MRI at Diagnostic Health Alaska

Diagnostic Health Alaska offers two convenient locations for all your MRI needs. We use advanced technology for high-quality images, and are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) indicating the highest standard of MRI imaging. Our board-certified and sub-specialized musculoskeletal and diagnostic radiologists interpret your MRI results for a definitive diagnosis.

How to Prepare for Your MRI Appointment:

Prior to arriving for your MRI exam:

  • If you have any external or internal medical devices, please contact the site immediately for clearance for your MRI.

  • Remove any magnetic nail polish.

  • Notify our office if you have had an injury to your eye involving metal. Eye injuries involving metal require orbital x-ray clearance.

On the day of your MRI exam:

Specific instructions will be provided to you based on your scheduled exam type, however general instructions are as follows:
  • NO METALS may enter the MRI exam room.
  • Notify the technologist of any implanted devices or pre-existing conditions.
  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing without metal buttons, clasps, fasteners, or underwires. Please also avoid wicking/metallic fabrics. For your safety, and to ensure a successful scan, you may be asked to change out of your clothing into a gown or shirt and shorts that we provide.
  • Remove all metal items including watches, jewelry, piercings, hairpins, belts, dentures, or external medical devices including hearing aids and patch medications unless instructed not to by your referring physician.
  • Your cell phone, keys and credit cards are not allowed in the scanning room. We will provide a secure place for your belongings if you need to store anything during your exam.
  • If you will have an MRI exam of the head, do not wear makeup or hairstyling products (gel, mousse, hairspray).
  • If you are told an injection is to be administered for this exam, drink 16 oz. of plain, clear, unflavored water prior to arriving for your MRI appointment.
  • Eat and take medication as you normally would, unless indicated differently to you for your specific exam. Some exams, such as MR Enterography and MR Arthrogram, have additional prep instructions which will be provided to you at the time of scheduling.
  • If you are prescribed a sedative for your scan, a friend or family member will need to drive you home. We will be unable to discharge you following the exam without a driver present.
You will be asked about your medical history prior to scheduling and again before the exam starts to ensure your safety. Please let us know if you have any of the following implants or conditions as it may affect your ability to undergo an MRI, or we may need to make special arrangements for you:
  • Pacemaker (including those that are labelled MRI safe/conditional)
  • Neurostimulators (TENS-unit)
  • Implanted defibrillators
  • Implanted drug infusion device (i.e., insulin pump, pain pump)
  • Artificial heart valves
  • Dorsal column stimulators
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Cochlear implants
  • Metallic implants and prosthesis
  • Vascular stent or stent graft
  • Exposure of metal fragments to your eye
  • History as a metal worker
  • Shrapnel or bullet wounds
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Claustrophobia
  • Weight in excess of 350 lbs.
  • History of kidney problems
  • Allergy to iodine, or gadolinium
  • History of diabetes

What to Expect During Your MRI Exam

During your MRI scan, you will lie on a cushioned table that moves into the scanner. The most important thing to remember is to lie still and relax, as any movement during this time can distort the image. You may bring a family member or friend into the scanning room to help you relax. As the scanner is rather loud while in progress, we provide ear plugs or headphones and you may listen to music of your choice to make you more comfortable. You will be able to communicate with your technologist throughout the exam, which usually lasts between 20-60 minutes depending on which exam(s) your doctor has ordered.

* Depending on your circumstances and when compared to hospital-based medical imaging rates.