Patient education and satisfaction are the keys to fast, safe, accurate imaging results. Answers to our patients’ most frequently asked questions are listed below. We also encourage all of our patients to spend time on our site to learn about services we offer in order to best understand and prepare for their particular imaging procedures.
For most exams, there is no special preparation. However, if you are having a specialized exam such as an MR enterography, there may be special preparation necessary, such as drinking certain contrast media to better optimize the exam and answer the clinical question at hand for the referring physician. Also, sometimes we may inject a joint such as a shoulder, hip, or wrist prior to imaging in order to better distend the joint and illustrate the tiny structures that are being evaluated. This is called an MRI arthrogram. If you are scheduled for an MR arthrogram, you will received an injection from a radiologist just prior to receiving your MRI.
MRI is contraindicated for patients who have metal fragments in or near vital structures. If someone has worked with metal in the past, it is important to let the technologists and referring physician know, so that an x-ray can be performed to look for small metal fragments. Also, if you have a pacemaker or spine stimulator device, most of those are contra-indications to getting an MRI; however, there are some newer models that are compatible for MRI. If you have a device implanted, it is important to know the make and model so that it can be checked for MRI compatibility.
Most newer aneurysm coils and clips are MRI compatible, but it is important to have documentation specifying the make and model used, and whether it is MRI compatible.
MRI is an important problem-solving tool, but it is reliant upon many physical properties of your body and magnets. Sometimes, complimentary exams such an x-rays and ultrasounds are ordered in conjunction with the MRI in order to arrive at the most accurate diagnosis.
MRI uses a very powerful magnet that cannot be turned off. As such, we ask that you take off jewelry, and leave your credit cards and valuables outside of the exam room. We will provide a safe place to store them during your procedure.
You can arrive with your oxygen at the imaging facility; however, we use special MRI-compatible oxygen tanks and devices, which are approved for use in the strong magnetic field. You can still get an MRI, but will need to leave your own personal oxygen outside the magnet field of the exam room and use the provided oxygen supply.
If you are nervous or anxious about the MRI machine, we can provide sedation with a benzodiazepine, such as valium. Most exams last 30-60 minutes. The calmer you are, the better the images turn out, and the better the diagnosis can be! There are various types of MRI magnets and sizes, so if you are over 300 lbs or very nervous/claustrophobic, let the scheduler know ahead of time so that you can be scheduled into the appropriate MRI magnet. The radiologist can also be made aware of your condition in order to adjust a protocol accordingly and/or order the appropriate medication.
Most exams take about 30-60 minutes, but if you are having multiple exams, it may last longer. The MRI uses various magnets and coils. Some parts of your exam will be loud, but we provide ear plugs in order to muffle the sound. Some MRIs require contrast medication, so you may have an IV started prior to the exam. We ask that you breathe normally and stay relaxed in the MRI machine so that we can our very best to help you have a pleasant experience while receiving your exam. You will be able to speak to the MRI technologists, who will be watching you the entire time you are in the MRI magnet and can talk to you while you are being scanned.
We participate in the following insurance plans:
- Aetna U.S. Healthcare
- Backstretch Insurance Company
- Beacon Network Services
- Beech Street
- Blue Cross
- Blue Shield
- Corporate Care Management
- Devon Health Services
- Excellus (formerly Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Utica-Watertown)
- Fidelis Care
- First Health
- GHI HMO
- GHI PPO
- Independent Review Services
- Medicaid NY
- Medicaid PA
- Medicare Downstate (Area 03)
- Medicare Upstate (Area 99)
- National Health Administrators
- National Provider Network
- No Fault
- Nova Healthcare
- Private Healthcare System
- Travelers Railroad Medicare
- United Health Care
- United Health Care – Empire Plan
- USA Managed Care
- Visiting Nurses
- Workers Compensation