MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a painless scanning technique of internal body organs and tissues. Strong magnetic signals and radio waves are resonated to generate signals from the body to create a detailed image of the internal body organs. MRI scans are vastly used by doctors and researchers to analyse the inside of a human body.
The MRI scanner is a large covered tube-like structure with a table in the middle. The patients change into a gown, lie down on the table, and then slide in the scanner for the test. An MRI scanner is noisy, so you will be given earplugs before the test. These MRI scans help the doctor identify your medical conditions thoroughly, unlike regular tests like X-rays and ultrasounds, which do not provide a detailed sketch for deep-rotted problems.
Tumours, cysts, breast cancer, a certain type of heart cancer, liver cancer, and abdominal organ diseases are identified using an MRI scan. Evaluation of pelvic pain and infertility in women is done through an MRI scan.
Different types of MRI techniques provide the radiologist with specific information regarding the patient’s medical condition. For example, in case of a heart scan, leads will be placed on your chest to monitor your heartbeat.
Here are 6 simple steps to prepare you for your MRI scan.
- As MRI scan uses magnetic and radio frequencies to detect abnormal growths inside the human body, therefore, magnetic and electronic objects are strictly prohibited during the MRI scan. The interplay of the magnetic waves with metal objects can be fatal or lead to serious injuries to the patient. If you have metal implants (pacemakers, heart valve replacements, neurostimulators, cochlear implants, metal fragments in the eye, metal foreign bodies, magnetic dental implants), inform your physician about it. In such a case, MRI is not suitable for you, and the doctor will suggest an alternative to the MRI scan.
- Carry all your health documents to the MRI facility. If you are suffering from a medical condition take previous test results (x-ray and ultrasound reports) and prescription to the MRI test centre. This keeps your doctor informed about your medical history. Also, it helps the doctor to take precautionary measures, if necessary. In some cases, the patient can not go through an MRI scan because of their health conditions, thus, your doctor should be fully aware of your body’s problems.
- Do not wear makeup and hairsprays to an MRI scan. They have metal particles, and if these particles interfere with the magnetic waves, they can heat up the area and burn your skin. It is advisable to avoid wearing makeup to the scan, click here to know more about how these scans function.
- Personal belongings such as watches, credit cards, debits cards, jewellery, mobile phones, safety pins, belts, etc are not allowed into the MRI rooms. Mostly, the MRI facilities have lockers to keep your personal belongings, but it is better to leave your belongings at home.
- Pregnant women should consult their gynaecologists before getting an MRI scan done and inform the radiologist and the attendant at the MRI facility about their condition. If you are claustrophobic i.e., phobia of locked or closed places, inform your radiologist about it. It is uncomfortable for a claustrophobic person to undergo MRI unless provided with prescribed sedative medication.
- The doctor might ask you to fast before an MRI test. In such a case the doctor will inform you about fasting a day or two prior. Patients under regular medication should continue with their medicines unless otherwise advised by the doctor.
The MRI scan is a simple test, and you should not distress about it. If you are feeling uneasy, be vocal, and inform the radiographer. These days, MRI facilities have CD and DVD players attached to the scanner so that the patient can feel more relaxed and stablized.