MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a medical imagery procedure that makes use of strong magnetic fields and radio waves, which in turn help create detailed images of various parts of your body. Your doctor may ask you to undergo the MRI scan to evaluate and assess any of the following – Sports injury, Musculoskeletal injury, Brain, Spinal Cord, Blood Vessels
You do not need to prepare specifically for the scan. You have to make sure that you have gathered all the information from your doctor and are well aware of the process and the medications. Apart from this, your doctor would also like to know the medicines or supplements you take as certain medications can affect the test. You must also let your doctor know if you have had any surgeries recently. Before going for the surgery, you must remove any metal or electronic objects since MRI scans are done using very strong magnets. There are certain patients who are considered unfit for the MRI scan. If you have the following conditions, your doctor might tell you to not take the scan – Kidney Disease, Pregnancy, Diabetes, Insulin pump, Artificial heart valves, etc.
The images are interpreted and analysed by a radiologist.
You will have to first change into the hospital gown. Certain doctors would also require you to have a contrast dye injection before the test. This is preferred since it improves the quality of the images and helps the doctor visualise the internal tissues better. If you feel nervous or claustrophobic, your doctor might administer a mild sedative to calm you down. For the scan, you will have to lie down on a special bed that moves inside the MRI scanner, which is a cylindrical machine. During the procedure, you need to stay still as even a slight movement affects the quality of the image. A frame is kept on the area to be scanned; this frame sends and receives signals to help produce better quality images during the scan.
During the procedure, you will be able to communicate with your doctor, who will closely monitor your performance. The total time taken for the procedure can be anywhere between 15 to 90 minutes depending on the area scanned.