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I'm having a MRI performed; what should Iknow?

What is an MRI?
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a noninvasive diagnostic tool used to identify and treat various medical conditions. These exams provide unparalleled views of internal body structures including the organs, soft tissues and bone, which cannot be seen using conventional X-rays or CT scans.

How does MRI work?
MRI technology uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the human body. As the radio waves pass through the body, images are created on a computer screen for radiologists to analyze. These precise images allow radiologists to view soft tissue (muscles, fat, internal organs, blood vessels and tendons) and bones without the use of X-rays or surgery.

Is an MRI safe?
The MRI imaging technique does not involve exposure to radiation.  However, women should always inform their technologist if there is a chance they could be pregnant. Medical and electronic devices may interfere with MRI exams and pose a potential risk. Patients with any kind of metallic implant should not have an MRI unless their physician is aware of the device and has approved the procedure. Patients with pacemakers should not undergo an MRI.

Can children receive an MRI?
Yes, children can receive an MRI. Typically, the facility will have a specialty radiologist perform the procedure.  

Who do I contact to schedule my MRI?
Dr. Thomajan will select the facility that is best required for your MRI. You will leave with your MRI prescription order; all orders have the contact information provided. We utilize the following:
 a. River Ranch Radiology: (512) 454-9597
 b. Austin Radiological Association: (512) 453-6100
 c. Austin Health Imaging: (512) 451-8595

I do not live in Austin; can I go anywhere else to receive my MRI?
Although we prefer to use whom Dr. Thomajan has referred you to you do have the right to visit any facility for your MRI procedure. You can always take the referral we have already written to any facility or please just contact our office to write a generic MRI referral.

When should I arrive for my MRI?
Patients typically are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment. This allows time to complete any necessary paperwork, answer any medical history questions, change clothes for the scan if necessary and ask any questions for the technologist.

What do I bring with me to my MRI?
Please bring your insurance card, identification card and your MRI order.

How should I dress for my MRI?
Patients should dress in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing (i.e. sweatshirt and pants without metal snaps or zippers). All valuables will be removed so we recommend leaving them at home. We also recommend not wearing cosmetics as many brands contain metal.

What happens during my MRI?
When you are ready for your scan, a technologist will bring you into the MRI scan room and help you get comfortable on the padded examination table. The table will then move slowly into the opening of a large cylinder-shaped tube that houses the MRI magnet. You will hear a continual knocking noise while the machine takes pictures. Earplugs are provided and significantly reduce the amount of noise during the scan. It is important to lie completely still while the images are being taken because motion will affect the sharpness of the image. The technologist will talk with you throughout your scan and keep you informed of what you can expect. You can expect for your MRI to last somewhere between 20-60 minutes.

What happens after my MRI?
Patients may leave immediately following their MRI scan and go about normal activities. If you have requested the use of a mild sedative you will be required to have a responsible adult drive you home.

When can I expect my results?
Results are usually available and submitted to our office within 24-48 hours. Our staff will contact you as soon as they are available and interpreted by Dr. Thomajan. You will be required to schedule an office visit to receive your results. An office visit is required to discuss findings and develop a plan of action for your recovery.

I scheduled my results visit; do I have to pay a copay?
Yes, all visits are considered with your contract with your insurance company as an office visit. Any time you are seen and treated by Dr. Thomajan and his staff your insurance is billed. Part of your billed service is your copay; which is due on each date of service. 

Do I need to bring my results or copies of the MRI to my visit?
We do not require that you provide results. We will have access to your results. Should we require to see the physical scans we can access River Ranch Radiology and Austin Radiological Association online. Any other facility that does not provide scans online we will request the hard copy as a courtesy.

Contact our office with questions or concerns: (512) 328-8900. After hours press “0” for our answering service to page Dr. Thomajan.