Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is a diagnostic procedure that although completely non-invasive, gives detailed images of the inside of the body that were never before possible.
MRI works in a way that is totally different from X-rays. Instead of creating images through radiation, MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to create 3D images of bones, organs, and other internal structures that can’t be seen or confirmed from an external exam.
Because there are water molecules present throughout the body, the hydrogen atoms in the molecules respond to a magnetic field. Protons in the hydrogen atoms are magnetic, and they align when exposed to the magnetic field generated in an MRI scanner. Then, radio frequency waves are pulsed through the scanner. This makes the hydrogen atoms move and return to their original alignment between pulses. A computer reads the difference between these positions and translates it to images of body structures.
MRI has no known side effects, but some people are not candidates for this scan. Anyone with metal inside their body from prostheses, a pacemaker, shrapnel, or any other metal fragment should not have an MRI scan. The powerful magnets in the scanner can cause the metal within the body to move.
An MRI scanner is a large tube-shaped machine with a table in the middle. An MRI scan usually takes between 30 and 90 minutes, and the patient must be completely still. People who are claustrophobic may be anxious about having an MRI or uncomfortable inside the scanner. They can take a sedative before the test, or have their test done in an open MRI scanner.
After the scan is completed, a radiologist reads the results and creates a report for the referring physician.
Patients in Palm Beach County can get MRI scans and other tests at Independent Imaging Center. We have been serving patients with the latest in diagnostic equipment and the friendliest and most knowledgeable providers for more than 30 years. Call (561) 795-5558 for an appointment at any of our convenient locations. We work with your doctor so you get accurate results faster. MRI results are typically available within 24-48 hours.