MRI Frequently Asked Questions

How long will an MRI scan take?

MRI scans vary from 20-60 minutes depending on what part of the body is being scanned and how many images are required.

I have braces/fillings, can I have an MRI scan?

Although the actual braces and fillings are unaffected by the scan, they may distort the image. Our technologists will discuss this with you before your scan. Depending upon the MRI scan ordered there may be some distortion. We have the latest techniques to reduce this distortion and the technologist will do everything possible for you to receive the best scan possible.

Can I move during the MRI scan?

It is important to stay as still as possible while in the MRI scanner. Any movement during a scan will distort the images and the images produced could be blurry. Depending on the length of the scan, our technologists may be able to have you swallow or get more comfortable between scans.

I am claustrophobic. Is there an option for me?

At Open Imaging we pride ourselves on getting claustrophobic and anxious patients scanned with dignity and respect. We deal with these issues several times per day! We will take whatever time necessary to make you comfortable and informed throughout the MRI scan.

With our Open High-Field scanner there is no “tube” to go into. This allows much more room for you to see out, and for a loved one to be with you during the scan. In rare cases, under the direction of our radiologist that is always on site, we can give patients a mild sedative to make the scan even easier.

Rest assured; we are the experts in dealing with these issues. We have patients come to us from as far away as Nevada and Colorado to have their scans done properly.

Can I have an MRI scan if I am pregnant?

Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer to this complex question. Please be sure to inform the technologist if you are or might be pregnant. It is generally said that an MRI scan is much less harmful to a fetus than a CT scan for instance. You and the doctor who referred you for the MRI scan are the ones to determine what is best for you. There has been relatively little research on the effect of MRI scans on pregnancy.

Guidelines published in 2016 have shed more light on the issue. These guidelines suggest that MRI scans should, if possible, be restricted during the first trimester. If it is essential for your safety that diagnostic tests be performed, MRI is usually preferred over other tests using ionizing radiation. MRI scans performed during the second and third trimester are considered safe.

The guidelines also state that inadvertent exposure to MRI during the first trimester has not been associated with long-term consequences and should not raise concern for the patient or the fetus.