Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a procedure in which radio
waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used
to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The
MRI scanning is non-invasive and uses magnetic and radio
waves, meaning that there is no exposure to X-rays or any
other damaging forms of radiation. It is designed to image
internal structures of the body. It can be used for
soft tissues such as the spine and the brain. These pictures
can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue.
There are no known dangers or side effects connected to an
MRI scan. The test is not painful so you cannot feel it while
having your exam.
Our specially trained Radiologists are board certified in
Body Imaging, Neuro-Radiology, Musculoskeletal and Vascular/Interventional
At Kimball Medical Center we offer highly advanced technology,
Siemens 1.5 Tesla that produces particularly clear pictures. Some
of the services we provide include the following:
MRI of the brain produces very detailed pictures of the brain.
It is commonly used to study patients with headaches, seizures,
weakness, blurry vision, etc. It also can further evaluate
an abnormality seen on a CT scan.
is most commonly used to look for a herniated disc or narrowing
of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) in patients with neck,
arm, back and/or leg pain. It is also the best test to look
for a recurrent disc herniation in a patient who has had
prior back surgery.
can evaluate virtually all of the bones and joints, as well
as the soft tissues. Tendon, ligament, muscle, cartilage
and bone injuries can be diagnosed using MRI scans. It can
also be used to look for infections and masses.
of the abdomen is most frequently used to further evaluate
an abnormality seen on another test, such as an ultrasound
or CT scan. Thus, the exam is usually tailored to look at
specific organs or tissues, such as the liver, adrenal glands
pelvic MRI is used to evaluate the ovaries and uterus as
follow-up to an ultrasound exam which showed an abnormality.
It is also used to evaluate endometrial cancer. For men,
pelvic MRI is sometimes used to evaluate prostate cancer.
MRA evaluates blood vessels. The blood vessels in the neck
(carotid and vertebral arteries) and brain are frequently
studied by MRA to look for areas of narrowing or dilatation.
In the abdomen the arteries supplying blood to the kidneys
are also frequently examined with this technique.
is also used to replace
traditional endoscope for the detection of biliary disease.
Preparing for an MRI scan is very easy. You can take all
your normal medications and follow usual eating schedules
unless your doctor gives you special instructions. The only
unusual preparation for an MRI scan is that all removable
metallic objects must be left outside the scanning room,
including removable hearing aids, dentures and other prosthetic
devices. Credit cards cannot be brought into the scanner
room since the magnetic codes on them can be affected by
For optimal image quality when performing head scans, all
makeup must be removed since it may contain metallic powders
which are magnetic and thus degrade image quality. You may
be asked to wear a hospital gown, since clothes may have
metallic fasteners or metallic fibers that can interfere
with the imaging. All patients are screened prior to
their test by the technologist. Ear protection is
always provided prior to the exam to reduce the noise level
during scanning. You may bring your favorite CD to
listen to during your exam or if you would prefer the MRI
technologist can provide the choice from a variety of music
Besides complete information about your medical history,
your doctor and the MRI staff must know if you have any metal
in your body which cannot be removed, including: pacemakers,
implanted insulin pumps, aneurysm clips, vascular coils and
filters, heart valves, ear implants, surgical staples and
wires, shrapnel, bone or joint replacements, metal plates,
rods, pins or screws, contraceptive diaphragms or coils,
penile implants, and permanent dentures. In most cases, you
can be scanned even though you have metal implants. Nevertheless,
the radiologist and MRI staff must be aware of them prior
to your exam. Also, tell a member of the staff if you are
pregnant or if there is a possibility you are pregnant.
Once the patient is setup and positioned on the table, depending
on the exam, it can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to
an hour. It may take more time if the exam requires an intravenous
injection or if multiple areas are being imaged during the
Depending on the exam and what your ordering physician is
requesting you may be given an intravenous injection also
known as a contrast injection (Omniscan) during the procedure. At
this time, there are no known significant side effects with
Yes, it is important to minimize movement in order to achieve
the best imaging results.
Your MRI images will be analyzed by a radiologist, a physician
who specializes in MRI testing. The radiologist will send
a signed report which includes an interpretation of the image
to your primary physician. Your physician will receive your
results soon after. At KMC we also offer our patients a free
copy of their exam on CD to share with their physicians.
All MRI exams are interpreted by a board certified radiologists
with subspecialty training in MRI procedures.