Making Sure You Receive the Best Possible Treatment
Body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at the Tufts Medical Center Radiology Department uses the latest techniques and technology to help detect medical problems safely, painlessly and effectively. Having an accurate and precise diagnosis helps ensure you receive the best possible treatment.
MRI employs a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce high-resolution images of your body's organs and tissues. Since the technology does not involve the use of X-rays, you will not have to worry about radiation exposure.
Evaluating Chest, Abdomen & Pelvis Problems
At Body MRI, we evaluate conditions of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. (Other Tufts MC radiology divisions focus on the musculoskeletal system and the head, neck, brain and spine.)
Body MRI radiologists and technologists commonly perform MRI scans to diagnose conditions such as:
- Liver tumors, especially in patients with cirrhosis
- Pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Gynecological disorders, including fibroids and cancers of the ovaries, uterus and cervix
- Prostate cancer
Consulting with colleagues at Tufts MC or your referring doctor, your radiologist will carefully review your images to pinpoint your medical problem. He or she will then send a report that helps your referring doctor design a treatment plan tailored specifically to you.
Meet Dr. Hoon Ji, Body MRI Chief
Hoon Ji, MD, PhD has served as Body MRI chief since joining Tufts MC in 2007. A native of South Korea, he has had extensive training in MRI and oncoradiology, including fellowships at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He also teaches at Tufts University School of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States.
Dr. Ji is a pioneer in developing and applying quantitative MR imaging, an advanced technique to measure lipid and iron levels in the body, especially the liver. If you suffer from certain liver, spleen, kidney or heart conditions, you will be in great hands. Tufts MC is one of the few hospitals in the country with this specialized expertise.
The other board-certified radiologists on our team are also among Boston's top MR imaging experts. Like Dr. Ji, all teach at Tufts University School of Medicine and have research interests aimed at improving patient care and imaging technology for the future. We have received National Institutes of Health funding for research in using MRI to:
- Measure liver lipid content in people who are HIV-positive.
- Diagnose and monitor sclerosing cholangitis, a biliary tract disease, with MR cholangiography, an MRI technique to image the bile ducts.
The rest of our division consists of experienced technologists highly skilled in operating our state-of-the-art MRI machines. Working together, the entire Body MRI team will strive to give you the highest level of personalized, attentive care.
What to Expect During Your Visit to Body MRI
We understand you might be anxious about your MRI examination. But rest assured that the entire process is safe, painless and brief, and we will do everything we can to put you at ease.
Before Your MRI Exam
Please leave all jewelry at home, as we will ask you to remove it for the scan. We will also have you change into a hospital gown before the exam begins.
Screening is an important part of a safe MRI exam. So upon arrival, you will complete a screening checklist and medical history form to identify metallic devices or implants in your body, such as a pacemaker, artificial heart valve, infusion pump or surgical clips in your skull. (These may interfere with the scan and even cause injury when exposed to the magnetic field. If you have one of these devices, please bring your medical identification card so we can determine whether you can proceed with the MRI.)
An MRI technologist will review the forms with you and answer any questions you may have. Be sure to inform the technologist if you are or may be pregnant.
Sometimes we use contrast to help light up specific tissues on the MRI scan. In these cases, a small intravenous catheter may be used for injection.
During Your MRI Exam
An MRI machine is a long cylinder that is open at both ends. At the start of the exam, you will lie down on a table with a pillow and blanket, and be given headphones for listening to music.
Once you are ready, the technologist will head into a nearby room to begin the exam. You will be rolled slowly into the MRI machine. As each image is taken, you will hear a series of loud noises. The ear plugs we provide will help soften the sound.
Throughout the exam, you will be able to speak with the technologist. The entire process typically lasts 30 to 40 minutes.
After Your MRI Exam
Following the exam, your radiologist will review your images and share his or her findings and recommendations with your referring doctor, who will speak with you about the results.
If you have any questions about your MRI exam, please call us at 617-636-6231.