About RAIBlog ArchiveFrequently Asked Questions About MRI Scans

Frequently Asked Questions About MRI Scans


MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce a clear and detailed digital image of the human anatomy. By conducting an MRI scan, physicians can detect and identify a number of medical conditions in their early stages and therefore increase the likelihood of recovery.

Is an MRI safe?

Yes, getting an MRI scan is very safe. Unlike CAT scans, this diagnostic imaging method does not involve any exposure to radiation. In fact, there are no known side effects related to MRI scans. However, because it does involve exposure to a strong magnetic field, patients with certain devices like pacemakers and other implants cannot get an MRI.

How long does the scan take?

MRI scans can typically last between 30 minutes and two hours. However, depending on the type of study, there are instances when the procedure duration can be even shorter with a more detailed MRI such as a 3 Tesla MRI

The patient is required to lie still while the machine takes a series of pictures. Each series normally takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Can I talk during the exam?

Though you will need to remain still, you will be able to communicate with the technician at various intervals. You are free to ask questions and answer any questions addressed to you.

Will the exam cause any pain?

Absolutely not. You will not feel any pain during the MRI scan. Because you must remain motionless, you may experience some slight discomfort.

Will I feel claustrophobic during the exam?

If you are prone to claustrophobia, make sure you tell your physician ahead of time. There are two kinds of MRI machines: open MRI machines and closed MRI machines. The closed unit completely envelopes the patient during the scan, while the open MRI machine is a large ring that patients pass through. 

For patients who suffer from anxiety in closed spaces, the open MRI unit is ideal. We also cover ways to cope with claustrophobia and anxiety prior to your MRI exam in this blog post.

MRI scans are extremely common, with a total of 30 million performed in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for an open MRI in NJ, your options will be more limited.

If you’re local to Hamilton or Lawrenceville, NJ and are in need of diagnostic imaging services, consider Radiology Affiliates Imaging. We’d be happy to discuss our new Open MRI procedure and diagnostic imaging services with you.

RAI Radiology Affiliates Imaging

Radiology Affiliates Imaging offers highly specialized experience in every facet of radiology, utilizing current and progressive protocols with the most innovative techniques for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic intervention.