. The noise is a side effect of the scanning magnetic fields used to get the MRI images. Clinical MRI scanning causes no known harmful effects upon living tissue. In fact, you should feel no pain whatsoever during the scan session.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MRI IMAGES?
Usually, several series of images are obtained because different MRI series look for different problems. Each series usually takes several minutes. We don't take shortcuts. The protocols used at Advanced Radiology Healthcare have been designed to be comprehensive. The images are instantaneously transmitted over the internet to Radiologists at Medical Diagnostic Imaging Group for reading. These raw images are also available to your Private Doctor. Usually our Radiologist will have a completed reading available for your Private Doctor within 24 hours of your examination.
ARE THERE ANY REASONS I CAN'T HAVE AN MRI?
If you have certain metal implants, any potential for metallic filings near your eyes, or certain surgical clips you may not be eligible to have an MRI. If you have kidney disease or kidney failure you may not be eligible for a contrast study. Lastly, extremely obese patients may not physically fit within the MRI machine. Please discuss any conflicts with your Private Doctor before you are scheduled for an MRI. At Advanced Radiology Healthcare we will screen you again to be certain you can safely have the MRI.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A SPINE MRI?
There's no special preparation needed for a spine MRI. Follow the advice on our main webpage and wear loose comfortable clothing without metal fasteners. Leave metal jewelry at home. We have a locker for your use while you're in the MRI machine but we recommend that you don't bring valuables. After your exam you can walk out and safely drive home, return to work, or perform any other activity immediately.
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