MRI is short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a procedure used in imaging centers to scan patients and determine the severity of certain injuries. An MRI machine uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body. Common reasons people go in to get an MRI are for a sprained ankle or back pain.

What should I do to prepare for an MRI?

There is little to no preparation needed before getting an MRI. When you first arrive at the hospital, the doctors will ask you to change into a gown. You will also be asked to remove all accessories such as jewelry, credit cards, and any metallic objects. The reason for this is because MRIs involve magnets, which may interact with objects in your possession. This in turn may lead to bad results and/or poor image quality.

You can breathe a sigh of relief. An MRI is not going to hurt one bit. The exam itself is a painless procedure that is noninvasive, meaning that the body is not tampered with in any way. Since humans are not able to feel any type of radio waves, patients will not feel a thing. A loud tapping noise will be experienced, however, as the magnets are turned on and off throughout the exam. No need to worry, though. If you think the noise will bother you, just ask the technician for a pair of earplugs to drown out the noise.

So how does MRI work?

A strong magnetic field is created by passing an electric current through the wire loops. While this is happening, other coils in the magnet send and receive radio waves. This triggers protons in the body to align themselves. Once aligned, radio waves are absorbed by the protons, which stimulate spinning. Energy is released after “exciting” the molecules, which in turn emits energy signals that are picked up by the coil. This information is then sent to a computer which processes all the signals and generates it into an image. The final product is a 3-D image representation of the area being examined.

All Capitol Imaging Services centers are accredited in MRI by the American College of Radiology. The ACR awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of its practice. Image quality and procedure evaluations are conducted by board-certified radiologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field.

The program also evaluates personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs. All findings are reported to the practice via a comprehensive report that includes recommendations for improvement.

Capitol Imaging Services has an assortment of MRI systems throughout our affiliate network. Click here to learn more about MRI options offered throughout the southeastern United States.

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