What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive, painless procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create a series of high-resolution images of your body; x-rays are not used. MRI assists doctors in diagnosing various problems within your body. Most frequently, MRI is used when evaluating the brain, spinal cord, joints, breast and vascular system.
What Should I Expect?
Prior to your exam, you may continue your normal dietary regime. Upon your arrival, we will ask you to change into a cotton gown and remove all metal objects if you have not already done so. Some of these objects include jewelry, metal zippers or buttons, hairpins and hearing aids. Please notify our office ahead of time if you have any metal devices inside your body or if you are pregnant.
For the duration of your exam you will be asked to lie completely still on a table so that the MRI can produce the highest-quality images. During scanning, there will be a loud (at times very loud) knocking noise; during imaging, we will provide you with earplugs or headphones with music to minimize this noise. You will also be able to communicate through an intercom with our technologists if you are feeling any discomfort. The entire exam usually lasts around 20 to 30 minutes. Special exams can last up to an hour.
After your exam, you can return to your activities as normal. Our highly trained radiologists will analyze your images and report the findings for you to discuss with your doctor.
What to Expect During Your Exam
Our Siemens Magnetom Symphony scanner has an opening that is 22″ in diameter with a depth of only five feet. This means, in most cases, your entire body will not be in the scanner during your exam. With the strength being 1.5T, our images are diagnostic with scan time ranging from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
Our Siemens Verio 3T magnet has an extra large opening, 27 1/2″, which creates a more comfortable experience for patients during their scan. In addition, this machine accommodates patients of up to 550lbs. With the strength of the magnet, Pueblo is able to acquire outstanding images with diagnostic information.
Our Hitachi Airis 2 Open Scanner offers versatility of positioning. The sides are open allowing the patient to look out the window while being scanned in most cases. Even though the magnet is only 0.3T, the images are diagnostic, allowing for the referring doctor’s to get the information they need from even the most claustrophobic patient. This machine accommodates patients up to 500lbs.
- Aneurysm clips
- Artificial heart valves
- Cardiac pacemaker
- Metallic implants or shrapnel
- Permanent (tattoo) eyeliner
- Previous gunshot wound
- Sheet metal worker
Pueblo also supports an “open” MRI unit which does not involve the tunnel associated with MRI. The open unit is open on the sides and can be seen here on our website.
Pueblo Radiology has the largest open bore (“closed”) scanner in the region. The 70 cm high field system generates extraordinary images. Some patients require the use of a true open scanner. We are fortunate to provide the option of an open bore scanner for those patients. Our Open MRI office is located at 31 West Gutierrez Street in downtown Santa Barbara.