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 "I've had my share of MRIs, and this was by far the most pleasant visit I have ever had." Actual comment from patient surveys.

UMI - University Medical Imaging
How to prepare: Tips on preparing for your exam. For preparation instructions, click on your exam below. A UMI Care Coordinator will also call you to answer all your questions about preparation and what to expect during your exam.
 

"Excellent! Everyone was friendly and helpful -- great people."

 

Actual comment from a patient survey.

MRI
3T MRI
Computer Tomography (CT)
Ultrasound
Digital Radiography/X-Rays


MRI-- Magnetic Resonance Imaging

General preparation tips

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled exam time to complete a medical history form. It is important to fill out all information on the form (surgeries, medications, etc.) so that UMI staff can determine its relevance to your specific exam conditions.

You will be escorted to a dressing room to change into a gown for your procedure. You will also need to remove all jewelry, body piercings, or clothing with metallic elements. Although lockers are provided, we ask that you leave your valuables at home. We cannot be held responsible if your items are lost or stolen. Your entire stay for the exam is estimated at 1 to 2 hours, including advance arrival time. Certain multiple exam procedures may take longer.

Metal objects and/or implants

As its name implies, Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses magnetic fields to generate its images. Metallic objects can significantly disrupt MRI imaging or even cause harm to you or the staff. Therefore, no metal (with the exception of specific internal implants) may be on your person during the exam. With this in mind, please notify the UMI Technologist of any artificial implants or foreign objects.

To determine MRI safety:

X-ray pictures may be taken to confirm presence or absence of metallic implants.

Contacting the surgeon and implant manufacturer may be required.

Head and neck MRIs require the removal of dentures or partials.

Claustrophobia

If you experience claustrophobia and would like sedation for your exam, please consult your referring physician to see if he/she will write you a prescription in advance of your UMI visit. UMI does not provide this medication.

Patients undergoing head scans will have a mirror to see out of the scanner. For other MRI procedures, you may request the use of prism glasses that also allow you to see outside the scanner, or we can provide you with a special blindfold. To increase your comfort, fresh air is constantly circulated throughout the lighted scanner.

Special conditions

Please contact us in advance of your appointment if any of the following conditions pertain to you:

If you have had spinal surgery in the past and are scheduled for a spinal exam.
Please be advised that your breathing may not be assisted with an oxygen tank during an MRI exam.

If you have artificial implants (pacemaker, aneurysm clips, etc.), please notify UMI the day prior to your appointment and bring your implant card with you to the exam. UMI is unable to accommodate patients confined to stretchers.

For patient and staff safety, wheelchair patients must be able to assist with their transfer to the exam table.

The table used in the MRI exam has a weight limit of 350 lbs. If your weight exceeds this figure, please contact us in advance so that alternative imaging procedures or locations may be discussed.

Contrast injection

Certain MRI scans require an injection of an odorless and colorless contrast known as gadolinium. This injection is given in a vein, generally with a butterfly (very small) needle or IV catheter.

Side effects to this contrast are extremely rare, with the most common being a mild sensation of nausea (which passes after several minutes) and hives that might appear approximately 20 minutes after the injection. However, if you have severe asthma, are allergic to multiple medications, or have previously had an allergic reaction to MRI contrast, please contact our Nursing Department at 341-9230 prior to your appointment.

Please be aware that gadolinium is iodine-free. UMI routinely checks the results of recent blood tests as a precaution for those patients who are renal-compromised. If you are on dialysis, please contact our Nursing Department at 341-9230 prior to your appointment.

The contrast will not impair your ability to drive, and will pass harmlessly in your urine within 24 hours after the completion of the exam.

For more detailed information on radiology procedures, please visit this informational site.

Why we ask all patients to change for an MRI

Did you know your clothing could have metal in the material that could cause burning during an MRI? We are not talking about the obvious snaps, zippers and clasps that are commonly found in clothes. Metal has been used for centuries in clothes but it's more common now with athletic wear, especially microfiber materials. Clothes that you believe to be free of metal. Are you wearing clothing containing metallic threading?

Athletic gear is manufacturing clothing to prevent odor and this is done by bonding pure silver into the fabric strands. The technology purports to stop odor causing bacteria from embedding itself into the clothing. There is gold and copper weaved microfiber technology that is thought to help with joint and muscle pain. These can also be problematic in an MRI environment.

If you see the label ANTI-MICROBIAL it most likely has micro silver technology or something called "Nano Silver Technology" and could be dangerous during an MRI.

But there is a catch. Your clothing label might not indicate that there is metal in your clothing at all. Silver or metal fibers can turn up in many brands but you may never know it. Generally there are no safety hazards considered with using metal microfibers, so the manufacturers are not required to notify the consumer of these materials.

All imaging centers should require ALL patients to change and use an MRI approved gown for MRI exams. Why? Clearly we have no idea whats in the material of your clothing. And we will not take the risk and potentially get you seriusly burned during your exam. Sorry, there is no waiver form for this. You must change for your MRI here at UMI.


3 T MRI

See How to Prepare for MRI

The preparation tips for 3T MRI are the same as for MRI. However, some implanted metallic objects that are considered safe in 1.5T MRI might not be in 3T MRI. Please contact our office for further instructions.


CT—Computer Tomography

General preparation tips

Many CT exams involve the use of common contrast agents. Here is what you need to know prior to your exam:

If you have severe asthma, are allergic to multiple medications, or have previously had an allergic reaction to x-ray contrast, please contact our Nursing Department at 341-9230 prior to your appointment.

Please be sure not to eat or drink ANYTHING (including water) for at least 2 hours prior to your scheduled exam time.

If you are taking a prescription for either Glucophage or Glucovance, do not take it on the day of your exam.

Please bring all relevant insurance information, referral paperwork, and copies of X-rays and/or prior exams.

For CT scans of all areas other than the abdomen or pelvis:

Please arrive at UMI no less than 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your exam.

The total length of your exam time is expected to be approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

For abdominal or pelvic CT scans:

Please arrive at UMI no less than 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time.

Please note that oral, rectal, or intravenous contrast may be used.

The estimated length of your entire appointment will be 60 minutes.

Special conditions

Please contact UMI in advance of your appointment if any of the following conditions apply to you:

If you are confined to a stretcher.  UMI is unable to accommodate these patients (and will refer them to a hospital or other appropriate provider).

For patient and staff safety, wheelchair patients must be able to assist with their transfer to the exam table.

The CT table used has a weight limit of 450 lbs. If your weight exceeds this figure, please contact us in advance so that alternative imaging procedures or locations may be discussed.

For more detailed information on radiology procedures, please visit this informational site.


 

Ultrasound

General preparation tips

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the exam time to complete a medical history form.
The following Ultrasound exam modalities require no special pre-exam preparation: Arterial, Musculoskeletal, Scrotal, Trans-vaginal, Thyroid and Venous.

Other exam types that require preparation include:

Pelvic: Please drink 32 oz. (one quart, or four eight-ounce glasses) of water 1 hour prior to the time of the exam. This will ensure a full bladder, which facilitates a proper diagnostic setting. (If your bladder becomes painfully full, feel free to urinate just enough to be comfortable while still ensuring a full bladder for the exam.)

Abdomen: (Kidneys, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, aorta, and spleen): It is important that you take nothing by mouth (i.e., no food or water) after midnight of the evening preceding a morning abdominal Ultrasound. If the exam is scheduled for an afternoon, please be sure to fast for at least 4 hours prior to the exam. (Note: If the exam is called for under urgent conditions and the fasting guidelines cannot be followed, please notify your UMI Sonographer before the exam gets underway.)

Your entire stay for the exam is estimated at 1 hour, including advance arrival time.

About Ultrasound Gel

All Ultrasound exams at UMI use a warmed gel for patient comfort.

The gel acts as a coupling agent, so that the sound waves emitted from the transducer can be efficiently transmitted and received to and from the body.

Once the imaging is complete, the gel will be wiped off your skin. The water-soluble gel does not stain fabrics or skin. Also, because it is hypoallergenic, its use carries no risk of allergic reaction.

For more detailed information on radiology procedures, please visit this informational site.


General X-rays

General preparation tips

No special advance preparations are required for these simple procedures. For certain procedures, you may be asked to change into a gown.

Please don’t hesitate to contact UMI  directly with any questions or concerns you may have.

If you are pregnant or suspect you may  be pregnant, please notify your physician and the UMI Technologist prior to your exam.