Westfield Imaging Center - Summit Radiological Associates, P.A. Enhancing the Health of Our Patients
MRI FAQs
What is an MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is an advanced, state-of-the-art method which produces clear, sharp pictures of the human body without the use of X-rays. MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves, an antenna, and a computer to produce these images.

What can I expect?
When you arrive at Westfield Imaging Center, our front desk staff will register you and help you with your paperwork. You will be called for your MR scan by the technologist as you relax in our waiting room. The technologist will bring you into the exam room and show you where to leave your belongings. The technologist will ask you to lie down on a cushioned table which will automatically move into the magnet after you have been comfortably positioned for scanning. The technologist will sit at a workstation directly outside of the exam room. You will be in constant contact with the technologist throughout the entire exam. When the MR scan begins, you will hear a muffled thumping sound which will last for several minutes. Just relax and try to lie as still as possible, since any movement may distort or blur the images.

For your comfort we have installed a stereo system. We encourage you to bring your personal CDs or iPod.

What is contrast?
Some MRI studies require contrast which is injected through a vein. Contrast helps radiologists identify and characterize certain diseases. Not all MRI studies require contrast; this decision is made by your doctor and our radiologists. MRI contrast does not interact with other medicines.

How should I prepare for my MRI?
No special preparation is necessary before having an MRI. Metallic objects, or items containing metal, often compromise the image quality, so please do not wear:

  • Jewelry
  • Eyeglasses
  • Any removable dental work
  • Watches
  • Hearing aids
  • Facial make-up
  • Hair accessories

To ensure that you are able to lie quietly and still during your MRI, you may want to avoid drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages prior to your exam.

Are there any restrictions?
Metallic items within the body may preclude some patients from having a MRI. When you schedule your appointment, please advise our staff if you have:

  • A pacemaker
  • A metal plate, pin or other metallic implant
  • Aneurysm clips
  • An artificial heart valve
  • An intrauterine device (IUD)

Also, please inform our staff if you are pregnant, have been employed as a metal worker, or been wounded with metal fragments.

How long will I be in the MRI scanner?
Most studies are completed in approximately thirty minutes.

What is the difference between MRI and CT?
MRI uses a powerful magnetic field for imaging; a CT scanner uses x-rays. While both are excellent imaging modalities, they each image certain areas of the body better than the other. For example, MRI is better for imaging the spine and joints; whereas CT is better for imaging the lungs. In many parts of the body, MRI and CT studies compliment each other. For example, it is not unusual for a CT of the liver to show an abnormality, and a MRI to further characterize it. Your doctor will order the appropriate scan depending upon which part of your body will be examined. Our Board Certified Radiologists are always available to consult with your doctor if needed.

When will I know the results?
Once your MRI exam is completed, a Board Certified radiologist at Westfield Imaging Center will review the scans. The radiologist will interpret the MRI and provide your doctor with a written report within 24 to 48 hours. Emergency or STAT reports are called to your doctor following completion of your examination.

If you have any additional questions, please call us or your doctor.