Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

The Hutchinson Clinic MRI Department has been accredited since 2007 by the American College of Radiology. Our facility has voluntarily gone through a vigorous review process to ensure that we meet nationally-accepted standards of care. Our personnel are well qualified, through education and certification to perform medical imaging, and interpret your images. Our facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines.

Why is the Hutchinson Clinic MRI Department the right choice for an MRI?

The Hutchinson Clinic has a Philips 1.5T Ingenia MR system. This is the first-ever digital broadband magnetic resonance imaging system and it provides consistently high-quality images and a high level of patient comfort. The Ingenia MRI scanner is based around a wide-bore magnet with a 70 cm opening, enabling us to image patients of varying size, age and physical condition. The Ingenia scanner enables us to scan patients weighing up to 550 lbs, depending on the type of MRI exam that is ordered. The Hutchinson Clinic has the largest MRI bore/tube in the area.

What to expect with an MRI at the Hutchinson Clinic

  • Painless scans

  • Shorter exams

  • Greater comfort

  • More revealing images

What exactly is an MRI?

MRIs or Magnetic Resonance Images let doctors see inside your body to identify and diagnosis a wide variety of possible medical conditions – all without exposure to X-rays. Instead, an MRI uses a powerful magnet, radio waves, and special coils to detect electrical signals from your body. A computer then turns this information into detailed images our doctors can use to help determine what might be wrong with you or your family member.

What’s the benefit?

MRI imaging is painless and much quicker than you think, especially with our new Philips ingenia 1.5T MR System. It has a wide opening, so it’s much less confining than older MR systems and more comfortable for a wider range of patients. Since it’s fast and accurate, you’ll be done quickly and your doctor will get the needed images fast.

How do I prepare for an MRI?

For many MRI exams, no special preparation is needed. For some, you may need to fast for 4-6 hours. Others require you to swallow a fluid or get an injection of a dye that helps show what’s going on inside your body. Guidelines vary with the specific exam and also with the facility. You will be asked to remove all metal (earrings, watches, bobby pins, piercings, etc.)  and electronic devices or credit cards. You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or wear loose-fitting clothing with no metal fasteners, zippers, or buttons.

How long will the exam take?

With the Philips Ingenia 1.5T, we can perform routine exams for brain, spine, knee, ankle, and shoulder quickly and easily. It will depend on what is being studied. Most exams are completed within 30 minutes. Others could take 45 minutes to complete.

Does the scanner make a lot of noise?

Yes, the magnet makes  a loud knocking noise as the images are being taken. In between scans the machine is quiet. Your MRI technologist will provide you with hearing protection, but you can still hear the technologist if he or she speaks to you during the exam.

Will I have to hold still the whole time?

Yes, we will get the highest quality results if you hold still during the exam. If you move, the images will become blurry and they may need to be repeated. You’ll be in contact with one of our technologists at all times. Even when the technologist is not in the MRI room, you will be able to talk by the intercom. You will also be given a nurse call button that you can press if assistance is needed.

Can anyone get an MRI?

You do need an order from a doctor before an MRI can be scheduled. Once an order has been received, you will be contacted by the MRI staff and  asked a number of important questions prior to scheduling an appointment. Since the MRI uses a large magnet, the MRI staff needs to be aware of any metal or electronic devices that you may have in your body. This includes pacemakers, defibrillators, anuerysm clips in the brain, inner ear implants, spinal cord stimulators, metal fragments in eyes, or if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

If you have any questions about getting an MRI at the Hutchinson Clinic, you can contact the MRI department at (620) 669-2608.