WNY Imaging Group FAQ
If you have a question regarding the procedures performed at WNY Imaging Group, chances are you can find the answer below. If your question isn’t answered in this section, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to provide the information you need.
What is an MRI and how is it performed?
Magnetic resonance imaging is a method of diagnosis that uses a static magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to obtain signals from the body to create an image. There is no radiation or X-rays used. This technology is important because MRI illustrates to your doctor more clearly than ever before the differences between healthy and unhealthy tissues.
An MRI provides detailed images of the body in any plane. Unlike CT scans, MRI procedures use no radiation, but use a powerful magnetic field to align the magnetization of the hydrogen atoms in the body. Radio waves are then used to alter the alignment of the magnetization, causing the hydrogen atoms to produce rotating magnetic field detectable by the scanner. There are no side effects produced by this and the atoms return to normal when exiting the magnetic field. Small devices called “coils” may be placed around the head, arm, leg or other areas that are to be studied. These devices help to send and receive the radio waves. The images can be viewed on a computer, on CD or printed on film. The machine produces loud sounds during the procedure. Ear plugs are usually provided to help reduce the noise. Upon completion of the procedure, you may resume normal activities.
The scan is completed as an outpatient procedure, which means that the patient can go home immediately after the test. During the scan it is important to lie completely still. A sedative is sometimes recommended to children or adults that may have a difficulty lying still or who might be claustrophobic. It is important to arrange for appropriate transportation home in these cases.
How is an MRI different from an X-ray?
An MRI shows muscle, tissue, diseased tissue, tumors, bone, ligaments, cartilage and tendons, whereas an X-ray only shows bone.
How is an MRI different from a CT scan?
It is possible to take pictures from almost every angle with an MRI scan. There is no ionizing radiation (X-rays) involved in producing an MRI scan and the images can be more detailed as well. The difference between normal and abnormal tissue is often clearer on an MRI than on a CT scan.
Is an MRI scan dangerous?
There are no known dangers or side effects connected to an MRI scan. The test is not painful; you can’t even feel it. Since there is no radiation involved, the procedure can be repeated without problems. Scans are not performed on women who are pregnant due to a small theoretical risk to the fetus during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Are there any side effects?
To date, studies have shown there are no side effects associated with an MRI Imaging.
How long does the procedure take?
The MRI takes between 15 and 45 minutes depending on what part of the body is being scanned.
Can someone come into the room with me during my MRI?
You may take a friend or family member into the scan room with you. They will need to follow the same protocol as any MRI patient, meaning they must remove all metal objects from their persons and be screened for any metal implants.
What if I have metal implants (i.e. prosthesis)?
An MRI is done using a strong magnetic field to create the image. Some metal implants could cause problems if subjected to these incredibly high magnetic forces, so ALWAYS check with your doctor to ensure that your implant is safe for MRIs.
What is an MRA?
MRA is magnetic resonance angiography. This looks at the blood flow in arteries, veins and can detect narrowing or stenosis. An MRA is performed the same way as an MRI, and may require contrast injection.
Is there any reason that I cannot have a bone densitometry?
If you’ve had an IV injection or ingested barium, you must wait two (2) weeks before having the procedure.
Do I need to make an appointment for my procedure?
An appointment is required for most procedures at WNY Imaging Group. We can usually schedule you within 24-36 hours.
X-ray procedures are still taken on a walk-in basis.
I don’t have a sitter, can I bring my child with me?
We don't have the space or staffing available to properly attend to your child. However, we will be happy to reschedule your appointment to a time more convenient for you.