Magnetic resonance imaging, or simply MRI, is a painless imaging test that creates detailed pictures of tissues, bones, or organs inside the body. It uses radio waves and special magnets — but not ionizing radiation (X-rays).
If you need urgent care, wait at home, not in the emergency room. Use the Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals' online waiting service to select your estimated arrival time at one of our three emergency rooms for MRI in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.
Reasons for getting an MRI Scan
MRIs help your doctor diagnose and assess diseases and the extent of your injuries. They provide more detailed information — especially about soft tissues, such as blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and nerves — than ultrasounds, CT scans, or X-rays.
Doctors use MRIs to understand the causes of:
Getting Scanned in an MRI Machine
A radiologic technician will perform your MRI in a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospital or radiology clinic. An MRI scan can last from a few minutes to an hour or more.
During the test, you’ll lie on a table inside the MRI scanner. The scanner is shaped either like an open, flattened ring (open) MRI) or a long tube (conventional MRI). You will need to lie as still as possible while the technician takes a series of pictures. You may need a contrast dye to highlight certain systems or body parts, such as arteries and veins. The contrast may be given by injection, by mouth, or with an enema.
There is no risk of radiation exposure with an MRI. In rare cases, MRI contrast fluid can cause allergic reactions.
Understanding Your MRI Results
A radiologist will read your MRI and discuss the results with your doctor. MRIs help your health care team diagnose:
- Tumors, including benign and cancerous masses of the colon, lungs, brain, breast, prostate, and female reproductive organs
- Nervous system and brain problems, including stroke, tumors, and seizure disorders
- Internal injuries, including bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel or spleen
- Gastrointestinal conditions, including problems with gallstones, the esophagus, pancreatitis, and liver cirrhosis
- Cardiovascular system issues, including aneurysms and artery diseases
- Ear and eye conditions, including acoustic neuroma and problems with the optic nerve
- Causes of infertility and female reproductive diseases, including uterine fibroids and endometriosis
- Bone and joint conditions, including inflammation, arthritis, and infections
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican provides emergency services, including MRI, at the San Martín Campus in Las Vegas and Siena Campus in Henderson, NV.