A Better MRI Experience
Not every patient is the same, and lucky for you, not every MRI machine is either. Our center offers 3 Tesla MRI technology which provides a greater signal to noise ratio than most scanners at 1.5 Tesla, which is a major determinant in generating the highest quality image.
Regardless of location, the cost for a MRI exam is substantially lower than the same exam performed at a local hospital. We believe that offering value, without compromise, is the right thing to do.
Call our office at 540.321.3190 to schedule a MRI today or fill out the appointment request form.
Request a Diagnostic Imaging Appointment Today
A valid order from your healthcare provider is required to schedule an MRI.
What is an MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive medical imaging test that uses a strong magnetic field, gradients, and radio waves to create images of the body’s internal organs and structures. It does not use ionizing radiation or X-Rays to produce the image. The resulting images reveal details that are invisible or hard to see when using other methods, such as X-rays, Ultrasound, or CT scans. Providers often rely on MRI images for an accurate diagnosis of a variety of injuries, conditions and diseases.
Patient Safety and Comfort
Patients with piercings may be asked to remove them prior to having the exam. The magnetic field will cause metal to heat up and could result in burns around the piercing.
Patients will be asked to change into scrubs. Metallic fibers are used in many apparel materials and can heat up during the exam. To avoid the risk of burns, scrubs will be provided to wear during the exam.
Patients will be asked to complete a form documenting medical history information. The technologist will review this form with the patient prior to performing the exam.
Patients with implants in their bodies, such as pacemakers or stimulators, may not be able to have an MRI.
The exam is painless and to ensure a comfortable experience, the technologist will provide pillows, headphones, music and warm blankets.
MRIs do not use radiation and are safe for most patients. You will be asked about the following:
- Medical and surgical history
- Other conditions that you may have—A contrast dye may be used to enhance some images. If your MRI involves contrast material, your doctor will ask about the health of your kidneys. There is a risk of complications in people who have kidney disease and receive contrast material.
You will be asked if you have something in your body that would interfere with the MRI such as:
- Pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
- Ear implant.
- Metal fragments in your eyes or in any other part of your body. Be sure to tell your doctor if your work involves metal filings or particles.
- Implanted port device, such as an insulin pump.
- Metal plate, pins, screws, or surgical staples.
- Joint replacement.
- Metal clips from aneurysm repair.
- Retained bullets.
- Any other large metal objects in your body. Tooth filling and braces are usually fine.
You will be asked to remove any metal objects such as, jewelry, hearing aids, or glasses. You will also be asked to remove all medication skin patches as they may contain metal elements and cause skin burns.
An x-ray may be taken to check for any metal objects in your body.
It’s not unusual for an MRI exam to cause some anxiety. Our MRI is wider than most, creating a CT-like experience. Depending on the body part being examined, your head may not be in the machine. The opening of our machine is wider allowing for more space on each side of the body. Our compassionate technologists will make you comfortable on the table with a warm blanket and provide headphones with your choice of music so you can relax during the exam. Your technologist will talk to you throughout the exam and will give you a call button that you can press should you need immediate attention.
All MRI machines make noise during the scan, which is due to the way the machine creates images. The rhythmic “thump thump” sound is only heard while obtaining images. It’s extremely important during this time to hold completely still to prevent motion, resulting in blurry images. For your safety, we will provide headphones or earplugs to protect your hearing. You can listen to your choice of music for relaxation. However, even with headphones, you may still hear faint noises of the scanner. For your safety, hearing protection is always required during MRI exam.
Click here to listen to the sounds of an MRI machine.
MRI contrast, or Gadolinium may be injected into the vein to allow for better visualization of organs and blood vessels. An IV may be placed in the vein or butterfly needle may be used to inject the contrast agent. During the injection, you may feel a cool sensation at the injection site, which is completely normal. The technologist will review the use of the contrast agent with you prior to the exam and answer any questions you may have.
At UVA Outpatient Imaging of Culpeper, we understand that the cost of an imaging exam can be a concern. Our rates for both insured and uninsured patients are substantially lower than the same exam performed at a hospital. We believe that price transparency is important so you can be prepared for your financial obligations, if any. To learn more about what your exam may cost, please click here.
The radiologist will review the MRI images and provide a diagnostic report that will be sent directly to your provider. The report is typically available to your provider within 24-48 hours. Many providers plan scheduled time to discuss results with their patients so you could check with their office to see when they will be available to review the information with you.
How to Prepare For Your MRI
- Nothing to eat or drink other than water 6 hours before exam.