Commonly known as an MRI, a magnetic resonance imaging scan is a valuable diagnostic tool. It lets doctors create a very detailed picture of the tissues and organs inside of a patient with an entirely non-invasive procedure.
Knowing what to expect during your MRI will help you to be prepared and make the procedure less stressful.
When Do You Need an MRI?
MRIs are used whenever doctors need to take a look inside the body to diagnose an issue or check up on a medical condition. Here are some of the most common conditions that require MRI scans to notice or treat:
- Liver, kidney, and other organ diseases
- Injured joints
- Benign or cancerous tumors and cysts
- Heart problems
- Spinal problems
- Strokes and other brain conditions
How Does an MRI Scanner Work?
The traditional MRI looks like an open tube with a flat table running down the middle for a patient to lay on. However, recent MRI technology has created an upright MRI scanner for claustrophobic patients that looks like a chair set between two walls.
Regardless of which MRI option you pick, it will work with the same MRI method. The giant magnet and radio waves take cross-section images of the body, showing different tissues and organs in great detail.
What Is It Like to Get an MRI With a Contrast Dye?
There are many types of MRI contrast dyes that help to make your results more transparent. You may get it injected into your veins like a shot, or you may be able to take it orally before the MRI. A contrast dye can be helpful, but there is growing concern about some types of MRI contrast ingredients. The metal gadolinium may linger in the body longer than expected.
People who were negatively affected by this have pursued a gadolinium lawsuit, due to suffering from an increase in fatigue, pain, and kidney problems from a build-up of this metal in their body.
What Are the Steps of the MRI Procedure?
- When you arrive, you will need to change into a gown and take off any metal objects. Due to the magnets, you cannot get an MRI with any metal implant in your body. You may be given earplugs or headphones to block out the noise of the MRI.
Entering the MRI:
- A technician will talk to you about the process, answer any questions you have, and help you get comfortable with the scanner.
- Once you are situated, the technician will go to an adjoining room where they start the scan. You will need to stay very still during the scan. If you feel uncomfortable, you can communicate with the technician through an intercom. It may last anywhere between 15 to 90 minutes
- The radiologist will make a report of what was discovered during your MRI, and your doctor will meet with you to discuss it.