Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in your body.
MRI is a noninvasive way for your doctor to examine & pick up abnormalities of your organs, tissues and skeletal system. It produces high-resolution images of the inside of the body that help diagnose a variety of problems.
Before an MRI exam, eat normally and continue to take your usual medications, unless otherwise instructed. You will typically be asked to change into a gown and to remove things that might affect the magnetic imaging like metal jewellery for example. And you will be asked to wear a hospital gown.
The MRI machine looks like a long narrow tube that has both ends open. You will be lying down on a movable table that can slide in & out of the tunnel.A technologist monitors you from another room separated by a glass window, where the “control room” is. You can communicate with person by microphone & they give you a little button that you can press should you need to communicate with the technologist or nurse for any reason.
If you have a fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), you might be given a drug to help you feel sleepy and less anxious. Most people get through the exam without difficulty.
The MRI machine creates a strong magnetic field around you, and radio waves are directed at your body. The procedure is painless. You don’t feel the magnetic field or radio waves, and there are no moving parts around you. Although during the MRI scan, the internal part of the magnet produces repetitive tapping, thumping and other noises. You might be given earplugs or have music playing to help block the noise as it’s quite loud.
In some cases, a contrast material, typically gadolinium, will be injected through an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm. The contrast material enhances certain details in the images making it easier to see the organs that are being examined and any potential abnormalities.. Gadolinium rarely causes allergic reactions.
An MRI can last anywhere from 15 minutes to more than an hour. You are asked to be as still as possible as movement can blur the imaging, so they will have to redo the images making the process even longer.