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What is an MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Without using traditional X-ray imaging, MRI allows physicians to see inside the body to diagnose and identify possible medical conditions. An MRI simply samples signals from the water that makes up your body. Specialized antennae create highly defined images that can be used to make diagnoses.

MRI testing is quick and painless. The patient lies on a comfortable, padded table. The accuracy and speed of the latest MRI scanners means that testing will be done quickly and the physician will have to run fewer, if any, follow-up scans.

MRI scans are not for everyone. Your physician needs to be informed if you have a pacemaker, aneurysm clips in the brain, a shunt with telesensor, inner ear implants, metal fragments in one or both eyes, implanted spinal cord stimulators, or if you're pregnant or breast feeding.

Quality Imaging... Latest Technology

Quality imaging with the latest technology has a major impact on the accurate diagnosis and treatment of disease or injury. Yankton Medical Clinic, P.C.'s facility uses the Achieva 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner from Philips Medical Systems. This system offers some of the clearest images available today, along with many patient-friendly features.

Your physician has scheduled an MRI to get a better picture of your health and to talk to you about a diagnosis or treatment plan. An MRI is a painless procedure, and thanks to many advancements in technology, there are many improvements to patient comfort as well:

  • High scan speed reduces scan time to approximately 30 minutes
  • Less intimidating in appearance and feel
  • Many scans leave shoulders & head outside of opening

Please read the questions & answers information provided to help you understand more about your scheduled MRI. Be sure to contact your physician if you have any additional concerns or questions.


MRI Frequently Asked Questions

Why are MRI scans important?

MRI scans allow physicians to see images of your internal organs and structures in great detail from many angles. This gives them information more quickly, and in many cases more economically, than past tests and exploratory surgeries.

Is an MRI scan like an X-ray?

No. An MRI scan uses a powerful magnet in conjunction with radio frequency waves to generate images of your internal organs and structures. It's one of the least invasive tests that can see inside the body.

How long will the exam take?

That will depend on what is being studied, but a typical exam lasts 30 minutes.

Does the machine make a lot of noise?

The magnet makes a slight rapping sound as images are being taken. In between scans the machine is quiet. The MRI technologist provides the patient with hearing protection, but its use will not prevent him or her from hearing the technologist if he or she speaks during the exam.

Do I have to hold still the whole time?

It is important for image clarity and the best scan results to hold still during the exam. The technologists will inform the patient when he or she may move between scans.

Will I be alone?

The patient will be in contact with a technologist at all times. Even when he or she is not in the MRI room, the patient will still be able to talk to him or her by intercom. In some cases a family member is welcome to stay in the room during the scan.