Alternative MethodsConventional Methods

September 21


Reading time 3 min.

Magnetic resonance imaging or shortly MRI is a diagnostic testing procedure that applies magnetic waves as well as radio vibration to produce detailed organs’ and tissues’ images.

MRI offers excellent soft-tissue contrast and high quality pictures of lesions. Advantages include no radiation dose and the avoidance of nephrotoxic iodinated contrast material. There are some downsides to this method, for example, the need for non-ferromagnetic devices and patient steadiness during testing. The MRI units represent huge magnet devices that look like a cylinder. While being situated in an MRI tube, the magnetic field briefly changes the form of water molecules inside your organism.

Electromagnetic waves make those aligned atoms let out weak signals that help to generate cross-sectional MRI images.

Additionally, 3D modeling can be produced with MRI scanning so that your doctor is able to study an organ from several angles.

How to prepare for the testing:

Come in advance

On the scheduled day you will want to arrive early. It would help if you got there at least twenty minutes before to ensure you have enough time to fill in the necessary forms. You can bring a phone, or a book, or any gadget to distract yourself with in case there is a delay in the doctor's office. Without anything to do, watching the clock while waiting and counting minutes will simply make you nervous.

Tell Your Doctor about Claustrophobia

You are going to lie inside a confined tube-shaped machine when the MRI test is done. The amount of time that you are going to spend there can vary which depends on the specific organ, it could take as long as one hour. In case you have ever had a claustrophobia episode, the scan might make you feel a lot of stress. To better manage this procedure, inform the doctor beforehand. Try to express your worries as well as your anamnesis of the fear of confined spaces. Your doctor may want to provide you with a medication that you can have before performing the testing, which should help you calm down before the MRI.

Leave all valuables at home

Metal is on the top of listings on the "Don't bring" list for the scan. MRI machines are basically big magnets, so the MRI technician is going to ask you to take off all metal things from your body before the testing, which also includes your jewellery or hairpins that you usually wear. In case you wear something low-cost, this should not cause any problems. Though, if you should remove valuable jewellery that are difficult to replace, think about leaving them at home in the first place. There is a list of some metal items to leave at your place:

  • Jewellery
  • Pins
  • Glasses
  • Watches
  • Retainers
  • Hearing devices

Discuss your anamnesis with your provider

Specific conditions can cause serious modifications in the MRI testing. For instance, the fact that you have metal implants inside your body can cause a problem because the MRI device is essentially a huge magnet. Your provider will run with you through a long list of disorders to ensure that the MRI can't cause any harm to you. It is highly important to be honest and direct with your provider since any misreporting about the state of your health could lead to complications with the result interpretation. An overview of the patient's medical anamnesis is probably the most crucial element of MRI prep.

Be prepared for Noise

MRI tubes are very noisy. Of course, it is one of the least enjoyable moments of the procedure, but unfortunately you can't avoid it. While lying inside the scanner, there are going to be loud thudding and vibrating noises just when the scanner does its job. Some people find that the noise is not very irritating, while others do not like it. If you have a feeling the sound may cause a problem, ask your tech if they could provide you with a pair of headphones to help reduce the noise impact.

Don't move

During the scanning, your main concern is to lie without moving while the MRI magnet does its work. You are going to be able to talk to and hear the technologist during the scanning. Sometimes, they will probably ask you to make a slight movement, e. g. wiggling your fingers or answer a basic question. Your job is to complete their requirements with minimum additional movement. The length of the scan can vary, but you can be prepared for anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes per each organ that needs an MRI.

Remember that the doctor can hear you and in case of distress you can tell them about it and ask for help. Of course, it is better not to speak the entire procedure of the MRI, but it is necessary to express any concerns as they appear.

Think ahead

After completing an MRI, you might not be able to drive home by yourself, in case you have taken some sedative medication to help you deal with the claustrophobia. Such medicine might still be in effect, but even if it is wearing off, you may not be attentive enough to drive yourself home. Think about it ahead of time. You can have someone with you when you come or ask a friend to pick you up after the procedure.

Study this check-list to know what to look for before, during, and after the procedure and we are sure the process will seem much less terrifying. The MRI scan is not only pain-free and practically risk-free, it lets doctors have an important insight into the way your body works. This test is often required to either diagnose a disease or see a progress of the current treatment.


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