Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Greenwich Hospital offers 1.5 Tesla and 3.0 Tesla MRI machines for precise imaging to suit a variety of conditions and personal preferences.

Our MRI Technologists

Our MRI technologists have advanced training to keep patients safe and comfortable while they collect the images ordered by the physician. All are licensed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and the State of Connecticut and many hold advanced MRI accreditations as well. These technologists closely follow a physician's instructions, prepare and operate MRI equipment, position and comfort patients and effectively record the requested diagnostic images.

What is an MRI

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a diagnostic test that uses a strong magnetic field and rapid pulses of radio waves. These produce high quality two or three-dimensional images of specific areas inside the body. No X-rays are involved.

What is an MRA

Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) uses MRI technology to produce detailed images of blood vessels throughout the body. No catheters are used, such as in a traditional angiogram. Blockages and enlargements of arteries can be spotted easily, quickly, and without incisions.

Why You Would Need An MRI

MRI allows the doctor to see detailed images of soft-tissue structures near and around bones from any angle. It is widely used to diagnose sports-related injuries because it can detect very small tears in ligaments and muscles. It can also help to diagnose heart problems, brain and nervous system disorders, certain types of cancer, and many other conditions.

When You Do NOT Need an MRI

Do NOT have an MRI if you have a pacemaker, metallic aneurism clips, metallic hearing implants, certain other metal items implanted in your body. If you are a woman, do not have an MRI if you may be pregnant or are breastfeeding.

What You Can Expect

Upon your arrival in the MRI suite, the technologist will show you to a changing room where you will discuss your medical history. At this time the technologist will also review your safety questionnaire. This is a very good time to ask any questions. Once you are ready for your test you will be brought to the scan room. We will use a hand held wand to scan for any ferrous metal and then make you as comfortable as possible for your test.

An MRI is not physically painful in any way. However, some patients feel uncomfortable in the MRI enclosure or with the knocking sound made by the magnet as images are gathered.

Comfort Measures: Greenwich Hospital makes every effort to help patients feel at ease during their exam. Earplugs are provided to minimize the noise made by the testing equipment. Mirrors allow patients to see outside of the scanning device. Our intercom system allows for constant communication with the technologist. During this time, patients simply lie still in the imaging machine.

Closed bore, open bore: Not all MRI machines are the same. The “closed bore” MRI is used for the majority of MRI procedures. It is comfortable, safe and painless. However, patients who have large body frames or are claustrophobic sometimes feel uncomfortable in the MRI’s long tube, or bore. For these patients, Greenwich Hospital also offers “open bore” MRI.

With open bore MRI, the patient lies in a doughnut-shaped magnetic tube measuring 2.3 feet in diameter and 4 feet long. For those over 5’2”, the head can remain outside the bore during most procedures that do not involve the head, neck or upper spine.

The open bore MRI procedures are generally performed on an outpatient basis at:

Greenwich Hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Center
2015 W. Main Street
Stamford, CT

Both closed and open bore MRI deliver high-level diagnostic imaging. The physician will help determine which type of MRI is best for the Patient.

Contrast Agent: Some exams require an injection of a "contrast agent? to better view certain areas of the body, such as blood vessels. No special diet or preparation is needed beforehand.

The MRI procedure takes between 30 and 60 minutes.

For those who may be waiting for you...
Beepers are available to individuals who are waiting for a friend or family member to have an imaging exam completed at the hospital. This allows us to be in touch in case they would like to leave the reception area for a while. Ask the Diagnostic Imaging receptionist for details.