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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

G-CMC’s MRI Department has friendly Technologists, Certified in Magnetic Resonance Imaging by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists,  standing by for your MRI Services. We offer extended hours (8 am- 8 pm) for convenient scheduling, same day appointments, and a non-claustrophobic scanner with relaxed environment (to optimize comfort).

    What is MRI?

    MRI MachineMagnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive, usually painless medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

    MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radiofrequency waves, and a computer to better examine different parts of the body.

    MRI does not use x-rays and having to lie motionless in a minimally confined space is the only discomfort a patient may experience. Due to the noise an MRI machine makes while acquiring the images, ear protection will be provided for all patients either in the form of music or earplugs.

    Technologists are available to answer any questions you may have about your test at: 570-703-8730.

    How should I prepare for the procedure?

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive, usually painless medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

    MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radiofrequency waves, and a computer to better examine different parts of the body.

    You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or you may be allowed to wear your own clothing if it is loose-fitting and has no metal fasteners.

    Some MRI examinations require patients to receive an injection of contrast into the bloodstream. If your exam is ordered with contrast and you are above the age of 60 , have kidney disease, sickle cell anemia or if you are diabetic, a recent blood level will be required for your exam. MRI contrast is based of gadolinium and does not contain iodine and is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

    Women should always inform their physician or the technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.

    If you have claustrophobia or anxiety, the technologists are well aware of what you are experiencing and will be pleased to offer some support to make it easier to complete the test. Depending upon the severity of claustrophobia, you may want to discuss a mild sedative with your physician so a prescription can be ordered prior to your scheduled test.

    Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home. All other items that need to be removed prior to your scan will remain in a secure locker during your testing. Any metal object can interfere with the MRI unit and will need to be removed before entering the room.

    In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. People with the following implants cannot be scanned and should NOT enter the MRI area:

    • Pacemaker
    • Internal (implanted) defibrillator
    • Cochlear Implants

    Other types of implants may need to be researched by the MRI Technologist prior to your exam. These include (but are not limited to):

    • Artificial Heart Valve Replacements
    • Implanted Drug Infusion Pumps
    • Infusion Catheter
    • Aortic Stents
    • Carotid Stents
    • Implanted Electronic Devices
    • Metal pins, screws, plates, or surgical staples

    Please inform the technologist prior to your exam if you are a metal worker or have experienced an injury to your eye with any type of metal in the past. An x-ray of your eyes may be required to ensure there are no metal fragments around the orbit area prior to your exam.

    How is the MRI procedure performed?

    MRI ProcedureMost patients will be examined lying on their back, with the exception of breast, elbow, hand and wrist imaging. Depending upon the body part being examined, you may be able to enter the machine feet first which usually alleviates apprehension about the procedure.

    The MRI unit will make knocking noises while gathering information to produce the images. Each set of pictures will create different noises throughout the procedure.

    Usual scan time can be between thirty minutes to one and a half hours depending upon the body part being examined. Please be prepared to spend at least one hour within the department. All patients will need to be interviewed by an MRI Technologist prior to their exam for any foreign metal that may be within their body.

    What is Breast MRI?

    Breast MRIBreast MRI offers valuable information about many breast conditions that cannot be obtained by other imaging modalities, such as mammography or ultrasound.

    During MRI of the Breast, you will lie face down on your stomach with your breasts hanging freely into cushioned openings, which are surrounded by breast coils, which are a signal receiver that works with the MRI unit to create images. Unlike mammography, there is no compression needed during scanning with the exception of biopsy procedures.

    MRI of the breast is NOT a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.

    MR imaging of the breast is performed to:

    • Evaluate abnormalities detected by mammography
    • Identify early breast cancer not detected through other means especially in women with dense breast tissue and those at high risk for the disease
    • Screen for cancer in women who have implants or scar tissue that might jeopardize an accurate result from a mammogram
    • Distinguish between scar tissue and recurrent tumors
    • Assess multiple tumor locations
    • Look for multiple tumors prior to breast conservation surgery
    • Determine whether cancer detected by mammography or ultrasound has spread further in the breast of into the chest wall
    • Determine how much cancer has spread beyond the surgical site after a breast biopsy or lumpectomy
    • Assess the effect of chemotherapy
    • Provide additional information on a diseased breast to make treatment decisions

    Breast MRI at CMCHS is superior with the latest addition of the INVIVO DYNACAD System. The DYNACAD system is a Computer Aided Detection (CAD) system that generates color overlays which draw the eye to suspicious areas. The addition of the DYNACAD system with MRI increases the Radiologists diagnostic confidence and decreases overall examination review time.

    As a result of Computer Aided Detection, Community Medical Center is pleased to provide MRI Guided Interventional procedures such as breast biopsy. With the integration of the DYNACAD system, biopsy of the breast under MRI guidance can be done accurately and in a timely manner.

    What are the Benefits and Risks of Breast MRI?


    • MRI is a noninvasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure to radiation
    • MRI has proven valuable in diagnosing a broad range of conditions, including detecting and staging breast cancer, particularly when other imaging studies (mammography, ultrasound, etc.) fail to provide adequate information
    • MRI enables the detection of abnormalities that might be obscured by bone with other imaging methods
    • The contrast material used in MRI exams is less likely to produce an allergic reaction than the iodine-based materials used for conventional x-rays and CT scanning
    • MRI is growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional x-ray mammography in the early diagnosis of breast cancer
    • MRI has been shown to detect small breast lesions that are sometimes missed by mammography
    • MRI can successfully image the dense breast common in younger women, as well as breast implants, both of which are difficult to image using traditional mammography
    • Because MR imaging does not involve radiation, the procedure could be used to screen women younger than 40 and to increase the number of screenings per year for women at high risk for breast cancer
    • If a suspicious lesion is seen with MRI only, MRI can provide guidance for biopsy


    • The MRI examination poses almost no risk to the average patient when appropriate safety guidelines are followed
    • If sedation is used there are risks of excessive sedation. The technologist or nurse monitors your vital signs to minimize this risk
    • Although the strong magnetic field is not harmful in itself, medical devices that contain metal may malfunction or cause problems during an MRI exam
    • There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected. Such reactions usually are mild and easily controlled by medication. There also is a very small risk of skin infection at the site of injection. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is currently a recognized, but rare, complication of MRI believed to be caused by the injection of certain (but not all) MRI contrast material in patients with poor kidney function

    What are the Limitations of MRI of the Breast?

    Breast MRI being performed at CMCHigh-quality images are assured only if you are able to remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded. If you are anxious, confused or in severe pain, you may find it difficult to lie still during imaging.

    A person who is very obese may not fit into the opening of a conventional MRI machine.

    The presence of an implant or other metallic object often makes it difficult to obtain clear images and patient movement can have the same effect.

    Although there is no reason to believe that magnetic resonance imaging harms the fetus, the effects of a strong magnetic field are not well understood. For this reason pregnant women usually are advised not to have an MRI exam unless medically necessary.

    MRI may not always distinguish between tumor tissue and edema fluid. It cannot detect calcium present in a tumor. Detection of calcium (in tumors or other issues) is limited with MRI.

    MRI typically costs more and may take more time to perform than other imaging modalities.

    MRI of the breast cannot always distinguish between cancer and benign breast disease (such as fibroadenomas), leading to a false positive result. A false positive is a result that indicates cancer when there is in fact no cancer present.


    Why Choose G-CMC for Your Next MRI?

    • All MRI Technologists are Certified in Magnetic Resonance Imaging by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Technologist’s can answer any questions/concerns you may have at 570-703-8730
    • G-CMC’s MRI system, the Siemen’s Avanto is specially designed to offer a dramatic reduction in acoustic noise than other MRI units.
    • G-CMC’s MRI Department offers evening appointment times.
    • Breast MRI along with MRI Guided Breast Biopsy is also performed at G-CMC.
    • Choice of music is provided for patient comfort to eliminate anxiety and minimize noise.