Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses strong magnet and radio waves to provide clear and detailed diagnostic images of internal body organs and tissues. MRI is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of a broad range of conditions, including cancer, heart and vascular disease, stroke and joint and musculoskeletal disorders. MRI allows evaluation of some body structures that may not be as visible with other diagnostic imaging methods.

What are some common uses of MRI?

MRI is frequently used for imaging of the musculoskeletal system. MRI is often used to study the knee, ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. MRI is also a highly accurate method for evaluation of soft tissue structures such as tendons and ligaments, which are seen in great detail. Even subtle injuries are easily detected. In addition, MRI is used for the diagnosis of spinal problems including disc herniation, spinal stenosis and spinal tumors.

MRI is used for imaging of the heart. MRI of the heart, aorta, coronary arteries and blood vessels is a tool for diagnosing coronary artery disease and other heart problems. Doctors can examine the size and thickness of the chambers of the heart and determine the extent of damage caused by a heart attack or heart disease. MRI is also used for imaging of cancer and functional disorders. Organs of the chest and abdomen such as the liver, lungs, kidney and other abdominal organs can be examined in great detail with MRI. This aids in the diagnosis and evaluation of tumors and functional disorders. In the early diagnosis of breast cancer, MRI is an alternative to traditional x-ray mammography. Furthermore because there no radiation exposure is involved, MRI is often used for examination of the male and female reproductive systems.

Types of MR Scans We Offer (select for more details)

How should I prepare?

  • Guidelines about eating and drinking before an MRI exam will vary.
  • Follow your daily routine unless told otherwise during scheduling.
  • Before your MRI exam you will be asked to change into a gown and remove all undergarments that may have metal fastners or fibers.
  • Jewelry and other metal objects can not be worn during the exam. Please try to leave them at home if possible.
  • You must notify the technologist if you have any implanted medical devices or any metal in your body. These can interfere with the exam and can cause harm during an MRI because of the strength of the magnet.
  • Be sure to notify your technologist if you have any prosthetic joints, a heart pacemaker, defibrillator or artificial heart valve OR if  you have any metal plates, pins, screws or surgical staples, tattoos, permanent make-up, bullets or shrapnel in your body, or ever worked with metal
  • Inform the technologist if you are pregnant or suspect you might be pregnant

What will I experience during this procedure?

MRI exams are painless. Some claustrophobic patients may experience a “closed in” feeling. If this is a concern, a sedative can be self-administered prior. 

You will be positioned on the moveable examination table. Straps may be used to help you stay in the correct position during the exam.

If you are receiving contrast for your exam, the MRI technologist will insert an IV line into a vein in your hand or arm where the contrast will be injected. Contrast is used to enhance the image quality.

The table will slide into the MRI machine. The MRI machine is large, and is open at both ends. The technologist will leave the room during your exam but you will be able to see and hear them in the control room. They will check in with you during your exam to make sure you are comfortable and do not need anything.

Earplugs or earphones may be provided to you. You may feel warmth in the area being examined.

What Our Patients Are Saying About Us

“I go to no other place since 2004 due to the fact that at Palomino Dessert Radiologist I get excellent care. Everyone and I mean everyone from the security officers in the front door, front desk clerks, to MRI technician Miss Jesenia and her assistant. They all give excellent service! All of the technicians practice/work with great care, compassion, and excellent work ethics. For this reason I honestly believe they deserve five and more stars.”

Vanessa Escobar