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Our staff specializes in providing MRIs and MRAs for the diagnosis and monitoring of various diseases, cancers, and other internal problems. Visit our specialty center pages to learn more about the medical conditions that can be diagnosed using MRI and MRA tests.

What is an MRI?

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to make images of the body without using X-rays. The images, called MRI scans, are digitally processed and shown on a screen. MRIs let Pinehurst Surgical’s physicians see very detailed images of the inside of a patient’s body, such as bone, tissue, tendons, blood vessels, and the brain.


What is an MRA?

MRA stands for magnetic resonance angiography. An MRA scan provides a view of specific blood vessels (arteries and veins). MRAs may be included with an MRI exam.

Precautionary Measures Against MRI & MRA Tests

The magnetic fields used in MRIs and MRAs are extremely powerful, so it’s very important that our Pinehurst, NC radiologists know about any metal in your body before proceeding with either of these tests. Please check with your provider if you have any of the conditions listed below:

  • Have metal in your eye or have ever had metal removed from your eye (x-rays may be necessary if history of metal in eye, please let your provider know when scheduling)

  • Have shrapnel, BBs or bullets anywhere in your body

  • Have a pacemaker, cardioverter, defibrillator or neurostimulators

  • Have aneurysm clips

  • Have embolization coil

  • Have had heart valve replacement or cardiac stents (Please bring documentation – usually performed 8 weeks post implanted)

  • Have implanted hearing devices of any kind – Removable hearing devices are fine

  • Have implants of any kind (for example, dental, breast, penile or ear)

  • Have had surgery in the past two months

  • Think you may be pregnant

What to Expect from Your Exam

How do I prepare for an MRI or MRA?
For an MRI exam, no special preparation is needed. On the day of the MRI, you may eat or drink fluids, go about your normal activities, and take your routine medicines, unless your doctor says otherwise. If you are receiving an MRA exam, Pinehurst Surgical will inform you of any special preparation needed.

Please do not wear any jewelry and or hair pins as they may cause harm to you and/or the machine. Tell your doctor or technologist if you have ever had asthma or an allergic reaction to a contrast enhancing agent.

What happens before the test?

Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time to register. If you are asked to change into a hospital gown and pants, you must remove all jewelry and store personal belongings in a locker. It is typically best to leave all valuables at home.


For some MRI and MRA exams, a contrast enhancing agent will be administered through an intravenous line (IV) inserted into your arm or hand. Some patients do experience brief nausea.

This symptom is normal — if you experience any other symptoms, please notify your technologist immediately.

What happens during the test?
MRI and MRA exams are done inside a conventional scanner. If you are larger or have a fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), please tell your doctor in advance so arrangements can be made.


Once inside the scanner, you should lie quietly and very still, breathe normally and relax so the images taken will be clear. Your technologist will be in a room behind a large window and will see and hear you at all times. The exam usually lasts 30 minutes – 1 hour depending on your exam.


How do I get my test results?
One of our radiologists will study your scans and report the results to your doctor in Pinehurst, Sanford,  Laurinburg, Rockingham or one of our other locations in Central North Carolina. Your doctor will then discuss the results with you — please talk with your physician or testing center about how to get your test results.


What to Expect from Your Exam

You will receive two bills following your MRI/MRA exam:


  • One from Pinehurst Surgical

  • One from the radiologist that reads your MRI/MRA

  • Please be prepared to pay your copay, deductible or expected out-of-pocket expense at time of service

Please contact Pinehurst Surgical today at (910) 672-6364. We look forward to providing you with the most directed, patient-centered medical care available.

Current patients may also login to their My Patient Portal Page to request an appointment online.

Pinehurst Surgical is a multi-specialty clinic comprised of ten specialty centers located in a state-of-the-art surgical facility in Pinehurst, NC. We also have six additional locations in Laurinburg, Hamlet, Raeford, Rockingham, Sanford and Troy and serve patients in Southern Pines, Fayetteville, Asheboro, Fuquay-Varina, Siler City and all surrounding areas throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond.

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