Magnetic resonance imaging



Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an advanced medical imaging technique used to create clear pictures of the body.

The Everett Clinic MRI has a unique, large opening, which helps with claustrophobia (fear of small places). It has an attractive design and soft colors to help you relax.

MRI offers an excellent way to find diseases of the:

  • Brain
  • Spine
  • Skeleton
  • Chest
  • Knee
  • Wrist
  • Ankle and foot
  • Abdomen
  • Pelvis
  • Blood vessels
Accordion Block v2


  • You'll be asked to lie down on a soft table. The technician will place a device called a “coil” near the part of your body that needs to be checked. You'll hear a loud “knocking” sound for a few minutes. (You will have headphones to protect your hearing.)

    Your job is to relax and lie as still as possible. (Moving can blur the picture.)

    An MRI exam usually takes 30 minutes. The technician will take several images. Each image session lasts one to four minutes.

  • MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves (instead of X-rays) to create images. The body is made up of millions of atoms. These atoms line up when they're placed in a magnetic field.

    The MRI machine uses radio waves to change how the atoms in your body line up. When that happens, energy is released. The machine's antenna “reads” the energy release. Its computer does millions of calculations, then creates a black and white image.

  • If you’re claustrophobic (afraid of very tight places), let your doctor know. You’ll be given medicine to help you relax. If you’re taking medicine for the exam, you can't drive. So, you'll need to have someone drive you to your MRI and back home.

    Please tell your doctor or the technician if you:

    • Are pregnant
    • Have a heart pacemaker
    • Have aneurysm clips, ear implants or neurostimulators

    Please remove your eyeglasses, jewelry, dentures, hearing aids and any other metal objects.

    Eat normally and take your usual medicines, unless your doctor tells you differently. If you're having an abdominal MRI, don't eat or drink six hours before the exam.

    If you've had any X-rays, CT scans or MRI exams of the same body area done outside of Everett, bring them with you.

    You'll be asked to wear a gown and lock any valuables in a safe place.

  • MRI is very safe. But in some special cases we may need to limit the use of the magnetic field.