Medical technology has made enormous strides in recent decades and has completely changed the way healthcare professionals diagnose and treat different types of health conditions. Among these innovations, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) stands as a powerful tool that provides visual insight into the organs and internal structures of the human body.
If you are scheduled for your first MRI scan, it is natural to have questions and feel a bit anxious. Therefore, here is an outline of what you can expect from your first MRI scan to help answer your questions and ease your nerves.
MRI is a non-invasive medical imaging technique. It uses a strong magnetic field and radiofrequency waves to create detailed cross-sectional images of internal body structures. While X-rays and CT scans use harmful ionizing radiation, MRI employs harmless magnetic fields and radiofrequency waves to capture images. This makes it a safe option for patients of all ages. This technology is useful in examining various areas of the body, such as the brain, joints, muscles, and spinal cord. Therefore, it plays an integral role in diagnosing a wide range of conditions.
Points to Consider Before the Scan
Preparations for an MRI scan are generally straightforward, but it is important to consult your healthcare provider beforehand if you have any concerns at all. Express MRI has a clinic in Alabama and one in Georgia, and they employ knowledgeable MRI technologists who are on hand to answer your questions. They will give you information and instructions to help prepare you. For instance, they may advise you to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing without any metal zippers, buttons, or snaps.
If you do turn up to the clinic with clothes that have metallic embellishments, you might be asked to change into a hospital gown, as metal can interfere with the magnetic fields and distort the images. With this in mind, it is a good idea to leave behind any jewelry, watches, hairpins, or any other accessories that contain metal.
Food and Drink
Depending on the type of MRI you are having, you might need to avoid eating or drinking for a certain period of time before the scan. In addition, you should let your healthcare provider know about any medications you are taking in case they need to be adjusted before the scan.
What to Expect During the Scan
Upon arrival at the clinic, you will be greeted by an MRI technologist who will guide you through the entire process. If you need to change into a gown, you can expect a private changing area. Remember to remove all metal objects, too. As many MRI machines can be noisy during operation, you might be given the option to wear earplugs or headphones. You might even be allowed to listen to music to help put you at ease and pass the time.
When you are ready, you will be positioned on a table that slides into the MRI machine. During the scan, it is important to remain as still as possible to ensure accurate images are captured.