Good To Know
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.
High-Field Open MRI
Our Philips Panorama 1.0 Tesla High-field Open MRI offers patients ease and comfort coupled with the versatility of positioning. The sides are open allowing the patient to see out with a nearly 360-degree viewing angle while being scanned, in most cases. This high-field magnet allows referring doctor’s to get the information they need from even the most claustrophobic patient. This machine accommodates patients up to 500lbs.
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 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.
Most frequent questions and answers
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.
MRI does not use radiation to create the images
While you can request medication from your physician to relieve the claustrophobia, it has been our experience that very few people are claustrophobic in our CT scanner. The scanner opening is 70cm (27.6”) across and the depth of the scanner in the opening is only 27”. If you would like to visit our office to see what our scanner looks like prior to your appointment, we are happy to arrange that in hopes that your visit will then go more smoothly and with lower anxiety.
Due to the strong magnet field dirt can actually be pulled out of clothing, so to keep our rooms clean we ask that most patients to change into a gown. Also out of the safety for you, we request that you remove all jewelry. These items are best left at home for their security.
We prefer to keep our focus on the patient. Sometimes a guest can be distracting and remove our focus from the task at hand. We would prefer to have the guest wait in the waiting area. Exceptions are made for children.
Gadolinium is a chemical element of atomic number 64. It is a clear substance but shows up on our MRI images. It allows us to see certain structures more clearly.
Most exams can be completed in about 30 minutes. Duration varies based on the type of exam you have scheduled. Our longest exam is about 60 minutes.
Yes, every patient is given a squeeze ball to use in case of an emergency. Also, the staff frequently checks in with each patient through headphones
Yes, we offer Pandora internet radio. Unfortunately, we are unable to let you use your own music device.
All of our magnets produce diagnostic images which means any pathology that might be causing a problem can be seen, regardless of the strength of the magnet.