Frequently Asked Questions
What is MRI?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a magnet-based imaging device, free of radiation, that images a specific part of the body based on the way it acts in a magnetic field.
How soon will I get my report?
Your report and images will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your exam. You should take your report with you to your doctor to determine what therapy/treatment options would be best, if any. We are happy to help get this information to your doctor.
Do I need contrast for my study?
Contrast is the dye that is injected into the body before imaging. For a basic extremity exam of the bones, joints or spine, contrast is usually not necessary. Because our radiologist is MSK specialized, meaning reading MRI of bones and joints is what he does best, and this eliminates the need for contrast for general scans. There are some circumstances where an exam would need contrast within the joint called an arthrogram. This would have to be scheduled with a radiologist to have a procedure performed prior to the exam. Unfortunately we are unable to perform arthrograms at this time.
That being said, we fully acknowledge that we do not know your full medical history, and you should consult with your physician before performing a scan without contrast if otherwise prescribed.
How should I prepare for an MRI?
You should dress comfortably on the day of the exam. If you prefer, we are happy to provide scrubs for you to change into upon arrival to eliminate any zippers or buttons on your clothing. Please refrain from wearing any jewelry or hair pins, as these items will have to be removed prior to the exam. Please bring any documentation regarding implants that you may have in your body such as pacemakers or other implants.
Do you take insurance?
We do not take insurance. However, some insurance companies will count the cost of the exam towards your deductible or even reimburse you. You will need to check with your insurance company prior to your visit for additional details.
Who shouldn't get an MRI?
If you have an implantable device such as a pacemaker, cochlear implant or nerve simulator, you may not be able get an MRI. Other metallic foreign bodies from grinding, gun shots, or shrapnel may disqualify you from the exam. A screening form will be used to make sure that it is safe to enter the magnet. Our MRI technologist will discuss your screening at your appointment.
What if I can't understand my report?
The Report page on our website will help identify some terms in your report that may be difficult to understand. The radiology report is designed to help other medical personnel understand your images and contains medical language. The report should be taken to your doctor to discuss the findings and the best direction to take whether that includes treatment or no treatment. The impression at the end of the report is intended to be a summary.
We also offer consultation options to discuss the findings of your report either over the phone or in person with Dr. Taylor for an additional fee. The purpose of these consultations is to help you understand the diagnosis and help you decide on next steps. These consultations are ideal for patients without a referring physician.
Are MRIs safe?
Yes, MRIs are extremely safe. They do not use ionizing radiation found in other imaging modalities such as CT or xray. There are small risks when it comes to allowing metal into the MRI room. You will be screened by a certified MRI technologist to make sure it is safe to enter the MRI room. If you have any implantable medical devices, you should let the technologist know. You should bring your documentation of your medical device to the appointment. Other risks involve that of retained metallic foreign bodies such as gun shot bullets and small metallic fragments from grinding or welding. Please let our technologist know of any such things.
Can I have an MRI if I am pregnant?
You should not get an MRI if you are in your 1st trimester of pregnancy. Otherwise, there are no known dangers of getting an MRI later in pregnancy. If you have any questions, please give us a call or consult your health care provider.
What if I get scared or claustrophobic during the exam?
The technologist can see you and hear you throughout the entire scan, and they are great at coaching your through. If you decide to stop the scan or need to exit the scan, just let the technologist know and they can remove you immediately. A full refund will be issued if you are not able to complete the exam. We do not offer sedation or prescriptions for anxiety, but you are welcome to visit with your doctor prior to your exam and take something before you come. If you do opt for a prescription, please ensure that you have a driver accompany you to and from the exam. It is best to take this medication about 20 minutes before your exam.
The MRI machine in our Salt Lake clinic is a wide bore. The opening is approximately four inches wider in all directions.
Do you have any evening or weekend hours?
Yes! We are now offering some evenings until 8 PM and Saturday mornings until 1 PM. Call today for availability, or visit our scheduling page for a convenient list of available appointments!
Can you do more than one body part in a scan?
MRI is a modality of imaging that provides a large amount of detail about a small area of the body. Because there are different cameras and angles involved in imaging different joints, each area does require its own time slot. These areas are standardized across the industry. Each area is considered it's own exam and is its own charge. We do provide a $50 discount on a second exam.
Will bone screws or joint replacement keep me from getting an MRI?
Aside from a pacemaker, aneurism clips, neurostimulators or other implanted devices, metal inside your body is surgical steel (titanium) and is MRI compatible. Regardless of the material, any metal implanted in your body for longer than six weeks has enough scar tissue around it that the magnet will have no effect.
If I have braces, can I still have an MRI?
Braces are not dangerous, and they will not move or shift during the exam. Because they are metal, they do occasionally repel the magnet, reducing imaging quality of the brain. For any other area of the body, they are completely safe.
Give us a call!