Silver Cross Hospital

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What is MRI?

MRI provides a non-invasive view inside the human body using a powerful magnet, radio waves and computer technology to produce detailed images of the anatomy that is used by physicians to obtain detailed clinical information.  MRI images are formed when signals generated with a magnetic field and emitted by measuring the water or hydrogen content in body tissue are processed by computer software to create diagnostic images. Different tissue characteristics are visualized during this process and translated into different contrast levels on the image. MRI exams are safe, painless and are used to diagnose many conditions involving the brain, spine, joints, muscles, abdomen, breast, prostate and blood vessels.Images created by the MRI scanner are performed without the use of radiation.

ACR MRI Accreditation - The MRI Departments at Silver Cross Hospital and Homer Glen Imaging received a 3-year accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

How is the MRI performed?

Patients lay on a moveable exam table. Often a coil or antenna is placed around the portion of the body that is being examined. The exam table will then be moved into the MRI machine. The MRI technologist will perform the test in an adjacent room while watching the patient through a window. The patient and technologist will be in communication throughout the exam. During the exam, the MRI machine makes loud thumping noises, therefore earplugs or music will be provided. 

Depending on the physicians order, a contrast or dye might be given into a vein in the hand or arm. MRI Arthrogram examinations require contrast to be injected into the joint. This is performed by the radiologist prior to the MRI with the use of X-ray guided fluoroscopy. If intravenous contrast is requested your blood will be tested for kidney function prior to the injection.  If you had a prior reaction to contrast or have any concerns about a possible reaction please contact your physician before your exam or speak with the MRI Technologist prior to your appointment date.  

Preparing for your MRI

  • You will be asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to register for your exam. A typical procedure averages 45 minutes depending on the information required by your physician. 
  • Patients should wear comfortable, metal free clothes that are easy to change as they may be asked to wear a gown for their procedure. 
  • Because of the magnetic field in the magnet room, you will be asked to leave metal items in a locker outside the scan room such as jewelry, eyeglasses, key, phones and other metal objects. 
  • Results are normally available to your physician in 24-48 hours. 
  • You will be asked to complete a standard MRI screening questionnaire to ensure that you are able to safely enter the MRI area.  The technologist will review your past surgical history and if you have had brain, ear, eye or other surgeries such as:
  • Aneurysm Clips
  • Exposure of metal fragments to your eye
  • Heart Valve Replacements
  • Implanted Infusion Device (insulin pump)
  • Metal Implants
  • Neurostimulators
  • Pacemaker
  • Shrapnel


For certain patients that undergo MRI exams, the experience may be associated with emotional distress. If you are anxious or have a fear of smaller spaces, Silver Cross offers wide-bore MRI allowing you to have the same tests done without being put inside a narrow cylinder. 

If you have any concerns about claustrophobia, please contact your physician before your exam or speak with the MRI Technologist prior to your appointment. Your physician may decide to prescribe a mild sedative to relax you during the exam or if ordered by your doctor, we offer an I.V. sedation program administered by an anesthesiologist to insure you the most relaxed experience possible during your MRI exam.  For your safety, sedated patients must have someone to drive you home.

Here are some of the MRI services we offer:  

  • Abdomen
  • Angiography
  • Arthrograms
  • Brain
  • Breast biopsies and localizations
  • Breast imaging
  • Enterography
  • Knee
  • MRCP
  • Pelvis
  • Prostate
  • Quantitative MRA
  • Spine
  • Wrist      

Download MRI Screening Questionnaire Form







Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.