What is an MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the body uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your body. The greatest advantage of MRI is that it can create three-dimensional images of the object under study without hurting the object in any way and without using any ionizing radiation.
MRI scan is not harmful, but it may cause some medical devices to malfunction. So tell your doctor about any health problems, recent surgeries or allergies and whether there’s a possibility you are pregnant.
Preparation for Procedure
Before an MRI exam, eat normally and continue to take your usual medications, unless otherwise instructed. Also, you will be asked a series of medical history questions to determine whether you may proceed with the MRI scan. You will typically be asked to change into a gown and to remove things that might affect the magnetic imaging, such as:
- Hearing aids
- Underwire bras
- Cosmetics that contain metal particles
Don’t be Surprised!
What to Expect During the MRI Scan?
- During the MRI exam:
The MRI machine is like a long narrow tube that has both ends open. You will be requested to lie down on a movable table that slides into the opening of the tube. A technologist monitors you from another room. You can talk with the person by microphone.
If you have a fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), you might be given a drug to help you feel sleepy and less anxious. Most people get through the MRI scan without difficulty.
The MRI machine creates a strong magnetic field around you, and radio waves are directed at your body. The procedure is painless. You don’t feel the magnetic field or radio waves, and there are no moving parts around you.
During the MRI scan, the internal part of the magnet produces repetitive tapping, thumping and other noises. You might be given earplugs or have music playing to help block the noise.
Sometimes your doctor may request that your MRI scan be enhanced via the use of contrast material. If contrast is required, the technologist will start an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm to administer the contrast.
An MRI can last anywhere from 15 minutes to more than an hour. You must hold still because the movement can blur the resulting images.
- After the test:
If you haven’t been sedated, you can resume your usual activities immediately after the scan.
We Will Take Care of The Rest!
What About the Results of the MRI Exam?
When your MRI exam is complete you may leave and resume regular activities. If a sedative is administered for your exam you will need to arrange transportation home.
The Radiologist may talk to you about the results of your MRA right after the test. Complete results are usually available for your doctor within 24 hours.
What’s the Difference?
Advantages of a High Field MRI
High field MRI systems will provide you with more flexibility and broader use categories compared to low field MRI systems. A high field MRI can perform advanced diagnostic imaging on a much wider range of patients and conditions due to the quality of the images produced through the use of a higher-powered magnetic field.
Some of the conditions a high field MRI can be used to diagnose include traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, spinal tumors, multiple sclerosis, stroke, infection, dementia, aneurysms, blood vessel blockages, artery diseases, pinched nerves, fractures, and more. Essentially, a high field MRI can do everything a low field MRI can and more. Beyond the superior image resolution, high field MRIs are also much faster.
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