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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Advanced Radiology (Imaging) Services at St. Luke’s

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a powerful magnet, radio waves and computers to provide your doctors with detailed pictures of the inside of your body.

If you have an MRI scheduled, you may have many questions.

We’ve compiled the most common questions to help address any concerns you may have.

Why might I need one?
An MRI can help your doctors diagnose certain diseases or injuries and allow them to monitor how well you have responded to treatment. You may need an MRI if your CT scan or X-ray doesn’t provide your doctor with enough information about your condition.

How do you address claustrophobia?

  • We can address claustrophobia in many ways.
  • We offer patients sleep masks to help them avoid seeing the MRI during their exam.
  • We allow patients to have screened family members go into the exam room with them during their scan.
  • In many cases we can offer you music to listen to during the MRI to help you feel comfortable.
  • You can always ask your healthcare provider to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication before the exam and see if you would be a suitable candidate for anesthesia.
  • We will give you an emergency squeeze ball to hold in your hand to press if you feel scared or uncomfortable at any point during your MRI.

What should I do to have my MRI images sent to my provider?

Please contact St. Luke’s Medical Records at 484-526-4719. St. Luke’s has an image-share platform, allowing us to electronically send them for you.

The MRI screening questionnaire appears on St. Luke’s MyChart. Why does St. Luke’s verbally screen patients again?
Safety is our highest priority. The St. Luke’s staff verbally screens all patients again to ensure all screening questions are fully understood.

Why do I have to change for MRI examinations, and remove piercings and jewelry?
If your clothing has even a small amount of metal on or in it, there is a possibility of injury. Additionally, the smallest amount of metal can distort the MRI image, even if it is away from the area being imaged.

Why do I have to get a contrast injection? My doctor ordered it, but can I refuse it?
If your doctor ordered the contrast for your exam, he or she feels it will be helpful for your specific symptoms. You can refuse the contrast, but it may limit the exam.

How long is my MRI examination?
Exams can vary from 20 minutes to one hour depending on what you are having imaged. To better answer this question, please contact us.

Why do I have to get my prior “outside” examinations?
Prior exams are always helpful for comparative purposes. If an abnormality was present on the prior exam, your radiologist will be able to make a better diagnosis based on the rate of change, if any, from the prior exam.