Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a computer, magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images within the body. It can be used for virtually all parts of the body, and helps our board-certified radiologists at Radiology and Imaging Specialists at Lakeland Regional Health deliver a fast and accurate diagnosis for your physician. It is essential for diagnosing certain conditions, such as heart disease, vascular disease, stroke and cancer, as well as disorders of the spine, bones and joints. Breast MRI and MRI-guided breast biopsy are beneficial for the early detection of breast cancer, and breast MRI provides an adjunct to mammography for women at high risk.
Radiology and Imaging Specialists at Lakeland Regional Health has several different MRI units available. Wide-bore MRI is available at our Lakeland Regional Health, Central Office location and our Pablo Campus location. We also offer the option of 3T and open MRI systems which are a great alternative for patients who are claustrophobic.
MRI does not utilize any form of ionizing radiation, so no special preparation is needed. You may eat normally and take your regular medication. Please wear comfortable clothing, like sweats. Clothing with zippers, metal buttons or snaps cannot be worn. This includes underwire bras as well. If needed, a cotton dressing gown will be available for you to use.
Some of our patients who undergo an MRI may feel anxious or claustrophobic. If needed, a mild sedative may be administered. The open construction of newer wide-bore MRI systems has done much to reduce this reaction.
Because of the potentially harmful effects associated with all metallic objects in a magnetic field, you should check with your physician or MRI technologist if you have:
- Ear implants (Cochlear)
- Some artificial heart valves
- Surgical staples
- Neuro-stimulator (TENS unit)
- Aneurysm clip(s)
- Implanted drug infusion devices
- Worked as a welder or grinder of metal
Objects that will need to be removed before the MRI procedure include:
- Clothing containing metal zippers, belts, or buttons
- Removable dental work (non-removable dental work is fine, but may distort the images if scanning the facial or
- head area)
- Hearing aids
With some examinations, an injection into a vein is required. The MRI technologist will explain the procedure further is your exam requires this.
Please inform your technologist or radiologist if you are pregnant.
What to Expect
An MRI exam can take 15 to 60 minutes or longer, depending on the area of the body being imaged and the detail required.
Your comfort is our top priority. The staff at Radiology and Imaging Specialists at Lakeland Regional Health are specially trained in keeping your nerves at bay and making sure you are comfortable. You will lie on a special table. The technologist will then leave the room as the individual MRI sequences are performed and will observe you during the procedure. The technologist will communicate with you during the exam through the use of an intercom within the scanner. You will be asked to remain still during the examination.
A loud tapping or knocking noise is normal as the MRI machine operates. Our MRIs are equipped with special headphones for music, or you can choose earplugs if you prefer.
After your MRI, you can resume normal activities, eating/drinking and medication. Your doctor will receive a report from our radiologist with your test results.
If you need an MRI, please contact Radiology and Imaging Specialists at Lakeland Regional Health at (863) 688-2334.