An MRI: What to Expect

by | May 17, 2013 | Health

Having an MRI done can be a little unnerving. Most people do not undergo frequent MRI’s and are not sure what to expect when they need one. Technology has advanced to make this type of medical imaging St Paul MN more comfortable.

Before the MRI starts, patients will be asked questions by the technicians. One of the biggest concerns is whether or not the patient has any metal in their body, whether it is removable jewelry, a prosthetic device or an implant. Some of these things are compatible with the MRI, such as the implant while others will prevent the MRI from being done, such as embedded jewelry or a pacemaker.

Many people are uncomfortable with the noise of the machine. A clanging sound comes from smaller magnets inside the machine. By far the biggest complaint is the enclosed space. Even those people that do not have claustrophobia can become uncomfortable in the small tube of the MRI machine. There are more options today for medical imaging St Paul MN that include a specific extremity machine. This MRI will allow you to place the arm, hand, leg or foot in the machine and it will get the image. This will obviously not work for larger parts of the body. For that, there are open MRIs. While they have been viewed as a lesser imaging option in the past, the image quality has improved in recent years and the open MRI is more reliable now. If the patient cannot handle sitting still for the duration of the scan, some longer ones can take up to 45 minutes, then sedation may be an option for them. A doctor can review this issue with the patient before the MRI is scheduled at the diagnostic imaging center St Paul MN and can prescribe necessary relaxation medication for the MRI.

If the area to be imaged is not a large one, the MRI may not take as long. The technicians conducting the MRI will be able to see and hear the patient at all times. If there is an issue, or if the patient simply gets nervous, the technicians will be there to talk them through it. Some places will play music that the patient is familiar with while they are being scanned. Knowing what to expect before the MRI can make the entire process less uncomfortable and stressful.



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