Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Count on radiology technicians and doctors at Essentia Health for accurate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Getting an MRI can help your doctor diagnose a health condition and develop a treatment plan.

What’s an MRI?

An MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create precise, high-resolution images of the inside of the body. Your doctor may recommend an MRI if you have symptoms of a condition that affects your:

  • Abdominal and pelvic organs, including the adrenal glands, liver, pancreas, and reproductive organs
  • Breasts
  • Brain and spinal cord
  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Joints

What to Expect During an MRI

Your MRI may last from 15 minutes to an hour or more and you won’t feel any pain during the scan. You’ll be able to resume your normal activities immediately after the MRI, unless you were given medical to help you relax.

Depending on the reason you’re getting an MRI and the part of your body that will be examined, you may receive an injection of contrast dye before your scan. Contrast dye makes it easier to see certain areas inside your body on MRI images.

During your scan, you’ll lie on a table that will move into the opening of the MRI machine, which looks like a long tube. Talk to your doctor if you have claustrophobia—a fear of closed spaces. Your doctor may recommend breathing exercises, stress-reduction techniques, or medications to help you relax.

During the scan, you’ll be able to communicate via microphone with an MRI technologist in another room who will be monitoring you. You will be asked to stay as still as possible during your test to prevent blurred images.

You may hear noises during your scan, such as taps. Ask your doctor if you can use earplugs or listen to music to block out the noise of the MRI machine.

Functional MRI

If you’re having a functional MRI—a special type of scan that checks how different parts of your brain are working—your doctor may ask you to do a task, such as answer questions or tap your finger during your scan.

Your MRI Results

Trust the radiologists at Essentia to accurately analyze your results and report them to your doctor or referring physician promptly. Your doctor will talk to you about your results.