MRI MRI, an abbreviation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, does not use X-ray. An MRI uses a high-magnetic field and pulsing radio waves to create sophisticated 3-dimensional images of the brain, spine, body, and extremities. Southwest Imaging uses a 1.5 Tesla MRI system with the latest technology.

The high field-strength MRI unit at Southwest Imaging is shorter and has a better-lit interior than a more enclosed, traditional MRI, helping patients feel more comfortable.

What about an OPEN MRI?

An OPEN MRI unit typically has a lower magnetic field strength, which does not allow the same precise and detailed images of your body tissues and organs. It also usually takes twice as long to acquire the images. Southwest replaced its open MRI in order to provide better quality images for our patients. If you have concerns about MRI procedures due to body size or claustrophobia, please call Southwest Imaging and ask to speak to a MRI technologist. Together you can decide on your best option.

How do I prepare for my MRI?
  • Be sure to inform our staff if you are or may be pregnant.
  • When your exam is scheduled, we will ask you specific MRI-related questions and provide answers to any questions you may have.
  • Metal interferes with the magnet of the MRI. You will be asked to change into scrubs or a hospital gown.
  • Be sure to remove all piercings before you arrive for your MRI.
  • An MRI technologist will explain the procedure in detail and answer any questions you have before the exam.