Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
The LMH Health MRI service offers a variety of procedures such as MRA (angiography), MRCP (gallbladder), diffusion imaging for acute strokes and multi planer 3D imaging. Additionally, the MRI allows abdominal, pelvis and breast imaging. It is designed for visualization and diagnosis of cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart and vascular disorders.
Unlike X-rays, which rarely pass through bony structures, MRI scanners provide clear images of the spine and display soft-tissue structures of the body such as muscles and blood vessels.
LMH Health offers MRI services at two locations - LMH South and the Main Campus. The Open Bore MRI at our main location is much larger than a traditional MRI machine and is suitable for bigger and claustrophobic patients. LMH South has the more traditional smaller bore MRI machine. Scheduling hours are 6:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.
What to Expect
While most types of scanners use radiation technology to capture images, the MRI sends radio waves and then evaluates the response from the various tissues. After the responses are gathered, a computer in the MRI scanner processes them into pictures. In some cases, patients are injected with a substance known as a contrast agent, which changes the blood's magnetic property, slows down its reaction and makes it appear brighter on the images. The contrast is given only to patients who are having certain procedures.
The only difference between MRA and MRI is that MRA is done to visualize vessels and MRI to visualize all other tissue. The exams are still performed with the same machine and there is no difference in the procedures. All patients are asked to check in 30 minutes prior to their exam. An MRI study generally takes 15 to 45 minutes although only a fraction of that time is needed for recording pictures.
Depending on the type of study being performed, all patients are given the option of music or hearing protection. Patients also have the choice of being escorted to the MRI room. The presence of children is not recommended due to noise levels.
With a physician's request, claustrophobic patients or patients with severe pain could arrange IV conscious sedation by calling a radiology nurse at 840-2562. However, many of our patients who have required sedation in the past have not required any with the new scanner.
After an MRI, you will receive two bills. The hospital will bill you for the procedure as will the radiologist who reads the exam. The report from the radiologist will be sent to your physician. If you have any questions you can call the department at 749-6194.