MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging
mri-machine

What Is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a radiological imaging technique used to visualize anatomy inside the body. This is done without using radiation or x-rays. An MRI is one of the safest and most advanced imaging techniques available. The exam uses a strong magnetic field and high-frequency radio waves to image the body. The information is gathered and a computer organizes the information into remarkably detailed two or three-dimensional pictures of the body.

Patient Preparation

A staff member from Open Advanced MRI NW will reach out to you to schedule your appointment. We’ll review your exam instructions and go through the safety screening questions with you. Generally, MRI exams don’t require special preparation. With a few exceptions, patients may eat and take their usual medications. Pain medications won’t effect the MRI. For patients who are experiencing pain, lying still for 30 minutes can be difficult. If you think you’ll have difficulties holding still due to pain issues we recommend taking your medication to ensure a successful exam.

You’ll be asked to remove any metal objects which may interfere with the scan (dentures, hairpins or jewelry for example). To avoid having to change into a gown, wear comfortable, metal-free clothing.

At Open Advanced MRI NW, common MRI exams include:

  • Arthography
  • Brain
  • Head and Neck
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Abdomen
  • Spine
  • Pelvis (including prostate and female organs)
  • Angiography

Please inform Open Advanced MRI NW prior to your exam if you have any of the following:

  • Pacemaker
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Cochlear (ear) implants
  • Metallic implants, staples or devices in the body
  • Implant of any type (e.g. prosthetic device, pain pumps, nerve stimulators, heart valves, etc.)
  • Kidney problems
  • History of ear surgery
  • History of eye surgery
  • History of brain surgery
  • History of metal in eye

You should also inform Open Advanced MRI NW if you:

  • Are or may be pregnant
  • Are breast feeding
  • Are claustrophobic (Please contact us prior to your appointment to make arrangements)

History of Previous Exams

Have you had any prior studies of the area we’re going to be imaging? It’s important to give this information to us prior to your exam. Be sure to include the facility name and approximate dates/years of exams. This helps us to locate the correct studies and have them available for our radiologists so they can compare and note any changes that have occurred. If you have a copy of your images, please bring them with you to your appointment.

Your MRI Exam

On the day of your exam wear comfortable, metal-free clothing and remember to remove all metal objects such as jewelry, glasses, clothes with zippers, keys, etc. The magnet can erase credit cards if they’re not removed. If you’re not wearing metal-free clothing, you’ll be asked to change into a gown.

At the time of your appointment, a technologist will take you to a changing room and provide you with a locker for your personal possessions. You’ll discuss your medical history, be told about the scan and have a chance to ask questions before the technologist escorts you into the MRI room.

Although the machine is large and may look intimidating, MRI procedures are pain-free. About 90 percent of scans require you to lie on your back. A coil (a type of imaging device) may be placed near or around the body part being scanned. If a contrast agent is needed, you will be given an IV injection during your exam. Allergic reaction to the contrast is rare but can occur.

Exams last approximately 30-40 minutes for each body part scanned. The scanner makes a loud knocking noise when it’s acquiring images. Earplugs or a headset will be provided to protect your ears from the noise. Each imaging sequence can take anywhere from 30 seconds to seven minutes. During the scan, you’ll need to lie very still because moving will cause blurry pictures. Unless otherwise instructed, breathe normally.

Once the exam is done, the images will be reviewed to ensure the appropriate area was imaged.

Your Results

MRI studies are reviewed by one of our radiologists, who will then dictate a report. For most scans, it takes 24 to 48 hours for your clinician to receive the radiologist’s report. Your doctor will discuss the results of the study with you and make plans for treating any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Are You Claustrophobic?

We’ve been offering OPEN MRI scans since its conception more than 15 years ago. We believe in providing you with the scan you need in the most non-confining environment possible. If there’s anything we can do to make your scan more comfortable, please let us know. We’ll even sit with you during your scan if necessary. We want you to be as comfortable, and confident as possible when you choose Open Advanced MRI NW.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is An MRI Safe?
The strength of the magnetic field and the frequency of the radio waves have no known harmful effects. However, there are some patients who can’t have an MRI test due to certain metallic and or electronic implanted devices. Not all metallic implants are contraindicated for MRI. You’ll be thoroughly screened prior to your exam to determine your safety.
Does My Size Matter?

Our MRI systems are built to accommodate patients up to 450 lbs. We’ll assist in making you feel as comfortable as possible during your exam.

Do I Need A Referral From My Doctor?
In order to perform the study we need a referral from your physician. Your doctor will provide us with the necessary information to perform the most accurate study.
How Do I Prepare For An MRI Scan?
The best way is to arrive metal-free wearing loose-fitting clothing with no buttons, zippers or metal. Leave all jewelry at home. Should you need to change, we do have changing rooms and lockers for your personal belongings. The technologist will instruct you on what items of clothing you need to remove prior to your exam.
What Happens During An MRI Scan?
You’ll be asked to lie down on the scanning table, usually on your back. We’ll make you comfortable with the aid of pillows, blankets, and sponges. An MRI coil is placed around the part of the body to be scanned. This acts as an antenna sending and receiving signals from the body part. MRI is motion sensitive so you’ll be asked to lie still during each scan. The technologist will be in contact with you throughout the exam.
Will I Hear Any Noise During The Scan?
Once the machine starts you’ll hear a variety of knocking sounds during each scan. Earplugs are available or we’ll provide you with piped in music. You’re welcome to bring your own CD! There’s a two-way intercom system allowing communication between you and the technologist.
What Do I Need To Tell The Technologist Before The Scan?
When you schedule your exam, you’ll be screened for MRI safety. Some implanted devises, particularly ones with batteries are contraindications for MRI. Advise the technologist of any previous surgeries, any reactions to previous exams/medications.
How Soon Will Receive The Results?
Your doctor will receive faxed results within 24 hours. If you’d like a copy sent to another medical practitioner, inform the office at the time of your exam. If you’d like a copy of your report, please let the office know and they’ll mail or fax a copy to you.
Is The Image Quality The Same As A Closed MRI?
Yes, the images from our open MRI systems are comparable to the images from a closed system. Using state-of-the-art technology, and aggressively pursuing the latest protocol developments have dramatically improved the quality of scans generated by Open Advanced MRI NW.
Are There Any People Who Can't Or Shouldn't Have An MRI?
MRI poses no danger to the majority of patients. Certain medical conditions will prevent someone from having an MRI. The strong magnetic field can cause disruption to internally placed devices such as pacemakers, heart valves, and aneurysm clips.
Can My Child Have An MRI?
Yes, your child can have an MRI. With the open MRI system, a parent may stay in the scan room with the child and hold their hand during the scan. This is a great way to relieve any apprehension the child or the parent may have about the procedure.
What If I'm Pregnant?
MRI is not usually recommended for women in their first trimester. Although there are no known side effects from MRI, your referring physician, OB/GYN and our radiologist will decide whether an MRI is warranted.
Who Reads My MRI?
A board certified radiologist is a medical doctor specifically trained to read diagnostic images including X-rays, CT Scans, Ultrasounds, and MRIs. The radiologists who work for Open Advanced MRI NW have completed a fellowship in MRI.
What Is Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)?
While the most common MR Angiograms ordered are of the carotid and vertebral arteries of the head and neck, MRAs can be done of other major arteries such as the aorta, the renal and the femoral arteries. MR Angiography is used to generate images of the arteries to evaluate them for stenosis, occlusion, malformations and the like.
What Is The Difference Between An MRI Scan And A CT Scan?
One of the most basic differences between the two tests is that CT scanning uses radiation whereas MRI uses a magnetic field and a radio wave. Both disciplines have a purpose in medical imaging however, MRI is superior to CT in the demonstration of soft tissue pathology. Your doctor can best advise which test would be most appropriate for you.

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Appointment Desk: (503) 246-6666

Our Locations

Portland - Open Advanced MRI NW

9370 SW Greenburg Road
Portland, OR 97223
Phone: (503) 246-6666
Fax: (503) 246-9465
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Gresham - Open Advanced MRI NW
1026 NW Sleret Ave
Gresham, OR 97030
Phone: (503) 489-1674
Fax: (503) 489-1678
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Vancouver - Open Advanced MRI NW
221 NE 104th Ave
Vancouver, WA 98664
Phone: (360) 253-2525
Fax: (360) 253-3611
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