A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to create a detailed, cross-sectional image of internal organs and structures. The scanner itself typically resembles a large tube with a table in the middle, allowing the patient to slide in. An MRI scan differs from CT scans and X-rays, as it does not use potentially harmful ionizing radiation.
MRI scan is a non invasive procedure and little preparation is required before the procedure. No metallic substance and equipments are allowed in the MRI imaging room as it uses very strong magnetic field.
On arrival at the hospital, doctors may ask the patient to change into a gown. As magnets are used, it is critical that no metal objects are present in the scanner. The doctor will ask the patient to remove any metal jewellery or accessories that might interfere with the machine. A person will probably be unable to have an MRI if they have any metal inside their body, such as bullets, shrapnel, or other metallic foreign bodies. This can also include medical devices, such as cochlear implants, aneurysm clips, and pacemakers.
Individuals who are anxious or nervous about enclosed spaces should tell their doctor. Often they can be given medication prior to the MRI to help make the procedure more comfortable. Patients will sometimes receive an injection of intravenous (IV) contrast liquid to improve the visibility of a particular tissue that is relevant to the scan. Preparation and waiting period for these patients could be longer than plain MRI scan.
Once the patient has entered the MRI procedure room the technologist will help the patient to get onto the scan table where patient has to lie down comfortably for the procedure. Staff will ensure that they are as comfortable as possible by providing blankets or cushions. Earplugs or headphones may be provided to block out the loud noises of the scanner. The headphones are provided to the patients as they can listen to music to calm any anxiety during the procedure. Once in the scanner, the MRI technician will make sure that the patient is comfortable. They will not start the scan until the patient is ready.
During the scan, it is vital to stay still. Any movement of patient during the procedure could affect the quality of image. Loud clanging noises will come from the scanner. This is perfectly normal. Depending on the images, at times it may be necessary for the person to hold their breath. If the patient feels uncomfortable during the procedure, they should inform to the MRI technician and request that the scan be stopped. The patient will be able to communicate with the technologist at all time during the procedure through audio communication system. It is also used by the technologist to talk with patient during the procedure to provide any instructions.
For any further information on MRI examination or appointment at Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital (ABMH), please call us at +91-20-30717677.