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Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Hours of Service
7:00 am – 7:00 pm, Monday – Friday.
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Saturday.
On call emergency services after hours and weekends

Overview of MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic imaging technique that combines a powerful magnetic field with computer technology to produce detailed images of the body’s soft tissue. Because certain atoms in our cells respond, or “resonate,” slightly in the presence of magnetic fields, MRI is able to use that response to create detailed computer representation of internal organs, muscles, connective tissue, and the central nervous system. MRI doesn’t expose patients to radioactive materials, x-rays, or any form of ionizing radiation. To the best of our knowledge, MRI produces no harmful side effects.

Upon arrival, patients are welcomed by a receptionist who will request pertinent insurance information. Patients are asked to fill out paper work and submit their insurance cards.

This will be followed by a brief interview with an MRI technologist who will discuss the MRI procedure and confirm all safety screening questions.

Patients will recline on a cushioned MRI table, and because the machine is rather loud, they are offered either earplugs or a headset to listen to music and to hear instructions from the technologist. During the scan patients will hear the machine making various thumping and buzzing noises.

MRI Imaging Procedures

Depending on the type of MRI scan, plan on spending at least 1 hour to an hour and a half for the entire visit. Patient should bring the following for the appointment:

  • The Insurance card
  • Any referral form from the doctor’s office (a prescription for example) 
  • A family member or friend if the patient would like someone to stay in the scan room with them during the scan. Please keep in mind that this person will need to be screened just as the actual patients are before entering the magnetic field. The person accompanying the patient should not be pregnant.

The most important role of the patient is to relax and lie perfectly still during the scan, because the MRI equipment is very sensitive to motion. Even the slightest movement can distort and limit the diagnostic value of the scan.

Screening Concerns for MRI Patients

Although MRI is a safe and painless exam, the patient does need to enter a magnetic field for the exam. Therefore, there are some conditions that may interfere with the quality and/or may prevent a patient from having an MRI exam.

Patients should inform the MRI Technologist if they have any of the following:

  • A pacemaker
  • A metal plate, pin or other metallic implant
  • Cochlear implants/metallic ear implants
  • Aneurysm clips
  • An artificial heart valve
  • An intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Are pregnant
  • Have ever been exposed to any metal fragments through war wounds, as a metal worker, or construction, house cleaning, or painting work
  • Any metallic chips or splinters in the eye (welding or grinding, even if as a hobby)

There are no dietary restrictions before an MRI, however, there are some precautions that patients can take to ensure their safety.

It is very important that you do not wear into the exam area:

  • Hairspray
  • Jewelry – please leave at home
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing Aid
  • Makeup
  • Metallic Nail Polish
  • Any removable dental work (dentures included)

More Information


St. Mary's Health System • 93 Campus Avenue • Lewiston, ME 04240