Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans, or MRI’s, require a doctor's prescription, and in most cases, preauthorization from your insurance company. This means it is important to have the correct insurance information at the time of your visit to ensure our ability to properly preauthorize your MRI. See our billing policies for further information.
What can I expect before having an MRI?
- Screening for safety
Your doctor’s medical assistant will screen you for medical history or occupational reason you may be unable to have a MRI. Common such contraindications include pacemakers, lead wires, or any other surgically implanted device that uses radiofrequency fields or electricity. Some implants may also be contraindicated; it is important to know when, where, and what was implanted for the screening process. Operative reports typically contain this information.
- No magnets or metal
You will be required to remove anything metal or magnetically sensitive from your person. There are no exceptions to this rule, and we request that you make sure that you are able to remove such items from your person with relative ease.
- Length of scan
MRI scans typically take about 40-45 minutes while physically in position with the scanner. We suggest at least an hour and fifteen minutes and potentially longer for your appointment time depending on the type of scan and your body size. You will be given an estimate of the duration of your MRI appointment, so you can plan accordingly. We ask that you arrive on time as we schedule our appointments specifically for your imaging study.
- No protective covering or change in diet
Because MRI is a safe, non-invasive method of producing high-contrast images of the structural soft tissues elements in your body, you will not require any protective covering or special diet before, during, or after the MRI.
- What to wear
As far as attire goes, for lower extremity scans, cloth/fabric shorts are preferred, and for upper extremity scans, short sleeve shirts for elbows, wrists and hands or sleeveless shirts for shoulders are preferred. We do have exam shirts and shorts here in the office in case you are unable or forget to bring your own. Keep in mind that all clothing must be free of any metal. We do not allow jeans or any clothing with metal zippers or rivets in the MRI environment.
- Changing clothing and your comfort
You will be provided with a private changing area, and are encouraged to bring in a change of comfortable clothing along the MRI guidelines. Dress for comfort, as the room temperature is around 70°. Plenty of blankets are available to keep you warm during your MRI.
Your doctor’s medical assistant or the MRI Technologist can answer any specific questions you may have regarding your MRI.
To make an appointment with one of our physicians, please contact the office that is most convenient for you.
Chevy Chase Office 301-657-1996
K Street Office 202-833-1147
Sibley Office 202-787-5601