What is an MRI?


MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, uses radio waves and a magnetic field to create detailed images of your body’s internal structure – soft tissue, organs, bones and more. This non-invasive test helps doctors treat and diagnose medical conditions. It does not use x-rays.

What type of MRI does St. Joseph’s Hospital use?

St. Joseph’s Hospital uses a 1.5 tesla short bore MRI. It is wider and shorter than other MRIs, so patients are more comfortable and relaxed during the test.

Why is an MRI Used?


Physicians use MRI to evaluate the internal body structure, to help diagnose, manage and treat conditions such as:

  • tumors such as in the pelvis, abdomen or chest

  • congenital heart disease and other heart conditions

  • liver diseases such as cirrhosis

  • blood vessel malformations and inflammation (vasculitis)

  • problems with a baby in the womb

  • bile duct and pancreas abnormalities

  • ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases


What can I expect during an MRI?


Completing an MRI in our Tesla Short Bore is much different than traditional MRI systems. The Short Bore, in contrast to a traditional MRI has a wider and shorter tube. Usually, this procedure lasts less than an hour. During your procedure, you will lay on a moving table that will slide into the tube. Because the tube is shorter, part of your body will still remain outside the tube. For example, if you have an MRI on your head, your feet will stay outside of the scanner.

During your MRI, it is necessary to stay still. Movement risks blurring the images being taken. However, the technician might ask you to make specific movements which would target specific areas needing scanned. You will also be able to communicate with the technician via a microphone in the tube.

Some MRI’s will use a dye injection per the request of a physician. An IV (intravenous) catheter is inserted in your hand or arm. While you are in the MRI unit, contrast material will be injected into the IV. The contrast material improves the clarity of the scan thus improving the diagnostic accuracy.

Will my insurance cover this procedure?


The procedure is covered by most private insurance plans and Medicare.

How do I get more information or schedule an MRI?

Call 618-651-2790 for answers to your questions or to schedule an appointment.