Health

What to expect: MRI

An Ohio State expert explains what to expect before, during and after this imaging procedure and how it’s used.

By Samantha Willis, Multi-modality technologist

What is an MRI?

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It’s an imaging method that uses no radiation.

What is an MRI used for?

MRI is typically used to look at soft tissue or ligament structures.

Staying still during MRI

It’s important to lie still during an MRI. It could take four or five minutes to develop an image. If you move during that time, it could create blur in the image.

What to expect after check-in for an MRI

Most MRI scans last between 20 and 25 minutes. A technologist will first lead you into the room, make sure you’re comfortable — offering a cushion for the knees and even a blanket if you’d like — and will show you a call button to use if you need their assistance during the scan. You’ll also be given earbuds, because MRI scans can be loud. You won’t be left completely alone during an MRI — a technologist will be nearby and watching the whole time.

What happens after an MRI scan?

Images will be sent to a radiologist, who will develop a report for your health care provider to review.

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