What is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Exam?

A MRI exam uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create a very clear picture of structures inside your body. MRI uses equipment and specially designed computers to create images of the entire area being scanned.  While x-rays are best for viewing bones, MRI creates pictures that can distinguish differences between healthy and unhealthy tissue.

Doctors use MRI to examine soft tissues such as organs, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons in many parts of the body. This includes looking at the brain, spinal column, abdomen, pelvic region, and joints like knees and elbows.  MRI is an important diagnostic tool in helping the medical community make better decisions about your health.

Spencer Hospital's wide-bore MRI provides additional space and comfort over a traditional scanner, while still providing the level of magnetic strength which enables quick scan times and exceptional images for optimal diagnostic capabilities. 

What do I Need to do to Prepare for the Exam?

Typically, no preparation is needed for an MRI.  You should have been instructed if there was any special preparation needed for your MRI when your exam was scheduled.  If you have questions, please call our Diagnostic Imaging department at 712-264-6500, and we would be happy to assist you.

What Should I Expect when I Arrive?

Please enter entrance B of Spencer Hospital and stop at our Patient Registration area just beyond the Gift Shop.  In a private patient registration room, your personal and insurance information will be updated.  Once you are registered, you will be directed to the Diagnostic Imaging department.

What will I Experience During the Exam?

The MRI technologist will have you fill out a MRI screening form upon arrival.  This is to ensure your safety before you are escorted to the MRI room.  You will be asked to lie down on a scanning table inside the MRI suite. Earplugs will be given to you for the examination due to the loud noise that the MRI machine creates. Depending on what body area is being scanned, you may enter the machine head first or feet first.  While the scanner is taking images, you will be asked to relax and hold still. The MRI used at Spencer Hospital contains a strong magnet which results in a quick exam, usually between 20-40 minutes.

Who will be in the Exam Room with Me?

A registered MRI technologist will be performing your exam. 

What do I need to do After the Exam?

Following most MRI exams, you will be able to resume normal activities.  The technologist will inform you of any additional information you may need before you leave.

When will I receive the Results of the Exam?

Spencer Hospital works with a team of locally-based radiologists who promptly review images and will provide the results and to and consult with your ordering physician. The physician who ordered the testing will contact you with your results. You may receive a phone call or have a follow up appointment with your physician.  If you are unsure of how you will receive your results, please contact your physician’s office.

Quality healthcare at Spencer Hospital is our top priority to best care for our patients.  The MRI technologists at Spencer Hospital are registered MRI Technologists through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.


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