Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within your body.

Most MRI machines are large, tube-shaped magnets. When you lie inside an MRI machine, the magnetic field temporarily realigns hydrogen atoms in your body. Radio waves cause these aligned atoms to produce very faint signals, which are used to create cross-sectional MRI images. These images are very detailed and are acquired with no radiation.

MRI imaging is done with a powerful magnet, so patients need to wear metal free clothing and will be screened prior to the procedure for implanted devices that might be contra-indicated.

A patient will be positioned on a cushioned table that will slide into the MRI machine. A technologist will monitor the patient during the exam at all times utilizing a speaker system and call button to stay connected with the patient. Depending on the type of exam ordered, a contrast agent may be injected through an IV. The machine makes loud tapping noises throughout the exam, and patients are provided with ear plugs to minimize the noise.

We have a high field GE HDXT MRI scanner (1.5 Tesla) which enables us to image virtually any part of the body, but it is especially good for imaging soft tissues such as the brain, spine and joints as well as the venous and arterial systems. All of these exams can be done with or without a contrast injection and generally take between 30 to 60 minutes per exam. For patients that are anxious or that may suffer from claustrophobia and have concerns about holding still during the examination, a family member or friend can remain in the procedure room for support and comfort. Sedation can be arranged if needed.

Our imaging staff are all highly trained and qualified to provide the best care possible. All of our radiologists are board certified and results are available within 24 hours of the procedure.

For outpatient scheduling, please call (626) 814-2472.