MRI Frequently Asked Questions

When your health care provider orders a test it’s natural to have questions.  Review some commonly asked questions about an MRI here.  Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

MRIs or Magnetic Resonance Images let doctors see inside your body to identify a wide variety of possible medical conditions—all without exposure to X-rays. Instead, an MRI uses a powerful magnet, radio waves, and special coils to detect electrical signals from your body. A computer then processes this information to create detailed images our doctors can use to find out what’s wrong with you or a family member.

MR imaging is painless and much quicker than you might think, especially with our new Philips Ingenia Ambition 1.5T. It has a wide opening, so it’s much less confining than older MR systems and a lot more comfortable for more patients. Since it’s fast and accurate, you’ll be finished quickly and it’s less likely your doctor will have to run any follow-up scans.

MRIs use no harmful radiation and there are no known health side effects. MRI studies are very low-risk procedures for
most patients.

An MRI isn’t for everyone. Be sure to inform your physician 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 breastfeeding.

For many MRI exams, no special preparation is needed. For some, you may need to fast for 4-12 hours prior to the exam. Others require you to swallow a fluid, or to have an injection, that helps show what’s going on inside your body.

Guidelines vary with the specific exam. You will be asked to remove all metal (earrings, watches, bobby pins, etc.) and credit cards. You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or wear loose-fitting clothing with no metal fasteners, zippers or buttons.

With our advanced Philips Ingenia Ambition 1.5T, we can perform routine exams of the brain, spine, knee, ankle, and liver quickly and easily. More complex vascular, cardiac, and musculoskeletal studies can last from 20 to 40 minutes. You should allow extra time in case the exam lasts longer than expected.

At Yankton Medical Clinic, P.C., we have recently added the Philips Ingenia Ambition 1.5T MR system to ensure our doctors and staff have access to the best imaging equipment available and that our patients have the best possible experience.

The Philips Ingenia Ambition 1.5T delivers superb image quality, fast exams, and a more open experience that you can feel good about. In fact, most scans can be performed with your head entirely out of the opening. In addition to the wide bore, the Ingenia Ambition 1.5T features an ambient experience that uses light to make your experience a bit more relaxing and the in-bore experience itself is accompanied by audio and visual enhancements to reduce anxiety and provide a more relaxing experience.  Check out this video featuring the Ambient Experience

The in-bore experience provides soothing audio. However, the magnet does make a slight rapping sound as images are being taken. The Ingenia Ambition 1.5T comes equipped with technologies that are able to reduce acoustic noise by up to 80%. In between scans the machine is quiet. Your MRI technologist will provide you with hearing protection, but you can still hear the technologist if he or she speaks to you during the exam.

We’ll get the highest quality results if you hold still during the exam. The technologists will guide you and let you know when you can move between scans.

You’ll be in contact with one of our technologists at all times. Even when he or she is not in the MRI room, you will be able to talk to him or her by intercom. In some cases, a family member is welcome to stay in the room with you during your scan.