Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

When you’re going into your first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure, it is normal to have questions. “What’s it going to be like?” “What does an MRI actually do?” These are common questions. At BayCare, we are happy to be a resource for your healthcare questions and needs.

To learn more about MRIs, check out some common questions and answers below. If you’re looking to schedule an MRI appointment, feel free to use our scheduling tool, which is located at the bottom of the page.

What is an MRI?

A MRI is a noninvasive procedure that uses powerful magnets, radio waves, and a computer to create images of your tissues and organs. Other types of imaging procedures may expose you to low amounts of radiation, but an MRI uses magnetic signals, which have no known harmful side effects.

Dr. Rhonda McDowell Discusses MRI - BayCare Health System
Dr. Rhonda McDowell, a board-certified BayCare radiologist explains MRI and the difference between an MRI and CT scan.
Dr. Rhonda McDowell Discusses MRI Preparation - BayCare Health System
Dr. Rhonda McDowell, a board-certified BayCare radiologist, explains how you should prepare for an MRI and questions you can ask your MRI provider prior to the exam.

Fearful of enclosed spaces? We have MRI options.

BayCare Imaging offers both open and traditional MRI options. Open MRIs use similar technology as traditional MRIs, but are designed to have a larger opening so you don’t feel as confined. Sometimes a traditional MRI is the best option depending on your health circumstances. BayCare offers multiple ways to make you comfortable during your MRI exam including a mild sedative if needed.

What are the benefits of an MRI?

The primary benefit of having an MRI is that it is a non-invasive procedure for accurately diagnosing injuries and diseases involving your tissues and organs. And, unlike an X-ray or CT Scan, an MRI generates no radiation.

What should I expect during my MRI visit?

There aren’t any specific preparations that are expected of you prior to your MRI. However, if you receive IV contrast as part of your exam, you will want to inform your technologist prior to your exam if you have a history of kidney disease.

During your exam you can expect outstanding patient care and consistent open lines of communication between the technologist and yourself, so you’ll never feel alone. You’ll start by removing any metal objects you have, such as jewelry. The machine can be loud at times so your MRI technologist may offer you headphones or earplugs. Most procedures typically take somewhere in the range of 15-45 minutes. For a full list of MRI procedures, scroll down below the scheduling tool at the bottom of the page.