MRI is a painless, non-invasive test used to diagnose and treat medical conditions. It uses radiofrequency waves and a strong magnetic field to produce clear, multidimensional images of internal organs and structures.
Why Might I Need an MRI?
The high-resolution images produced by MRI technology can help diagnose a variety of problems, including:
- Back pain
- Head and neck conditions
- Shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers, hips, knees, ankle and foot injuries
- Abdomen and pelvic diseases
- Tumors and abnormalities in many internal organs such as liver, kidneys, pancreas, uterus, ovaries and prostate
- Breast cancer
The Most Advanced MRI South of Boston
With five locations across Cape Cod, Cape Cod Healthcare provides the most advanced MRI imaging available. In addition to our three 1.5 Tesla MRI machines, Cape Cod Healthcare has two 3T MRI scanners – the only 3T MRIs south of Boston. This technology provides the most powerful FDA-approved MRI scanning available anywhere.
The increased image clarity provided by the 3T MRI delivers enhanced views of the brain, spine and particularly the vascular system, a benefit unreachable by less powerful technology. This ability may allow a 3T angiogram scan to replace invasive vascular testing, like diagnostic catheter procedures.
Our 3T MRI also performs FAST MRI breast cancer screening with accelerated imaging that offers highly effective detection of breast masses, particularly in patients with dense breasts.
Breast cancer screening at the Cuda Women’s Health Center in the Wilkens Outpatient Medical Complex uses FAST MRI, which takes just three to five minutes.
How to Prepare
Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow time for insurance paperwork and patient screening with an MRI technologist.
A few additional steps can also ensure your safety and comfort in the MRI environment:
- Dress in comfortable clothing with no metal zippers or buttons*
- Wear a sport bra without underwires
- When possible, leave jewelry and other valuables at home
*Because MRI uses a magnet, metal can interfere with the image. Belts, zippers and buttons may contain metal, so if you dress with these items, your MRI technologist may ask you to change into a hospital gown/pants.
The only exams where there is a specific preparation is for abdominal studies (Abdomen, MRCP, and Enterography). Nothing by mouth 4-6 hours prior to exam, except for diabetics. For diabetics, we ask them to be NPO 2 hours prior. Medication to be taken as usual.
No special preparation is needed for an MR arthrogram. You can eat and drink as you normally would and should take any prescribed medicines. If you have had an allergic reaction to contrast agents, please contact your referring physician as he or she may recommend other diagnostic procedures. If you have bleeding problems or are currently on anticoagulants, such as Coumadin or aspirin, inform your doctor before the scheduled exam.