We offer MRI services in both Smithfield and Clayton, with a wide-bore MRI in Clayton to provide more comfort to patients who need extra space. We are accredited in MRI and Breast MRI from the American College of Radiology, and our well-trained technologists will guide you through the procedure. We know that some patients feel anxious about getting a MRI, but we will help you feel relaxed and at ease.

Offered at: Johnston Health and Johnston Health Clayton Ambulatory Imaging

What is an MRI?

An MRI is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. This allows your physician to detect any disease or abnormality that might be present. MRI may also be done to provide more information about a problem seen on an X-ray, ultrasound scan, or CT scan. This is a very safe and easy process, and we do everything we can to make our patients feel comfortable and relaxed during the exam.

MRI is used to diagnose a variety of conditions in several areas of the body. Some patients need a complete body MRI, and others need to focus on a specific area like the spine, back, abdomen, or pelvis. Other procedures focus on specific bones and joints, or on the blood vessels.

What to Expect

An MRI is a very simple and safe procedure. During the procedure, you will lie on your back on the MRI table, which moves inside a large, doughnut-shaped magnet. An MRI can take 30-60 minutes depending on the part of the body being examined. While this sounds like a long time, most patients find it easy to relax, and many even fall asleep. We also provide all of our patients with ear buds so you can listen to your choice of music during the procedure. The technologist will be able to see you through a window in the exam room, and you will be able to communicate with them via intercom at any time.

If you are claustrophobic or for any reason feel nervous about the procedure, you may benefit from a sedative. This will need to be arranged with the scheduling department prior to your appointment, and you will be required to have someone drive you home after the exam. Contrast material may be used during MRI to show abnormal tissue more clearly.

How to Prepare

To avoid changing out of your own clothes, wear clothing without buttons, zippers, or anything metallic. Also avoid wearing any kind of jewelry, eye makeup, perfumes or scented lotions.

If you currently take any pain medications, make sure to take them prior to your exam on that day. This will assist you with maximum pain relief during the exam and allow you to be still and comfortable. You should also bring a complete list of all your current medications and dosage.

Click below for preparation instructions for specific types of MRI, and be sure to follow any individual instructions from your physician.