What is an MRI scan?
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is an imaging modality used to produce high- quality images of the body, without the use of X-rays. Instead, it uses a strong magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce 3-D images of various both parts.
Where can I have my MRI?
You may schedule your MRI at Wheeling Hospital or the St Clairsville Clinic.
What are the hours of operation?
The hours of operation vary according to the facility.
Do I need a physician's order to have an MRI?
Yes, your physician must order your MRI. If you are given a written order (script) for your test, bring it with you or the exam may be delayed.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, you or your physician may call Radiology Scheduling, 304-243-3176 or 877-261-0471 to schedule your exam.
How do I prepare for the scan?
Before the scheduled exam, a scheduler will call and ask a few health history questions. This screening is to ensure there are no health risks associated with you being inside of the magnet. This screening is repeated after you arrive for the exam.
If you have a history of metal in your eyes, they may have to be X-rayed before the MRI.
Will I experience claustrophobia?
Claustrophobia is the fear of confined spaces. Wheeling Hospital uses a short-bore MRI scanner, which is wider and shorter (similar to the CT scanner) and does not completely enclose the patient, making it more patient-friendly. There is constant communication between patient and technologist via an intercom system.
Who may not be able to have an MRI?
Patients with the following medical devices may not be able to have an MRI:
- A cardiac pacemaker, which may not function in the magnetic field of the scanner.
- A catheter, which has metal components that may create a burn injury.
- A medication pump - insulin, etc.
- A cochlear implant.
Most of the new surgical metal implants are made of high-quality stainless steel that is nonmagnetic.
What must be removed before entering the MRI examination room?
- Clothing with a zipper, snaps or hooks.
- Purse, wallet, money clip, credit cards, cards with magnetic strips.
- Hearing aids.
- Jewelry, watches.
- Keys, coins, pens.
What happens during the scan?
You will be positioned on the MRI table. The technologist will operate the scanner from an adjoining room. You will have to lie still for periods of 3-10 minutes at a time, while a series of images are collected. You will not feel anything during the scan, but you may hear thumping, knocking or humming sounds from the scanner. You can breathe freely for most of the MRI exam. Your exam will last between 30 and 60 minutes.
What is contrast?
Some MRI procedures require contrast. Contrast is the term used for the material that is injected intravenously into a vein in your arm or hand to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels.