Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

ARA Health partners with Mission Health to offer the best of the best in MRI technology. Our subspecialty-trained radiologists continually have an eye toward the latest innovations to ensure our patients have access to state-of-the-art imaging paired with advanced care and communication platforms, streamlining delivery of results and possible treatment plans.


About Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed, cross-sectional images of the body's organs and soft tissue. MRI can detect tumors, torn ligaments, brain abnormalities, and many other potential health issues. MRI is noninvasive and does not use ionizing radiation.

MRI technology is commonly used in the following imaging studies:

MRI can be used to evaluate joint abnormalities caused by traumatic or repetitive injuries, disk abnormalities in the spine, and bone infections. These scans can also help diagnose tumors of the bones and soft tissues.

› Learn more about image-guided biopsy for bone cancer.
› Learn more about minimally invasive treatment options for bone cancer.
MRI is often used to help diagnose abnormalities or injuries in the brain or spinal cord, including aneurysm, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord disorders, stroke, tumors, and traumatic brain injury, as well as disorders of the eye and inner ear.

› Learn more about how our specialists can treat stroke, tumors, and aneurysm.
MRI of the breast allows radiologists detailed visualization of the breast's structures. It can provide invaluable information in the detection and characterization of breast cancer, able to highlight small tumors or suspicious areas of the breast that may not be visible on other imaging modalities. MRI also can be used to assess benign conditions such as fibrocystic breast disease or fibroadenomas, which can sometimes be confused with cancer.

› Learn more about breast health and screening for breast cancer.
MRI is most commonly used to provide physicians with a close look at the heart. MRI can detect and diagnose inflammation or blockages in the surrounding blood vessels, assess the size and function of the heart's chambers, and detect aneurysm and dissections.

› Learn more about our treatment options for stroke and aneurysm.
MRI may be used to detect a list of disorders affecting the body's organs, including the liver, kidneys, lungs, spleen, uterus, ovaries, prostate, and intestines.

› Learn more about image-guided biopsy for cancers of the liver, kidneys, and lungs.
› Learn more about minimally invasive treatment options for liver, kidney, and lung cancers and tumors.

You have questions. We have answers.

Below you'll find answers to some of the questions we are commonly asked by patients. Please contact our ARA Cares Coordinator at (828) 436-5500 with any additional questions or concerns.

How do I prepare for MRI?
MRI is safe, painless, and entirely comfortable for most people. Please talk to your doctor at the time of scheduling if you are concerned about anxiety or claustrophobia, as a sedative may be prescribed to reduce stress or anxiety.

Please advise your doctor and MRI technician if you have any metal in your body (pacemakers, shrapnel, implants, surgical plates or screws, etc.) or if you have tattoos. Please leave all jewelry at home.

Depending on the type of study being performed, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for up to six hours prior to the test. If you are having an MRI with contrast material, you will need to fast for eight hours before the test.
What can I expect during the MRI?
You will be given a gown to wear during the procedure, as well as ear plugs or ear muffs to reduce the noise level and protect your hearing during the MRI (the scan can be a bit loud). Once ready, you will lie on a narrow table that slides into a large cylinder (tube) with a strong magnetic field. The exam is painless and generally takes less than an hour to complete, but please allow for 30 to 60 minutes of waiting time before the test.