An MRI scan is an outpatient procedure performed at Cooley Dickinson Hospital or Amherst Community Health Center, that usually lasts about one hour, maybe less. A technologist will review the images and prepare the information for interpretation by a radiologist. Then, the results will be forwarded to your doctor.
Your MRI scan: What You Should Expect
- Arrive at the center at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
- You will be greeted by the MRI Center patient coordinator who will answer your questions and obtain insurance information.
- Next, you will meet briefly with the technologist, who will discuss the procedure, show you how the system works, and confirm that you do not have any metal implants or other conditions that might interfere with the scan.
- For the scan phase, you will lie on a cushioned table. All you have to do is lie as still as possible when images are being acquired and follow simple instructions. For best results, please lie very still as motion can blur the image. You will be in contact with the technologist throughout the duration of the scan.
- The MRI has an opening at each end, allowing light and a steady stream of fresh air inside. Fans inside the scanner move air throughout.
- When you are having the scan, you will not feel anything. You will hear the sound of the MRI taking the pictures, which is a loud buzzing sound. You will be provided with hearing protection - either disposable ear plugs or, in some cases, music headphones (headphones are not compatible with certain exams.)
- Your scan will be completed in one hour or less. As there are no side effects, you can safely return home or to work and resume your normal activities.
- Contrast Injection - In some cases an intravenous injection of a contrast agent is necessary to provide additional information. Your doctor or MRI technologist will let you know if contrast has been ordered for your MRI.
The results of your MRI scan
MRI Center radiologists will review your images and a report will be sent to your doctor within 48 hours following your scan. If you have questions about the results of your MRI scan, please contact your doctor.