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Understanding Magnetic Resonance Imaging

What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a medical technology that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to allow physicians to explore the inner workings of the human body. No radiation is involved in this procedure. MRI allows your doctor to uncover stroke damage, assess heart problems and even detect cancer in its earliest stages.

The high-field, open MRI at the Baptist Imaging Center offers doctors the fastest scanning times and highest resolution images available. Larger patients and those who are claustrophobic will appreciate the system's wide couch, short length and large opening.

You may pre-register online.  If you do not pre-register, arrive at the hospital 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time to complete the registration process.

Before your exam, the diagnostic imaging staff will ask questions, such as do you have:

  • A pacemaker?
  • Some type of metallic implant?
  • Certain types of prosthetic devices?
  • Metal objects such as cerebral aneurysm clips (a metal clip on a blood vessel) or cochlear implants (an internal hearing aid)?

These devices might prohibit you from having an MRI exam. If you have any of these devices, make sure your physician and the MRI staff are informed.

Important Reminders

  1. There is no prep for this exam.
  2. You may eat or drink normally.
  3. If you are on medication for pain or otherwise, we ask that you bring it with you.
  4. You may also bring a friend or family member with you, as long as they also pass the screening check.
  5. Pre-certification is required in most cases. Please check with your healthcare provider.

How Long is the MRI Exam?

The exam usually lasts an hour, depending on the information your doctor needs.

What Happens During the Exam?

You will be asked to lie flat on a table, designed to slide into the center of the magnet. Pillows will be provided for your comfort.  You will hear intermittent humming and thumping sounds. This is quite normal. It is most important that you remain still during the scan.

How Will I Feel After the MRI?

You should be able to resume your everyday activities.

For More Information

For more information about diagnostic imaging services at Baptist Health Paducah, phone (270) 575-2600.