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Check-in Check-in at the MRI reception window in Sparrow Radiology on the first floor of Sparrow Hospital. You will be taken to the MRI area where you will be further interviewed by an MRI technologist. The MRI technologist will run the MRI scan. 

We have a short video on MRI which you can view for further information on the procedure. If you have any questions or concerns about the exam, discuss them with the MRI technologist. 

There is a changing room with a secure locker where you can store your belongings. The technologist may ask you to change into a hospital gown if your clothing will interfere with the scan. You may need to wait in the interview area until the previous MRI exam is completed. 

The scan The MRI scanner will encompass your entire body but it is open at both ends. You will be assisted onto the padded exam table by the technical staff. A speaker inside the magnet allows you to communicate with the technologist running the scan. The technologist can see and hear you at all times during the scan. You can squeeze a hand-held ball at any time if you wish to be removed from the magnet. Those that experience claustrophobia should refer to sedation. There is a fan to circulate air inside the magnet area and blankets can be provided for warmth. 

The exam is completely painless and the technologist will assist you in any way possible. You won't feel a thing while you are in the magnet, so you can simply relax and listen to music or think about something pleasant. 

It is very important that you remain completely still, which may be the most difficult part of the exam. This is very important to remember, because any movement can blur the picture, which means you may have to repeat the process. 

During the exam, you will hear a loud tapping or knocking sound. This is normal and sounds something like a washing machine out of balance or the tapping of a metal pipe. The noise usually lasts 3 to 18 minutes with some pauses in between. The noise is part of how the scanner works to create the MRI images. Ear plugs are provided if you find them helpful. 

In some cases, a contrast agent may be injected into your arm during the procedure. This is done to enhance the images for particular types of MRI scans. The contrast is not iodine based and does not normally have any side-effects. 

After completion After the scan is done, you will be assisted off the table. You can then get dressed or changed and get your belongings. The technologist will escort you to the reception area or direct you to an exit where you are then free to go. If you took any medication, you should have someone else drive you home. If you underwent sedation for the procedure there will be additional time required for observation before you are free to leave. 

Any images from other healthcare facilities that you brought with you will need to stay so that the radiologist can review them with your MRI images. We return them to you after they are reviewed by the radiologist. The MRI images from your scan are stored and archived, then viewed and interpreted by a radiologist, who makes a determination about any possible findings. 

The technologists, and other Sparrow MRI staff, cannot provide any information about the MRI findings at the time of the exam as they are not trained in interpreting MRI scans. Interpretation of the MRI scans is the responsibility of the radiologist. Radiologists are licensed physicians with experience and education in imaging procedures. 

Your physician will receive our radiologist's findings in a report usually within 3 business days. Contact your physician at that time to discuss the findings with them. We can also fax results to your physician if requested.