Imaging Services


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital is the only facility in the region offering high-field 3T MRI along with Open Upright MRI scanner technology.

MRI technology uses magnetic fields and radio waves to scan your body, seeing past hard bone to produce a picture of soft tissues such as muscle, fat and internal organs. The process has no known side effects, making it safe and effective for practically everyone.


Our state-of-the-art 3T MRI helps physicians diagnose many conditions more quickly, safely and accurately than ever before with amazingly detailed images

  • Clearer scan pictures show smaller details of your body.
  • Higher image quality enables neurological and vascular conditions to be diagnosed with greater confidence
  • Excels at imaging of the spine and musculoskeletal system (shoulders, hips, knees and feet).

Open Upright MRI

If you need a positional or weight-bearing study to evaluate your spine or joints, your physician may request an Open Upright MRI. We are the only facility in the region to provide access to high-field 3T MRI along with Open Upright MRI scanner technology. This allows us to perform “hybrid” MRI studies, in which we compare images from the Open Upright and high-field MRI images. Hybrid studies provide your physician with additional information that may be necessary for proper diagnosis and treatment.

These services, combined with x-ray capabilities, help ensure patients receive the right exam at the right time.

Preparing for Your MRI

On the day of your appointment, follow your normal routine including meals and any medications. Do not wear heavy makeup. Possible metal content in the makeup can affect the image.

  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
  • Allow 1 to 2 hours for the procedure to be completed.
  • Bring your medical insurance card with you. (Note: We recommend you check with your insurance company ahead of time to determine if prior approval is required for your MRI procedure.)
  • Bring a list of medications you are currently taking and their dosages.

Your MRI Appointment

When you arrive for your appointment:

  • A staff member will review the details of the procedure with you.
  • You may be asked to change into a patient gown, so please wear clothing you can change into and out of easily.
  • A staff member will place your personal items (purse, wallet, watch, keys, etc.) in a secure locker. For your own peace of mind, please leave valuable possessions at home.
  • To provide the best possible care, we will ask you about your medical history.

During Your MRI

  • Your MRI will be performed in a special room containing an examination table and the MRI imager.
  • The procedure requires that you lie on your back on the table.
  • You will hear knocking sounds that are a normal part of the imager’s operation.
  • It is very important that you remain relaxed and completely still throughout the process.
  • For most procedures you will have the option to wear headphones (which we provide). Feel free to bring your iPod or a CD with your favorite music.
  • You will be able to talk to the technologist throughout the procedure.
  • The MRI technologist and radiologist will review the images during the scan.
  • The scanning process typically lasts from 30 minutes to one hour.


  • An MRI exam does not require recovery time, so you are free to leave when the procedure is finished.
  • Any films you brought with you will be kept for comparison and returned to your doctor.
  • The MRI results will be sent to your doctor, who may schedule an appointment with you.
  • If you have questions about the results following your MRI, please contact your doctor.