Everything you wanted to know about MRIs
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is a common diagnostic procedure that is performed across the globe. This works by using a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to generate a comprehensive, cross-sectional image that clearly shows internal organs and structures.
MRI scans are non-invasive and painless. A MRI scan is used to diagnose multiple issues. Some of them are breast cancer, some heart ailments, joint injuries, tumors, cysts, pelvic pain, uterine anomalies, brain and spinal cord anomalies and more.
What is the procedure like?
Patients do not need any specific preparation, they would just need to change into a gown and remove all metallic objects from the body. Anyone with any piece of metal inside the body cannot have an MRI. This list includes bullets, shrapnel, metallic foreign bodies including medical devices such as cochlear implants, aneurysm clips, and pacemakers. If you are a person who gets nervous or anxious with enclosed spaces, make sure you keep your doctor informed, so that you can get medication to handle this.
Once inside the scanner, communication with the technician will happen via intercom. The scan will be started only once the patient is comfortable. In case of any unease, this can be communicated to the technician. It’s important that the patient does not move during the process as even a little movement can cause the images generated getting blurred. The procedure may take anywhere between 20 to 60 minutes depending on the area to be covered.
What happens after the scan?
Once the scan is completed, the radiologist will look at the images and check if more are required. Post this, a report will be prepared for the doctor to interpret. Side effects from a MRI scan are extremely rare. However, there may be a few people who are allergic to the contrast dye and may break out into hives or itchy eyes. Some may experience nausea, pain, headaches or a burning sensation at the spot that was injected. There are no serious side effects though.