MRI General Info and Preparation

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MRI Department

How to Find Us
You may enter St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center through the Emergency Entrance. The MRI Department is on the hospital’s first floor.  Simply take your first right down a long hallway where the MRI Department is the last department on the right.   

What to Do Prior to Your MRI Appointment
Patients are asked to be pre-registered by calling the hospital’s registration department at (207)777-8878.  After responding to basic demographic and insurance questions, your call will be transferred to the MRI Department where you will be asked a series of safety related questions.  We ask patients to call to confirm a minimum of 48 hours prior to their scheduled appointment.  Any appointment not confirmed will be rescheduled.

What to Know
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves, and a sophisticated computer system to produce detailed images of the body’s soft tissue, central nervous system, and bones.  The procedure is safe and generally painless.  Because of the superior clarity of the images, it allows for early detection and treatment of disease without invasive procedures such as surgery.  In many cases, MRI saves the cost of hospitalization and numerous other tests.  The better the image, the earlier a disorder can be identified and evaluated, enabling physicians to treat it with great success.  There are no known side effects following an MRI examination.

How to Get Ready
Unless specified by your doctor and the MRI staff, no special diet or preparation is necessary.  However, there are certain types of MRI’s that do require the patient to be without food or drink for 6 hours prior to the MRI.  These would include any type of MRI of the abdominal area.

If you would be more comfortable in your own clothes, wear metal-free clothing.  Patient gowns, hospital pants, and/or robes are provided.  You may bring a favorite CD for your listening comfort and relaxation.

Before your Scan
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your medical history and symptoms related to the MRI exam.  The technologist will review the questions with you.  If you have worked with metal as a hobby, job, or around your home, X-rays of your eyes may be performed to make certain no metal fragments are embedded around your eyes.

Please let us know if you have

  • Aneurysm clips
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Artificial heart valve
  • Shrapnel or bullet wounds
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Pacemaker
  • Metallic pins/plates/implants
  • Metallic nail polish
  • Permanent “tattooed” eyeliner
  • Surgical staples
  • Implanted drug infusion device/pump
  • Dentures
  • Please let us know if you may possibly be pregnant.
Patients who have intracranial aneurysm clips, cardiac pacemakers or implanted defibrillators generally cannot be examined with MRI.  

Items not allowed in MRI scan rooms

  • Watches
  • Hearing aids
  • Hair clips or pins
  • Credit cards or bank cards
  • Jewelry
  • Keys
  • Pocket knives
  • Cell phones
  • Any other metal objects

The MRI Scan
The technologist will escort you into the scan room.  A special coil may be attached to the area of your body being examined.  The scanning bed then slides into position.  The technologist will direct the scan from the computer console or command center of the system.  You may experience slight vibrations of the table during the scan, and you may hear light tapping or knocking sounds.  The scan will consist of several sets of images with brief pauses in between. 

The average scan takes approximately 20 to 40 minutes.  You can help produce a high quality image by lying still during the examination.  Our staff will be able to see you directly through the adjoining window during the examination.  The technologist will communicate with you on a two-way microphone system.

St. Mary’s MRI services are supported by Spectrum Medical Group radiologists.  They are board certified and sub-speciality trained in areas including neuroradiology, body imaging, muskuloskeletal radiology, pediatric radiology and vascular and interventional radiology.  Spectrum’s radiologists interpret the greatest number of MRIs in Maine.

After your Scan
Your scan will be reviewed and interpreted by a board-certified radiologist, and the interpretation will be relayed to your physician who will discuss the results with you.  If you have any questions about your examination, do not hesitate to ask your physician. 

Give us a Call
If you have any questions or concerns about MRI, please call St. Mary’s MRI Department at (207)755-3700.  Our goal is to make your visit as easy and comfortable as possible and to provide your physician with a speedy and accurate interpretation of the results of your exam.

Health Insurance
St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center will file your MRI claim with your insurance, unless otherwise specified.  Many insurance plans require pre-authorization.  Please check with your insurance company.  In addition, you may receive a bill from the radiologist who took care of reading your results.

© 2016 St. Mary's Regional Medical Center 93 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240 Phone: 207-777-8100