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Diagnostic Services

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What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the safest and most comfortable imaging techniques available. It combines a powerful magnet with an advanced computer system and radio waves to produce detailed, two and three dimensional pictures of organs, tissues and bones. It is used to diagnose a variety of medical conditions.

What to Expect During Your MRI

Radiology and MRI of Bethlehem is equipped with a high field, short-bore MRI. The suite is spacious and designed for the utmost comfort. We offer headphones for listening to music and a two-way communication system so you can speak with the technologist during the study.

An MRI usually takes 45 minutes. Due to the magnetic field, you will be asked to wear comfortable, metal-free clothing. The day of the scan, patient scrub tops and pants will be provided to you if needed. You will also be asked to remove jewelry, watches and any hair clips.

A technologist will bring you into the suite and ask a few questions regarding your medical history, explain your MRI procedure and answer any questions you may have. You need to tell your technologist about any prior surgeries or metal implants, such as a pacemaker, defibrillator or aneurysm clips. You should also let them know if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.

You will lie on a cushioned table and an imaging device called a "coil" will be placed around the area of the body to be scanned. Once you are comfortably positioned, the table will move into the magnet opening. As images are taken, you will hear knocking sounds for a few minutes at a time. This is normal. It is extremely important that you lie as still as possible during the study.

In some cases, contrast material may be needed to help detect or diagnosis potential abnormalities. If so, this will be injected through a small butterfly needle placed in a vein in your arm or hand. Once the contrast is administered the needle is removed and a few more scans are done.

The MRI scan will be read by our Radiologists. A report will be prepared and sent to your Doctor, who will go over the results with you.

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Preparing for Your Visit

General Instructions:
Patients should plan to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment.

Please bring a form of photo identification, any prescriptions from your physician, referrals, insurance information, and any medical records that have been requested. Before scheduling your appointment please contact your healthcare insurance carrier for preauthorization if needed.

Below are some general guidelines to help patients prepare for their exam. Many procedures require patients to follow specific instructions beforehand. Those instructions are given to each patient and confirmed via phone by one of our staff members before their appointment.

Always follow the instructions provided specifically for you.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your procedure and how to prepare for it, please call our office at 610-691-8931.

Preparing for Your Exam:
Preparation for your MRI will depend on the type of exam being performed.

A technologist will call the day before to confirm your exam and answer any questions you may have. If you are not at home at the time of the call, they will leave a call back number in case you have any questions.

On the day of the exam please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to fill out paperwork. Bring your insurance cards, any prescription from your Doctor and any previous studies (MRI, CT, X-Ray) with you.

You may also bring an audio CD to listen to during the procedure.

We recommend wearing clothing free of metal in the area being scanned. This includes clothes that have zippers, metal buttons or snaps.

If you have concerns about claustrophobia, please speak with your Doctor. There are medications your Doctor can prescribe.

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