FAQ - MRI
Q1. What is an MRI scan?
A. “MRI,” which stands for “Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” is a non-invasive way to take pictures of the body. Unlike X-rays and CT Scans, which use radiation, MRI uses a powerful magnet and precisely programmed radio signals to “see” inside the body, beyond what an X-ray can see. MRI shows normal anatomic structures (brain, organs, blood vessels, etc.) as well as structural or chemical alteration of tissue by disease. With MRI, it is often possible to diagnose disease at a very early stage, before it is visible by other means. Because most diseases are better treated when found early, MRI scans are becoming increasingly useful.
Q2. Is it uncomfortable? Is it dangerous?
A. An MRI exam causes no pain and is safe for most people. However, MRI cannot be performed on certain individuals, such as those who have cardiac pacemakers or certain other metal implants. If you have had any surgical implants, please discuss this with your doctor. With technological advances though, today most surgical implants are MRI compatible so one need not worry about the same.
Q3. How is it performed?
A. In the MRI suite you will be asked to lie on a narrow, movable table that will gradually slide you through the circular bore of a large, doughnut-shaped magnet. You should get comfortable because it is very important that you do not move during the scan. If you have a fear of confined spaces (claustrophobia), you are advised to tell the doctor before the exam. MRI procedures differ depending on your medical problem and the part of your body being studied. The radiologist plans an examination that is best suited for you. For example, if we are studying your abdomen, we will examine from your lower chest down to the upper pelvis, producing several series of images. During such a study, expect the machine to make loud noises, the tables to move occasionally, and the technologist to instruct you about your breathing. Certain tests require that a special dye (contrast) to be given before the test to enhance the MRI images and to facilitate the radiologist to visualize diseased tissues more clearly. The contrast is usually administered through an intravenous line (IV) in your hand or forearm. Side effects are rare. Anyone who has had recent surgery with surgical staples needs to be able to communicate with the technicians to tell us if there are any burning sensations. Anyone with a reprogrammable shunt must have the shunt reprogrammed after the MRI. And anyone with the possibility of having metal in their eyes (for example, one who does metal work as a career may have tiny bits of metal in the eyes that can be affected by the MRI), should have an ORBITS (x-ray of the eye) to rule out foreign bodies. Remember, each examination is tailored to individual requirements. Additional pictures are usually taken after the first series is completed.
Q4. How long does the procedure take?
A. An MRI scan typically takes from 30 to 60 minutes to complete. However the time differs depending on the type of MRI being done.
Q5. What happens after the scan?
A. Once enough information has been collected, you can leave and go about your normal activities without restriction.
Q6. When do I get the results?
A. Radiologists who specialize in this type of imaging will review your exam. You will then be asked to collect your report on a specified time.
Q7. Any other questions?
A. If you have any questions about your MRI scan, please ask any of our personnel including doctors, nurses, or technologists. We will try our best to explain the procedure clearly and to make your visit to the MRI suite as comfortable and speedy as possible.
High Strength Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) details :
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging works on the principle of a magnetic field and does not involve radiation of any sort. Magnetic Resonance Imaging involves placing the patient in an external magnetic field, thereby exciting all the tiny protons in the body which is used to produce the MR image. MRI is the best imaging modality for soft tissue, muscles, nerves, spinal cord & various joints, whereas CT has more use for the bones, chest, abdomen & pelvis.
- MRI offers multiplanar capabilities, wherein images can be obtained in any plane at various section thicknesses.
- At NM we do MRI of the entire body which includes MRI of the brain, MR Angio(MRA) for brain & neck vessels, as well as the body, MRI of the neck, MRI of the abdomen & pelvis, MRCP and MRI of the spine & joints.
- MRI is a superior technology to CT Scan. However it does not replace the latter. To do an MRI the patient is positioned in a closed tunnel (which is quite wide in our machine as compared to old generation machines). Nowadays, open MRI are also available which are more patient friendly. However, these machines are of lower strength, resulting in relatively poor quality images and take much longer time as compared to closed higher strength systems. A wise patient would decide on having a better quality scan than a little discomfort during the procedure for better management of his disease.
Equipment used at BABINA Diagnostics:
- MAGNETOM Essenza 1.5 MRI (SIEMENS)
- High Degree of patient comfort.
- No claustrophobic effect.
Online instructions for MRI :
- You are advised not to have any metallic object on your body. Eg. coins, watch, etc.
- Please wear normal comfortable clothing. On your arrival at the Centre you will be asked to change into our Centre’s MRI clothing which will be supplied to you.
- You are advised to arrive at the MRI suite at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to enable a smooth and relaxed procedure.
- It is extremely essential to bring along all previous medical reports including those of any previous MRI.
Please consult with the doctor before taking an appointment if you have:
- undergone any type of surgery where there are any left out metallic surgical clips or implants in the body, however most modern surgical clips are MRI compatible.
- a cardiac pacemaker or a MR incompatible stent.
- for Gall Bladder Study: do not eat or drink anything 4 – 6 hours prior to the exam and maintain a fat-free diet the night before the examination.