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Welcome to a Kinder, Gentler MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, uses magnetic fields and radio waves, instead of ionizing radiation, to form detailed images of internal structures of the body.

Stronger magnets produce better images. The field strength of the magnet is measured in Tesla (T) and the majority of high resolution or high field scanners in use today operate at 1.5T – much stronger than an “open” MRI system. Thus, high field MRI is usually preferred when at all feasible.

High field MRI typically relies on a closed bore system in order to obtain the magnetic field necessary for high resolution images. This can cause problems for claustrophobic or large patients. Our center offers several features that can help:


Bore size refers to the circumference of the magnet. Our GE Horizon 1.5T “short bore” scanner has a shorter and wider patient bore for a more spacious feeling. Requesting the “short bore” scanner for a claustrophobic or larger patient can increase the examination success rate and reduce the need for sedation assistance.


For severely claustrophobic or anxious patients, sedation may help. Oral sedation such as Valium can be taken prior to the exam and is usually sufficient for most patients. We also offer “conscious” sedation with IV Versed Monday through Friday until 2pm. Please indicate that the study is to be done “with conscious sedation” on the order and the patient will also need to have someone accompany them to the appointment.


We offer soothing sensory stimuli including audio headphones to help reduce scanner noise, aromatherapy for relaxation, mirror glasses to help create the illusion of openness, a clean and comfortable environment, and a caring staff. We also offer evening and Saturday appointments and transportation assistance for added convenience.

Call North Valley Advanced Imaging at 894-6200 to schedule a “Kinder, Gentler MRI.” 

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