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What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?

Your Doctor has arranged for you to be examined using one of the most advanced diagnostic methods available - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). MRI is an advanced medical imaging technique that provides very clear pictures of the human body. It provides an excellent way to diagnose diseases of the brain, spine, skeleton, chest, abdomen, pelvis and blood vessels.

Our MRI offers comfort and shorter exam times. It has large, well-lit openings on either end, attractive design and soft colors which produce a friendly space. The exam usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. It consists of several image exposures lasting six minutes each. These pictures assist us in making the best diagnosis and may even eliminate the need for biopsy or surgery.

Nearly every part of the body can be studied with MRI. Organs such as the heart, liver, bladder and kidneys can be easily seen. It’s very good at finding changes in cartilage and bone structure caused by injury, disease or aging.

What Can You Expect During the MRI Exam?

Although MRI is a very advanced technique, it will be one of the simplest and most comfortable exams you may ever have.

A staff member will simply ask you to lie down on a cushioned table. A device called a “coil” will be placed over or under you. It will produce the clearest picture of the area it’s placed near. When you’re settled, the table will move through the magnet. The staff member will step into the control area, while staying in constant contact with you both visually and through a speaker system. As the exam proceeds, you’ll hear a muffled thumping sound for several minutes at a time. Relax and lie as still as possible. Any movement during this time will blur the picture. Other than the sound, the MRI creates no other feelings in the body. Your test results will be read by a radiologist and sent to your doctor who will share the results with you.

For Your Personal Safety

If you’re having an MRI examination, please tell your doctor or the technologist if you have:

  • Cardiac pacemaker
  • Defibrillator
  • An artificial heart valve
  • Metal plate, pin or other metallic implant
  • Hearing instruments
  • Insulin pumps
  • Dosage devices for medications
  • Intrauterine device, such as Copper-7 IUD
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Previous gunshot wound
  • Ever been a metal worker
  • Permanent (tattoo) eye-liner
  • If you are pregnant

Instructions for You

Before your test

  • You should arrive at Carteret Health Care one hour prior to your table time appointment
  • Go to Patient Registration at the 35th Street entrance to register
  • You will be required to remove all jewelry and clothing and will wear a gown provided by the hospital
  • Avoid drinking caffeine prior to your MRI so you are able to lie quietly for several minutes at a time

After your test

  • You should resume all normal activities unless sedated

Your MRI Appointment

Please call if you have any questions:

MRI Department 252-808-6159
Radiology Department 252-808-6154
Scheduling 252-808-6200

Our hours are from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday - Friday