The MRI Exam

During The Exam

Our magnets are each situated in a large, airy room with windows. The scanners have large round openings on both ends with a padded table that moves you into the center of the machine once you are positioned.

  • Head first or feet first (and how far in you go) is determined by the type of exam being performed.
  • In some cases, we use a special piece of equipment called a surface coil, that’s like a radio antenna. We’ll place it on or wrap it around the part of your body that is being imaged.
  • For some exams, a "contrast agent" (gadolinium based drug) will be injected into a vein in your arm to help characterize the different body tissues that make up the image.
  • During the exam you will be required to hold very still.
  • In some cases you may be asked to hold your breath to reduce motion. This is for exam quality purposes.
  • There is no pain or sensation during the exam. The MRI scanner is a noisy machine with intermittent humming, clicking, and knocking sounds. Earplugs are available, and we provide an amazing assortment of music to help you relax during your exam.
  • A bit nervous? It happens. Turville Bay’s technologists are trained to ease you through the exam. If you are claustrophobic, you are encouraged to contact your ordering physician regarding prescribing a relaxation medication. (Note: If you take a relaxation medication, someone will need to drive you to and from your appointment.
  • Each scanner is equipped with an emergency-assistance alarm button and a two-way intercom for communication with the technologist.

How long does an MRI exam take?

The length of MRI examinations can vary from 20 minutes to one hour, averaging 45 minutes. Each test consists of several sequences or collections of images gathered over 2 to 10 minutes.

After the exam

After checking to be sure the exam yielded high-quality images, the technologist will remove you from the scanner. There are no post-exam instructions. You may resume your normal diet and activities.

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