MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the safest, most comfortable imaging techniques available. The sophisticated technology combines the use of a powerful magnetic field, radio waves, and a specialized computer system to produce detailed, multi-dimensional images of inside your body.

One advantage of an MRI scan is its ability to produce exceptionally detailed images of almost any part of the body, including internal organs, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and small soft tissues around the joints or spine that can’t be seen easily with other imaging methods.

MRI is a highly versatile tool used to detect, diagnose, and treat medical conditions such as cancer, injuries to the spine and joints, back pain, heart issues, neurological disorders, and other problems with the breast, brain, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvic areas.

How do I prepare?
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be given a gown to wear during your study.
  • Leave metal objects like jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures, and hairpins at home—metal objects can affect the results of the exam. You may be asked to remove hearing aids and any removable dental work.
  • Receive a possible blood test prior to the exam if you are over 60 years of age and IV contrast will be used for the exam.
  • Inform your physician and the technologist of prior surgeries, metal implants, pacemaker or aneurysm clips.
  • Inform your physician if you are claustrophobic or unable to lie down for an extended amount of time due to pain so that appropriate pre-medication can be ordered.
  • Notify the technologist immediately if you are nursing or may possibly be pregnant.
  • Contact Inland Imaging for special prep instructions if you have the following risk factors: renal disease, over age 60, a history of high blood pressure, diabetes or liver disease.
  • Abdominal/pelvic exams: Do not eat or drink four hours prior to your exam; continue to take medications as directed.
What should I expect?

First, you will lie on an exam table. Next, an MRI technologist will place a coil, which is a special device that sends and receives radio signals like an antenna, over the area of your body that will be examined. The exam table will move into the scanner. Several series of images, or “slices,” will be taken in short intervals.

It’s important you lie still throughout the exam. Pillows and cushions may be used to help you stay in a comfortable position.

You may hear knocking noises as the scanner takes the pictures. To ensure your overall comfort, you can choose from a variety of music options to play during the procedure. There is also an intercom system that allows you to communicate with the technologist and/or radiologist throughout the procedure.

An MRI is a painless, noninvasive exam. The exam may take 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the area of your body that is being examined and whether or not a contrast material is used to enhance viewing. A radiologist will interpret the images and send a report to your doctor, who will share the results with you.

What if I’m claustrophobic?

If you suffer from severe claustrophobia, or if you are too large or fragile for a conventional MRI machine, an Open MRI could be a good option for you. An open MRI scanner provides more space around the body so that the magnet does not completely surround you during the exam. An exam with an open MRI typically requires more time than a conventional MRI.

What if I’m unable to travel to Spokane for my exam?

Inland Imaging’s mobile MRI unit travels to many Eastern Washington communities that surround the Spokane area. MRI images taken in the mobile unit are sent electronically over Inland Imaging’s secure network to a staff radiologist, who will read the images and send a report to the referring physician within 24-48 hours after your exam. An MRI technologist will administer your test to ensure the safety and accuracy of the exam.

If you are unable to travel to Spokane for your exam, check the schedule below to see if and when our mobile MRI services are near you.

Click to download schedule (PDF)

How do I make an appointment?

Most of the time, your physician will work directly with Inland Imaging to schedule an appointment for you. If you have been asked to make your own appointment, contact Inland Imaging for scheduling information at 509.455.4455 or toll-free at 1.800.826.2944. Before calling, be sure your physician's order and insurance information (including pre-authorization, if needed) are readily available.

Patient Stories

College basketball player Madison Wright, speaks about her MRI experience. Watch Video