MRI Scan

Leading-edge diagnostic scan

An Expert Diagnostic Team at Your Service

Undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging — or MRI — exam can be stressful for many people. In the past, the experience was often loud, uncomfortable and constricting, particularly if you had anxiety or claustrophobia.

Today, however, if you need MRI imagery at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton, you’ll find comfort in our new, first-class facility. Our MRI exam room offers a relaxing, spa-like environment. We have state-of-the-art equipment that is wider, more open and greatly reduces the need for you to hold your breath.

What is MRI?

MRI is a valuable, painless diagnostic imaging test. It produces detailed, high-resolution images of the human body without the use of X-rays. The images produced are created by using a large magnet, radio waves and a computer system to process the data. Procedures using MRI have no ionizing radiation.

Those undergoing an MRI exam at BID Milton can customize their ambient experience by scrolling through a variety of sounds, lights and scenes on a touchscreen display outside of the exam room. We carefully planned the layout and design of the new MRI waiting room and exam room so we can continue to deliver exceptional care to our community for years to come.

Hours & Contact Information

BID Milton is now offering MRI on Sundays and extended hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We offer MRI exams on:

Monday, Thursday and Friday: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday and Wednesday: 7:00 am – 9:30 pm 
Saturday: 7:00 am – 3:30 pm 
Sunday: 7:00 am – 3:30 pm

To schedule an exam, please call 617-313-1140 between the hours of 7:30 am and 5:30 pm. 

Preparing for Your MRI Scan

Our team schedules most MRI exams in either one 40-minute or two 40-minute appointments. If you are having more than one MRI exam the same day, our team will schedule each exam in a separate appointment time slot.

MRIs involve the use of a very strong magnet. For your safety, we ask that you complete our Safety Checklist. A technologist will review this form with you prior to your exam.

Before Your MRI

Depending on the type of exam, there may be a preparation period prior to the actual scan. In general, we ask that you arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to complete any paperwork, including our Safety Questionnaire.

You will need to change into a hospital gown for the MRI exam. You should remove any metallic objects — such as jewelry, hearing aids, eyeglasses and wallets — prior to the exam. We offer secure patient lockers to store your personal items during the exam. However, you should leave most valuable items, such as jewelry, at home. Please refrain from using makeup and hair products on the day of your scan, as some contain metallic particles that can interfere with the MRI scan.

For some MRI scans, the use of a contrast agent may be necessary. The contrast agent highlights organs and blood vessels and helps the radiologist to better distinguish between normal and abnormal tissues. The radiologist or your ordering doctor determines whether and how much contrast you’ll need. When needed, the testing team administers the contrast agent intravenously (by IV).

The contrast substance that we use during the MRI is gadolinium-based and is approved by the FDA. It is not the same contrast that we use for CT scans. Most people can receive this contrast without any problems. However, everyone who receives contrast and especially those with kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or gout may need to undergo pre-MRI blood testing. This is a specific blood test prior that ensures that the kidneys are functioning well and can tolerate the injection.

During Your MRI

The MRI procedure typically lasts anywhere from 40 to 80 minutes. To conduct the scan, the testing team will assist you onto a padded, moveable scanning table. The team will position the table inside the opening of the MRI scanner. An experienced technologist will monitor you and the testing equipment throughout the study.

During the exam, you may notice a variety of sounds such as humming and thumping noises. This is completely normal and is the sound of the electric current passing through a series of coils in the scanner. Your testing team may give you headphones so you can connect your phone to the machine’s display to stream personal TV, movies and music. During the exam, it is important for you to remain as still as possible.

After Your MRI

A radiologist will read the MRI results, usually within 24 hours or less. The radiology team then sends your results to the doctor who ordered the MRI. Your doctor will then explain the results to you and use the MRI to help formulate the next steps of your care plan.

Safety Information and Screening Forms

For most people, MRIs do not pose any risks if the testing team follows appropriate guidelines. However, for some people, an MRI may not be suitable. Notify your doctor if you have or believe that you might have any of the following:

  • Are or may become pregnant
  • Brain aneurysm clips
  • Cardiac pacemaker
  • Implanted medication pumps
  • Implanted nerve stimulating devices
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Any other surgically implanted or metallic object in your body

For safety reasons, the MRI environment must remain free of metal objects. Please remove the following prior to entering the exam room:

  • All jewelry and watches
  • Belts
  • Cell phones
  • Coins
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hairclips and pins
  • Hearing aids
  • Keys
  • Removable dental work
  • Wallet and credit cards
Other Resources

Learn more about MRIs through resources from the Radiological Society of North America and American College of Radiology:

Make an Appointment

Conditions We Treat

Your BID Milton provider may recommend MRI to help diagnose any of these health conditions:

  • Aneurysm
  • Brain tumor
  • Carotid artery disease (CAD)
  • Headache
  • Herniated disc
  • Infection
  • Joint injury or disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Pinched nerves
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury

Services & Specialties

Providers from departments across BID Milton may order MRI scans as part of your diagnosis or treatment plan. We collaborate with these teams to get you on your way to improved health.