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7 Must-Know Facts Before Getting an MRI Scan

by jantaxrayclinic
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging, also known as MRI scan, is a non-invasive scanning procedure that uses strong radio waves and magnetic fields to capture detailed images of the internal structures and organs inside the body. It can be used to examine any part of the body, including:

 

  • Internal organs like the prostate gland, liver or womb
  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Spinal cord and brain
  • Joints and bones
  • Breasts

If you are reading this, then perhaps you or someone in your family or friends have been advised to get this scan done. But before you get nervous thinking of how frightening the test will be, here’s everything you should know. So, let’s get started.

1) Know How MRI Works

 

During the scan, you will need to lie down on a bed that will be moved into the MRI scanner which generates radio waves to create a magnetic field. The scanner is operated by an experienced radiographer who uses a computer to capture images in different angles and specifications that canhelp in accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Depending on the part of the area being scanned, the scan may take 15 to 90 minutes. During this time, it is important to stay as still as possible or the image quality may be compromised. At certain times, you will hear loud tapping noises as the electric current in the coils gets switched on and off.

Knowing how the MRI scanprocedure works will help you prepare in advance and have peace of mind.

 

2) MRI is Safe

 MRI is safe, though there may be some common risks associated with radio frequencies and magnetic fields. However, proper safety measures are taken at the time of the procedure to ensure zero complications or health hazards. If safety during the scan is your primary concern, it is important that you talk to your doctor.

You might require undergoing a safety screen before the scan and it is crucial that you answer all the questions honestly and openly. If you have any health hazard or you are pregnant, discuss it with your doctor. It is also important to talk to the radiographer if you have claustrophobia. This is because the MRI scanner is like a tunnel and about 1.5 metres long. It is encompassed by a large circular magnet.

So, when you are slid inside the scanner, you may feel suffocated. Inform the radiographer right away if you feel claustrophobic at any point of time during the scan. However, it is important to note that MRI scan is safe when you do it from a reputable diagnostic scanning centre that has years of experience in this field.

 

3) Know If You are Suitable for the MRI

 While anyone can have an MRI done, there are some people for whom the procedure can be dangerous if proper safety measures are not taken. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor before getting the scan. Since the procedure involves high frequency radio waves and magnetic field, it may not be suitable for some people.

For instance, patients with cardiac pacemakers cannot get an MRI exam done. For people who have certain types of metal inside the body, such as rods, metal plates, screws or wires, are also unsafe for an MRI. In that case, you must check with your doctor or the radiographer whether the exam can be done. Other items like such as aneurysm clips may also not be safe.

Other possible dangers include heart valves, stimulators, ear implants, drug infusion pumps or device, facial tattoos, etc. Make sure you tell your doctor exactly what you have. This will help them determine if you are safe to get the scan.

 

4) Keep Metals Away

 Since MRI scanners have high magnetic fields, make sure you remove all metallic objects before entering the scanning room. These include watches, jewellery, coins, keys, removable hearing aids, eyeglasses, prosthetic devices, dentures, etc. Also do not carry your credit/debit card with you.

 

5) Ask Only for the Latest 3T MRI Scan

 When the scan involves complex diagnosis, always check whether the diagnostic centre uses cutting-edge 3 Tesla MRI scanning machine. An MRI that is 1.5T or lower is often unable to capture images in details or as accurately as a 3T MRI scan. This is especially true when there are potential life-threatening lesions or tumours to detect.

Therefore, always ask for the latest 3T MRI machine or you can choose a good diagnostic centre that uses only the most modern and effective MRI scanners that can increase the precision level and safety considerably.

 

6) MRI Scan Using a Contrast

 In soe cases, your doctor may recommend an MRI scan using contrast. The use of contrast medium improves the image quality, aiding in more accurate and reliable diagnosis. Typically, a non-contrast MRI is as effective as a contrast MRI. However, if your doctor wants highly detailed images to evaluate a particular problem area inside your body, then you may need a contrast MRI.

Using the contrast helps improve the visibility of inflammation, tumours, blood vessels or blood supply to certain organs. During the procedure, a gadolinium-based dye will be injected into the arm intravenously. Unlike the misconception, the dye does not discolour your internal organs permanently. Rather, the contrast temporarily changes how the MRI imaging modalities interact with your body to provide high-quality and accurate images.

After the scan gets completed, either you eliminate the dye through your urine or the body absorbs it. However, it may lead to potential safety concerns and side effects. And therefore, a contrast MRI is only rarely recommended by doctors. Use of modern 3 Tesla MRI has further reduced the use of contrast today.

 

7) Choosing a Good Imaging Centre is Imperative

 Finally, the efficacy of an MRI scan depends, to a large extent, on the quality of the imaging centre you choose. A good diagnostic centre will have the latest MRI scanning machines and a team of highly experienced technicians who can perform the scan with utmost precision and reliability.

Janta X-ray Clinic is a trusted diagnostic centre in Delhi/NCR, using the most advanced MRI scanning technology that ensures high levels of safety, time saving and accuracy.

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