7301 Medical Center Dr.
Suite 103
West Hills, CA 91307-1904

Phone: (818) 346-4411
Fax: (818) 346-1798
Frequently Asked Questions

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)


What is a MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING examination?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique that allows doctors to see inside the human body in remarkable detail without using x-rays. Instead, MRI uses a powerful magnet, radio waves and a sophisticated computer system. This scan will provide your doctor with important information on certain types of body tissue (internal organs, joints, brain and spine) differently than an x-ray or a computed tomography (CT) scan.


You will be asked to remove all metallic items from your person, such as watches, jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, and hearing aids. Also, do not take any credit, bank, or parking cards with you into the scan as the scanner will erase the information recorded on the metallic strip. An area will be provided for safe-keeping of valuables.


Which patients may not be candidates for MRI?

You should not have an MRI scan if you are or suspect you may be pregnant, during your first trimester.

It is very important to inform the doctor or the technologist prior to the scan if you have any of the following metal implants or objects.

Aneurysm clips, artificial heart valve, bullets, cardiac pacemaker, eye, hip or knee prosthesis, insulin pump implant, intracranial clips, middle or inner ear prosthesis, shrapnel, sternal wire sutures, tantalum mesh, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation device. Additionally, if you have ever been a metal worker, it is important that you inform the technologist or patient scheduling coordinator of this, as you may be required to have an x-ray of your head before the scan to ensure that there are no metal fragments in your head.

This information will be asked on the day of the scan, and you will be asked to sign a form stating you are aware of the need to provide this information prior to the scan for your own safety.


What can I expect during the MRI scan?

The scan is performed by a skilled technologist with special training in MRI. Upon arriving at the MRI center, you will be greeted by a receptionist and asked a series of questions. Once in the scan room, you will be asked to lie on a padded table.

During the scan, it is important to hold very still, as movement will cause blurring of the pictures. Throughout the entire examination, you will be able to speak to the technologist via an intercom. Technologists will talk with you frequently during your scan, explaining the procedure each step of the way.

When the scanner is operating, you will hear loud thumping and clicking noises and may feel a slight vibration. This is normal.


How long will the MRI scan take?

Each MRI scan is different. However, most scans take approximately 40 minutes.


What will happen following my MRI scan?

Immediately following the scan, you may resume normal activities, diet and medications.

©2012; West Valley Imaging Center