Home > Tests & Procedures > Imaging & Tests > Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is an excellent imaging modality routinely ordered by physicians since the 1980s for its exceptional three-dimensional visualization of the body. This modality does not require radiation or chemical enhancement to produce images, relying instead on strong magnets and the excitation of hydrogen atoms in the body by radio waves to produce results.
This makes for virtually risk-free imaging. Different tissues such as bone, muscle, and nerve structures will show up uniquely in response to these radio waves, and provide high fidelity visualizations. In addition, little preparation is usually required such as fasting, but physicians can order radioactive contrast enhancement to further clarify imaging for diagnostics.
MRI provides especially good information about the condition of vertebrae, the spinal canal, and the intervertebral discs. This imaging modality is often performed for spinal stenosis, compression fractures, disc degeneration and herniation, and recurrent disc herniation.
MRI is not considered suitable for patients with ferromagnetic implants, due to its use of powerful magnets, such as those with pacemakers, aneurysm clips, cochlear implants, or others. MRI is suitable for patients who have spinal implants other than some spinal cord stimulators. The procedure takes only 15 to 60 minutes, making for rapid results.
DAY OF SURGERY INFORMATION
Drive to the South parking garage. Free Valet parking is available during business hours. If you self-park, take the elevator from the garage to the first floor to enter the main hospital lobby. Wheelchairs are available if needed. Take the D elevator to the 2nd floor. Proceed to the Surgical and Endoscopy Check-In Desk. Here you and your family will be checked in and escorted to the Pre-op Area to be prepared for surgery. Up to two family members may wait with you until you are taken to surgery. Your family may then wait in the Surgical Waiting room until notified by the surgeon that the surgery has been completed. A receptionist will take down contact information so that your family may be easily reached to speak with Dr. Paul. Complimentary coffee is available for your family while in the Surgical Waiting room. The cafeteria and gift shop are on the ground floor in the North area of the hospital and the coffee shop is in the South area of the hospital for your family’s convenience.
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In the preoperative room you will be prepared for surgery. The team will be checking your vital signs, starting your IV, validating your medications, health history, lab results and any follow up for additional testing needed. At this time, they will obtain your consent for surgery and answer any questions you may still have. Your anesthesiologist will see you and your family prior to your surgery. Dr. Paul, Adam or Kevin will mark your surgical site. You will be escorted to the operating room by cart. Your family can wait in the surgical waiting room. Dr. Paul will call them when surgery is completed. If he can not reach them, he will leave a message with the Patient Liaison. Following surgery you will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where you will recover for an hour or more. During this time, pain and nausea control will be established and your vital signs will be monitored frequently.