Diagnostic Radiology

MRI Scan

What Is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive, painless procedure in which radio waves and a magnetic field are assisted by a computer to create remarkably clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues without the use of radiation. Each MRI produces hundreds of pictures from side-to-side, top-to-bottom and front-to-back. These pictures show the difference between normal and diseased tissue and enable radiologists to determine what the inside of a particular structure looks like. This makes it very useful in diagnosing
abnormalities. The technique has proven very valuable for the diagnosis of many conditions in all parts of the body including cancer, heart and vascular disease, stroke, breast disease, joint and musculoskeletal disorders.

We provide “state-of-the-art” MRI with an 18 channel system to include breast imaging, breast biopsy, MRCP, body, musculoskeletal, Central Nervous System, and MR angiography/runoffs. We also offer high quality “Same Day MRI services” at our six locations throughout the state.

what is an mri scan

What Should I Expect?

The MRI exam can be one of the easiest and most comfortable exams you experience. The technologist will ask you to lie on a table that will move into the tube-shaped scanner, that is open at both ends, after you have been comfortably positioned. Your technologist will watch you through an observation window and will be able to communicate with you at all times. The scanner makes tapping noises that change with the various imaging sequences. Remaining still during the exam is extremely important in order to obtain clear images.

When scanning is complete, the technologist will return to help you from the table. Your exam will take about 30 to 60 minutes, after which you will be able to return to your normal activities.

How Should I Prepare?

Usually there are no special preparations or diet instructions prior to your MRI exam. However, there are some exams that may require you to avoid normal eating or drinking for a period of time. You should continue medications prescribed by your doctor unless informed otherwise. You may be asked to change into a gown to eliminate the chance of artifacts from your clothing. Any metal such as earrings, eyeglasses, or hairpins must be removed. Women should always inform their technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy. If your are claustrophobic please bring a driver with you.

Please inform your doctor or the technologist if you have any of the following that may prevent you from undergoing an MRI exam:

  • Pacemaker
  • Aneurysm clips
  • A history of working with metal
  • An implanted drug infusion device
  • Metallic plates, pins, screws or other implants (usually do not cause a problem if they have been in place more than 4-6 weeks)

How Do I Get The Results?

After your study is over, the images will be evaluated by one of our board-certified Radiologists with expertise in MRI Imaging. A final report will be sent to your doctor, who can then discuss the results with you in detail. Should you have any questions regarding your MRI scan, we will be happy to discuss them with you.

Service Locations

MRI is available at Alamogordo Imaging Center, El Camino Imaging Center,  Heights MRI Center, Northwest Imaging Center, X-Ray Associates at Farmington and X-Ray Associates at Santa Fe.