What Is An MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of imaging that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images of the body. MRI has become a very valuable diagnostic tool detecting everything from cancer, heart and vascular disease, strokes, and disorders of the joints and musculoskeletal system. At the same time, it’s provided physicians with the ability to avoid unnecessary surgery and invasive diagnostic procedures. MRIs produce extremely detailed images of body tissue, organs and bones without the need for radiation.
The MRI scanner creates a strong magnetic field through the body then it sends radio waves into the body and assesses the response sent back from the different tissues. This electromagnetic energy is then measured and analyzed by a computer producing two and three dimensional images. Certain diseased or injured tissues send responses that are different from healthy ones. These images are displayed as slices, which are then sent to the radiologist for interpretation.
DOI has 4 state of the art MRIs at two locations, all of which are American College of Radiology (ACR) Certified. Including an open MRI (0.35 Tesla), a 1.5 Tesla which has been the best MRI in a private practice in El Paso for years, and a 3.0 Tesla which is the only one of it’s kind in private practice here in El Paso. The increase in magnet strength allows us to scan faster and produce higher detailed images.
Preparation For MRI
As part of the preparation for the exam, you will be asked if you have any items that can cause some restrictions when having an MRI. These can be metal implants such as pain pumps, metal clips or coils, pacemakers, or cochlear implants. If you have any of these items please inform front office staff when you schedule your appointment. When you arrive at the imaging center you will again be asked if you have these implants. Comfortable clothing without any metal is recommended, and as always please bring your orders, insurance card, and identification.
Is the Exam Comfortable?
We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your exam, so wear loose comfortable clothing (preferably with no metal). We do offer gowns to change into if needed and locked cabinets for your personal items and any metal accessories you may have brought with you.
The length of the exam varies, but most exams can be completed in 30 to 60 minutes. If you have multiple exams, each exam takes approximately 30 minutes.
After your exam, the radiologist will review your images and a report will be sent directly to your physician. Reports are available within 24 to 72 hours.