MRI Scan

What is an MRI Scan?

Magnetic resonance imaging—or MRI—uses a magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to generate cross-sectional images of organs, soft tissues, bone, and virtually all other internal body structures. The MR image can then be examined on a computer monitor, or a CD of images can be made.

MRI does not use radiation. At Iowa Radiology, we recognize that having an MRI can be an anxiety-provoking situation; therefore, we offer a wide-bore MRI for your convenience. Our wide-bore MRI provides a 20% larger opening and a shorter core than a traditional MRI. It will also accommodate a patient up to 500 pounds. Because your comfort is important to us, we provide music headsets as well as blankets to make your experience more comfortable. Our knowledgeable, professional team will put you at ease and answer all of your questions before the exam.

What happens during the test?

Our technologist will take a brief medical history. If you are receiving IV contrast, you will be asked to lie down on the scanning table, and the contrast material will be injected into a vein in your arm. The table will then slide into the scanning area. During the test, the MRI will make a rapid tapping noise. Just relax and remain still.

You should plan 30-60 minutes of total clinic time. The scan time can vary from 20-45 minutes depending on the study.

You may return to normal activities following your exam.

How do I prepare for the test?

Typically, no preparation is required before the exam. Some tests require an injection of IV contrast. If fasting is necessary, your doctor will provide instructions. You will need to remove all jewelry, hairclips, and bobby pins. In addition, you will need to remove all clothing containing metal, including bras with metal enclosures and jeans with metal zippers or buttons.  You will be provided a gown and a secure locker in which you may place valuables.

When can I expect the results?

A radiologist will review the images and send a report to your referring physician within one business day. Your doctor will review the report and contact you with the results.

What contraindications do I need to be aware of?

If you are pregnant, have had an aneurysm clip, have had ear or eye prosthesis, or have a pacemaker, you may not be a candidate for an MRI.



* The safety of our patients and those who accompany them to our office is of the utmost importance to the physicians and staff at Iowa Radiology. Please make arrangements for someone to care for your child/children during your exam. Thank you for your cooperation.

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