This technology enables physicians to detect developing disease or abnormalities earlier than ever before. MRI uses a powerful, but harmless, magnetic field and radiowaves. This combination produces detailed images of the body structures such as the brain, the spine, and other vital organs.
During an MRI, you simply lie down on a cushioned table which will automatically move into the magnet after you have been comfortably positioned. Although the technologist will not be in the room, you will be in constant contact with him or her. When the scan begins, you will hear a muffled thumping sound which will last for several minutes. Try to lie as still as possible as movement will blur the picture.
The average MRI can take 5-15 minutes, with a complete exam running 20-60 minutes. During this time, several dozen images may be obtained.
Relax and don't worry! You CAN eat and drink prior to the exam. You CAN take any medications you may currently be taking.
You will be asked a series of questions concerning your surgical and occupational background. If this history includes metal work (welders, grinders, etc.) or metal implants, please be sure to tell the technologist prior to your exam. Preliminary x-rays may need to be taken.
If you think you may be claustrophobic, ask your doctor to prescribe medication prior to the exam. If you do receive medications, please bring someone with you that will be able to drive you home because you will not be able to drive yourself.