Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Get an MRI at Touchstone Medical Imaging

An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a non-radiation form of imaging that provides doctors a way to visualize soft tissues and fluids to help diagnose a wide range of medical conditions, from muscle tears to tumors.

How It Works

The MRI machine uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of your body. These images help your doctor gain insight into your health, diagnose medical conditions, monitor the effects of treatment or guide the treatment process.
Radiology Technologist and Patient preparing for a Knee MRI

Reasons for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Doctors typically order an MRI when they need to look at the form or function of the soft tissues and non-bony structures of the body, including the brain, spinal cord, muscles, ligaments and tendons. MRI scans are also used to capture detailed images of the organs within the chest and abdomen, including the heart, digestive system, pelvic organs, blood vessels and lymph nodes.

Doctors commonly use an MRI to help diagnose or monitor conditions such as:

  • Blood vessel malformations
  • Chest, abdomen or pelvic tumors
  • Heart problems
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Joint injuries
  • Liver, bile duct or pancreatic diseases
  • Traumatic brain injuries or stroke

Because an MRI does not use radiation, it provides an ideal option for routine monitoring of conditions and safe to capture images of the mother and of the fetus during pregnancy.

Patient Reviews

Our patients say it best. Touchstone Imaging provides welcoming, comforting outpatient facilities with friendly and helpful staff.

Front office staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Technician was absolutely wonderful. Extremely friendly, kept me informed during the entire process of what she was doing and what would be happening next.
Tina J.
I had to take my 11-year-old in for an MRI of his knee. It was one of the best experiences we’ve had at a medical office in a long time. Everyone was friendly, informative, and professional.
Jodi E.
I had to get a brain MRI back in November. The check in process was fast and friendly. I didn’t have to wait long before being taken to the back to get prepped for my procedure. The staff made me feel at ease and the environment is very calming and tranquil. The MRI tech checked on me constantly during the procedure and kept me informed as to which part of the exam we are completing. I can’t remember her name but she was very nice and pleasant. If I ever have to get another diagnostic test, I will be returning here.
Brian V.
Everyone was excellent! I was acknowledged and welcomed when I entered the building. Front staff were professional and courteous when discussing paperwork. Friendly smiles. My technician impressed me as being highly trained in her field. Her personal and professional skills are awesome. Enjoyed something I wasn’t looking forward to.
Evangelina B.
Friendly staff. I called and got an appointment that fit my schedule. Quick check in. Relatively short wait time compared to a lot of medical facilities. The technician was friendly, gave clear instructions and made me feel comfortable. I was out in less than an hour.
Wendy B.
Great place, people, and atmosphere was awesome. The guy that brought me to the back had me laughing the whole way. They checked in on me a few times in the MRI machine to make sure I was doing ok and it made me feel more comfortable. I would recommend this place to anyone needing an MRI done.
Jon C.
MRI Scanner and Patient with Radiology Tech

Choose accurate imaging and convenient service with Touchstone

Touchstone Medical Imaging is in-network with 99% of insurance plans for MRI imaging and provides scans at up to 60% less than the cost of hospital-based imaging. Touchstone offers same day and next day appointment options with many locations offering extended and weekend hours to meet your busy schedule.

Touchstone provides imaging services in a compassionate environment with convenient, easy to access locations in a compassionate environment, where our technologists will guide you seamlessly through your appointment. You can be confident that our team of fellowship-trained, subspecialty radiologists will give your doctors the clarity they need to help make a diagnosis.

MRI Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens During an MRI?

MRI scans are painless and noninvasive. In some cases, your doctor may request imaging with a contrast dye to make various structures within the body easier to see in the final MRI images.
To position you for the scan, your Touchstone Medical Imaging technologist will ask you to lie on a table that will slide into a cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a powerful, circular magnet. The length of this imaging test varies, depending on the area of the body being scanned, whether contrast is used and the type of MRI machine. MRI scans usually take between 15 and 30 minutes, although some imaging studies may take longer.

You will be able to leave the imaging center and continue with your daily routine after the scan. One of our board-certified radiologists will interpret the results of the MRI and report the findings to your doctor.

How should I prepare for an MRI?

Pay careful attention to any guidelines your doctor or the staff at Touchstone Medical Imaging provides, including specific details about whether you can eat and drink in the hours prior to an MRI.
Wear comfortable, loose clothing that doesn’t contain metal snaps, buttons or zippers.

Leave jewelry and other metal accessories at home—and remove other items that may contain metal, including hearing aids, dentures and glasses, before the scan begins. Tell your Touchstone Medical Imaging technologist about any metal implants or devices in your body.

Is an MRI Safe?

MRI scans are safe and do not expose you to radiation. However, the MRI machine emits a powerful magnetic field, so anyone with an implant—such as a pacemaker, a vagus nerve stimulator, an insulin pump, a cochlear implant, or a deep brain stimulator—should speak with their doctor before undergoing an MRI. In some cases, these implanted devices are incompatible with an MRI, and another imaging scan may be a better option.

Can I move during an MRI?

Your technologist will encourage you to remain as still as possible during the scan. This will contribute to the clarity of the images.

Is an MRI loud?

An MRI emits a beeping, clicking or “knocking” noise. We provide you with noise-softening headphones, and we’ll play the music of your choice to help you feel comfortable during the scan.

I’m claustrophobic, can I get an MRI?

Patients prone to claustrophobia may be concerned that an MRI scan will be uncomfortable. Touchstone Medical Imaging offers an open MRI, which has an open design with a magnet on top and bottom and open access on the sides, back and front. In addition, Touchstone Medical Imaging offers a Wide Bore MRI that allows for “feet first” scanning while your head remains outside the machine during most limb or body scans. The Wide Bore MRI is spacious and provides 12 inches of space from the face during MRI scans involving the head and neck. A Wide Bore MRI has a more powerful magnet than an Open MRI offering more accurate results with a shorter scan time.

Why did my doctor order an MRI?

Your medical provider is likely ordering an MRI, in addition to other diagnostic tests, to help rule out a suspected condition, take a closer look at something that an x-ray or ultrasound detected, or to follow-up to ensure your current treatment plan is effective. Typically, an MRI is performed when an x-ray or other medical imaging procedures were either normal or showed something but could not provide the detail of the soft tissues that an MRI offers. Your doctor will discuss the specific reasons with you.

Is an MRI Dangerous?

Generally speaking, no, an MRI is not dangerous. Because it uses a large magnetic field to produce images, there is no radiation exposure. There are potential dangers for people with a pacemaker, cochlear implants, and other metal implants, however, there are special MRI machines that can be used for metal implants. Your MRI technician will complete a thorough questionnaire prior to your exam to make sure that you are safe.

Do I need to do anything special to get ready for my MRI?

For the most part, no. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for the procedure and remove your jewelry, but as far as hygiene, grooming, eating, and medications, you should not have to deviate from your normal routine.

Are there different kinds of MRIs?

Yes! The technology of medical imaging and MRI has advanced significantly in the last decade. There are now all sorts of different MRI machines that can accommodate various needs including patient size and physical limitations. Touchstone Imaging offers wide bore MRI machines that provide up to 12 inches of room (depending on your size) and open MRIs to accommodate larger or claustrophobic patients.

There are also varying Tesla ratings in different machines. Bore MRIs (with a circular opening) feature higher strengths at 1.5T and 3.0T for crisp, clear images to diagnose your condition. 

Each machine can perform a variety of imaging procedures. For example, a breast MRI looks specifically at breast tissue to help detect lumps. MRA is an MRI that looks specifically at blood vessels. And, the latest innovation in Alzheimer’s treatment is the NeuroQuant imaging software.

How long will the MRI take?

The length of your MRI depends on what type of imaging study is being done. Generally, the actual testing time is between 20 and 60 minutes. You may be at your appointment longer with prep time or if you are having multiple studies done. When you schedule your appointment, ask your scheduler for a more accurate timeline.

How quickly will my doctor have the results?

Once your MRI is completed, our radiologists will interpret the images and create a diagnostic report for your medical provider. Your physician’s office will typically receive the diagnostic report within a few days of your scan.

Will I receive my imaging results too?

Yes! Your medical records are your property. Touchstone Medical Imaging provides access to your radiology reports using an AI technology that provides patient friendly definitions and medical diagrams to explain medical terminology. We recommend reviewing your report, making notes on questions, and speaking with your doctor about your questions and next steps for treatment. 

Will it hurt?

No, the MRI is non-invasive and painless.

Can I get an MRI if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no known consequences on performing an MRI during pregnancy. Medical imaging, aside from ultrasound, is typically avoided during pregnancy. However, we do perform MRI on pregnant women when medically necessary and prescribed by their physician. 

Breastfeeding is perfectly safe, however, if you have an MRI with contrast, you should wait 24-48 hours after contrast injection to breastfeed.

I have rods in my legs. Can I still get an MRI?

It depends. Set metal may not pose a problem and is likely MRI-rated to a certain Tesla (0.5T- 3.0T). If the artificial joint or rod has been implanted for longer than six months, it typically does not pose a problem, but your radiology technician will provide more information about your specific case. Metal in the body can skew MRI images, but this varies depending on the type of metal. Titanium affects MRI images very little, while stainless steel and alloy can cause shadowing on the final images.

How much does an MRI cost?

The cost of an MRI can be different based on where you are, including your state or city. The type of MRI you need and whether you have insurance also affect the cost. Lastly, cost also depends on where you go to get the MRI. Hospital based MRI scans are more expense than Touchstone’s outpatient imaging centers, which cost up to 60% less than hospital based imaging.

If you have insurance, it may cover some or most of the cost. However, you might still owe an out-of-pocket or deductible cost at the time of your scan. Touchstone Imaging will provide an estimate for the amount you will owe based on your insurance coverage at the time of your appointment. You can also talk to your insurance company to understand what they will cover.

Can I book an MRI without a referral?

Touchstone Medical Imaging requires a referral from a qualified healthcare provider, such as a primary care doctor or a specialist, before scheduling an MRI. Here are a few reasons for a referral:

1. Medical Necessity: Doctors typically order diagnostic tests like MRIs based on medical necessity. They assess your symptoms, medical history, and other factors to determine if an MRI is needed.
2. Interpretation of Results: Doctors are trained to interpret and analyze the results of imaging tests and their reports. Ordering an MRI without proper evaluation by a healthcare professional may lead to misinterpretation or misunderstanding of the results.
3. Insurance Requirements: Health insurance plans often require a doctor’s order for coverage of diagnostic tests. Without a referral, you may face challenges in getting the cost covered by insurance.

If you have specific symptoms or concerns that you believe warrant an MRI, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your situation and determine the appropriate course of action. They can provide a referral for an MRI scan.

*Some or all of the health care providers performing services at Touchstone Imaging are independent contractors and are not Touchstone’s agents or employees. Independent contractors are responsible for their own actions, and Touchstone shall not be liable for the acts or omissions of any such independent contractors.