Service Overview

What is MRI?






The High Definition Magnetic Resonance (HDMR) scanner provides physicians with highly detailed pictures of anatomy and pathology to help them evaluate a wide range of patient conditions, including stroke, musculoskeletal, and heart disease.

The HDMR provides optimal diagnostic capabilities for the assessment of the brain, spine, prostate, abdomen, and pelvis, as well as perform orthopedic procedures on the elbow, wrist, hip, and ankle.

The new HDMR is the most powerful MRI scanner available to patients in the Central San Joaquin Valley.

How does MRI work?

MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field rather than X-rays to provide clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. Because MRI can provide such clear pictures of soft-tissue structures near and around bones, it is usually the best choice for examination of the body’s major joints, the spine for disc disease, and the soft tissues of the extremities.

When is MRI necessary?

Using MR images, physicians can locate and identify:

Causes of pain.
Degenerative disorders (arthritis, deterioration of joint surfaces).
Fractures not visible with use of X-ray.
Herniated discs.
Swelling or bleeding in the tissues in and around joints and bones.
Small tears and injuries to tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Evaluate spinal cord trauma.

What to Expect

You will be comfortably positioned on a special table that slides into the MRI system. The technologist will perform the MRI sequences at the control unit in an adjoining room. You will be able to communicate with the technologist by means of an intercom. Music or earplugs will be supplied for your comfort. An MRI does not cause any pain, but you may find it uncomfortable to remain still during the examination.




What to Wear

Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Metal objects can affect the image, so avoid clothing with zippers and snaps. You may also be asked to remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and removable dental work. Women should always inform their doctor or the technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

Many athletic clothing companies are using metallic fibers in exercise, spandex, and stretch clothing. These fibers can burn you if worn in the MRI scanner. If you have on clothing, even undergarments that could potentially have these fibers, please notify the technologist. We gladly provide you with clothing to wear for your exam.

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How to Prepare for Your MRI

Preparations will vary depending on the kind of exam you are having performed.

For any MRI please plan on arriving 30 minutes prior to your appointment for patient registration.

An MRI uses a strong magnet, so you will be asked to remove your watch, and any other jewelry or metal objects. You may also be asked to remove any makeup you are wearing, as some brands contain trace amounts of metal. Braces and fillings are normally not a problem.

  1. Any MRI scheduled with sedation
    • Please do not eat or drink anything six (6) hours prior to your exam.
    • Please bring a driver.
  2. Any MRI scheduled with contrast
    • Please do not eat or drink anything four (4) hours prior to your exam.
  3. MRI Angiogram with contrast
    • Please do not eat or drink anything four (4) hours prior to your exam.
    • Your exam requires lab work. Please contact the Medical Screening Department at 559.325-5805.
  4. MRI Arthrogram 
    • Please do not eat or drink anything four (4) hours prior to your exam.
    • Do not take any aspirin or blood-thinning medications for five (5) days prior to your exam.
    • Patient needs to bring a driver.
  5. MRI Gallbladder and Bile Ducts (MRCP)
    • Please do not eat or drink anything eight (8) hours prior to your exam.
  6. Other MRI exams
    • Other MRI exams do not require preparation.


Click the links below to download and print your Pre-Screening form(s).

MRI Hx Screening(PDF

MRI Hx Screening_Spanish (PDF)