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A Better MRI Experience

Not every patient is the same, and lucky for you, not every MRI machine is either. Our center near Memphis TN offers two MRI machines, including a large bore open MRI for patients with claustrophobia. We bring both quality and comfort together to ensure the best patient care and experience.

What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive medical imaging test that uses a strong magnetic field, gradients, and radio waves to create images of the body’s internal organs and structures. It does not use ionizing radiation or X-rays to produce the image. The resulting images reveal details that are invisible or hard to see when using other methods, such as X-rays, Ultrasound, or CT scans. Providers often rely on MRI images for an accurate diagnosis of a variety of injuries, conditions and diseases.

For your safety and comfort:

  • Patients will be asked to complete a form documenting medical history information. The technologist will review this form with the patient prior to performing the exam.
  • Patients with implants in their bodies, such as pacemakers or stimulators, may not be able to have an MRI.
  • Patients with piercings may be asked to remove them prior to having the exam. The magnetic field will cause metal to heat up and could result in burns around the piercing.
  • Patients will be asked to change into scrubs. Metallic fibers are used in many apparel materials and can heat up during the exam. To avoid the risk of burns, scrubs will be provided to wear during the exam.
    • A locker will be provided to store clothing and personal items during the exam.
  • The exam is painless and to ensure a comfortable experience, the technologist will provide pillows, headphones, music and warm blankets.
  • Your technologist will conduct the test from an adjacent room. You will be able to communicate with them through a patient intercom system during the entire exam.
  • The exam is painless and to ensure a comfortable experience, the technologist will provide pillows, headphones, music and warm blankets.
  • Most exams take 30 to 60 minutes to complete and you may resume normal activities afterward. If you have taken any medication to relax prior to your exam we ask that you bring a driver for your safety.

What you should know

Answers to frequently asked questions.

MRIs do not use radiation and are safe for most patients but can be harmful if you have metal inside your body including:

  • Medical devices likes pacemakers, ear implants, insulin pumps and shunts
  • Joint replacements, plates or metal pins
  • Metal objects or fragments in your body

Inform your technologist if you have any internal metal before the test.

If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, talk to your doctor before the MRI scan about whether an MRI scan is right for you.

A contrast dye may be used to enhance some images. Some people may have a bad reaction to this dye. Talk to your doctor about any allergies you have or if you have liver or kidney problems. Liver and kidney problems may make it difficult for your body to get rid of the contrast.

It’s not unusual for an MRI exam to cause some anxiety. Our MRI is wider than most, creating a CT-like experience. Depending on the body part being examined, your head may not be in the machine. The opening of our machine is wider allowing for more space on each side of the body. Our compassionate technologists will make you comfortable on the table with a warm blanket and provide headphones with your choice of music so you can relax during the exam. Your technologist will talk to you throughout the exam and will give you a call button that you can press should you need immediate attention.

All MRI machines make noise during the scan, which is due to the way the machine creates images. The rhythmic “thump thump” sound is only heard while obtaining images. It’s extremely important during this time to hold completely still to prevent motion, resulting in blurry images. For your safety, we will provide headphones or earplugs to protect your hearing. You can listen to your choice of music for relaxation. However, even with headphones, you may still hear faint noises of the scanner. For your safety, hearing protection is always required during MRI exam.

Click here to listen to the sounds of an MRI machine.

MRI contrast, or Gadolinium may be injected into the vein to allow for better visualization of organs and blood vessels. An IV may be placed in the vein or butterfly needle may be used to inject the contrast agent. During the injection, you may feel a cool sensation at the injection site, which is completely normal. The technologist will review the use of the contrast agent with you prior to the exam and answer any questions you may have.

At The Imaging Center at Wolf River, we understand that the cost of an imaging exam can be a concern. Our rates for both insured and uninsured patients are substantially lower than the same exam performed at a hospital. We believe that price transparency is important so you can be prepared for your financial obligations, if any. To learn more about what your exam may cost, please click here.

The radiologist will review the MRI images and provide a diagnostic report that will be sent directly to your provider. The report is typically available to your provider within 24-48 hours. Many providers plan scheduled time to discuss results with their patients so you could check with their office to see when they will be available to review the information with you.

Prep for your exam

If you have an appointment scheduled, please click here to pre-register, complete forms and review exam preparation instructions. If you have any questions about your visit, please contact the imaging center at 901-312-4033.