Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) generates detailed, multi-dimensional images of the body’s soft tissue. These images are produced within a powerful magnetic field that surrounds you as you lie in an MRI machine. By using radiofrequency waves, MRI can often facilitate the diagnosis of disorders or diseases within the body that are not clearly detectable by other imaging modalities, such as CT and ultrasound.
Accuracy, convenience and comfort.
Eastern Radiologists’ ACR-accredited outpatient location, Greenville MRI, has both cutting-edge equipment and a highly trained staff to quickly and safely perform your exam. As part of our commitment to provide the most advanced imaging technology, we installed the latest Philips open wide-bore scanner in 2015 and added a second wide-bore scanner in 2017. At 70cm, they have the largest, most comfortable spaces available for patients. Couple that with convenient access, night and weekend appointments, and board certified radiologists, and Eastern Radiologists is the clear choice for your MRI. So be sure to ask your physician to schedule your procedure with us. Because you can choose your radiology practice just as you chose your primary physician.
Frequently Asked Questions
What areas of the body are common for MRI procedures?
Common MRI exams focus on brain, blood vessels (MRA or MR Angiography), spine, bones, joints, chest, abdomen and pelvis. Also, thanks to a dedicated breast coil in our new Philips open wide-bore scanner, we offer breast MRI as well.
What are the potential risks?
In most instances, MRI is not dangerous, and no major health risks are associated with the magnetic field or radio waves. Certain circumstances, however, may limit the use of a magnetic field. It is important to let us know if anything listed in the preparations section pertains to you or anyone accompanying you into the examination area.
Will my insurance cover an MRI?
Most major insurers will cover radiology exams, although some require prior authorization for particular procedures. Best practice is to check with your primary care providers or the specialists ordering diagnostic studies to determine if this step is required with your insurance plan. Prior authorizations, when not handled properly, may result in the rescheduling of some appointments. You may have to submit partial or full payment at time of service.
As a courtesy to our patients, we file all insurance claims, but we do ask that you bring your insurance card to each exam. Patients are responsible for all services not covered by insurance. Eastern Radiologists participates with most major healthcare plans. For questions about coverage or payment, please call our business office at 252.752.5000.
What if I cannot have a MRI?
For patients who have a contraindication to MRI, we offer other imaging modalities such as CT and ultrasound that can still provide valuable information. CT Arthography is similar to MRI, except iodinated contrast is injected followed by a CT scan. This procedure is available at our Greenville location.
I’ve heard MRI is very uncomfortable. Should I be nervous?
MRI is safe, painless and—for most people—entirely comfortable. Some patients may experience anxiety or claustrophobia. In such instances, medication such as Valium can be administered to reduce stress or uneasiness. Please talk with your doctor if you feel you need anti-anxiety medication.
Schedule an appointment.
Please have your doctor schedule your appointment for this service. If you have questions about your appointment or need to reschedule call 252.752.5000. This service is offered at the following locations:
Prepare for your appointment.
Patients having an MRI of the abdomen should have clear liquids only for four hours prior to the exam.
It’s important to let us know if any of the following pertain to you or anyone accompanying you into the examination area:
- Aneurysm clips
- Artificial joints or metallic plates*
- Cardiac pacemaker, defibrillator or artificial heart valve
- Ear implant
- Metal in the eye or a history of grinding or welding (patients who have had metal removed from their eyes will need to arrive one hour early to have X-rays of their eyes to clear them for the MRI exam)
- Insulin or other infusion pump
- Intrauterine birth control device
- Metal plate, pin or other metallic implant*
- Permanent tattoo eye-liner
- Prior gunshot wound
*Any metallic substance in the body can diminish the quality of diagnostic images or could cause pain and/or injury, excluding a patient from the procedure. Depending on an individual’s specific situation, it’s best to ask the radiologist if it’s safe to undergo the procedure.
Patients who require anxiety medication such as Valium must arrive one hour early and have a driver that can stay for the duration of the appointment.
In some cases, a contrast agent may be required to enhance MRI images. These FDA-approved agents have been safely used for more than 20 years. You will receive instructions regarding early arrival if contrast is ordered for your study.
Patients who are currently on dialysis will need to ask the MRI staff for special instructions.