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Tests and Procedures

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What is an MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging -- one of the most advanced methods of diagnostic examinations available.  It does not use X-rays or radiation.  Instead, MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce high quality images of the inside of your body. Powerful computers reassemble the MRI signal into a set of pictures that will be reviewed by a physician. 

MRI is a safe, painless examination that has no known side effects.  You and your doctor will use your MRI scan results to plan your course of treatment.

Preparing for Your MRI

Staff will contact you a few days prior to your exam to confirm your appointment, answer any questions you may have, notify you of the time you should arrive and determine that you can safey be scanned by MRI. If we are not successful in reaching you by the day before your exam, please call us toll free at (800) 727-6186.

Please leave watches, jewelry, or anything else containing metal at home. Cosmetics may contain metal, so you should keep make-up to a minimum. Prior to the scan you will be asked to change into a hospital gown. You may follow your normal diet unless otherwise instructed by our staff. Depending on your medical condition and the part of your body being scanned, you may also receive additional preparation instructions.

Please inform the staff if you have any surgically implanted medical devices or other foreign objects in your body. Examples include:

  • Implanted electrical or magnetic devices, such as pacemakers, neurostimulators and cardiac defibrillators (ICD)
  • Stents
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Orthopedic implants, such as rods or pins
  • A history of metal in your eyes or skull at any time in your life
  • Any other type of implanted medical device or foreign object 

What You Can Expect During Your Scan

Before the scan, your technologist will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. They will then help you onto the scanning table and make you comfortable. Depending on the part of the body being scanned, you may receive an injection of a contrast agent (or special dye) that will make some of your body tissues easier to see. Sometimes a special antenna will be placed around a part of your body.

The table will then slide very smoothly into the opening of the MRI unit. You won’t feel a thing, but you may hear a bumping noise and the hum of the machine. This is normal. A microphone and speaker are installed inside the magnet to allow you to talk with the technologist during the procedure. If you have any concerns during your MRI scan, please speak up. The technologist will also be able to see you through a glass window.

After Your Scan

When the exam is completed, You may dress and go home.  A board certified radiologist will carefully review and interpret your scan. The results will be sent to your doctor within a few days. Please make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the results.


Your appointment will be scheduled at the location that is most convenient for you and that offers the type of MRI technology your doctor recommends. An open MRI unit is available for patients who are uncomfortable in closed spaces. Let your doctor know if you experience claustrophobia or discomfort in tight spaces.

MRI services at these locations are provided by the staff of MidMichigan Regional Imaging, a sister company to the Medical Centers in Midland, Clare and Gladwin.