There are several reasons that you would choose to have an MRI scan done. It will help your doctor diagnose you and identify any issues with your body, as well as help relax your mind with any symptoms you may have.
What An MRI Does
An MRI scan will be conducted through an MRI machine. It stands for magnetic resonance imaging and is essentially a diagnostic test that will use powerful magnets and radio waves to create 3D detailed images of structures and organs inside the body.
It is mainly conducted by specialist doctors known as radiologists, who will then study the end resulting image to look out for any abnormalities that could potentially exist inside of your body’s soft tissues. MRI machines have come a long way, with the technology becoming the preferred way for medical staff to screen patients and diagnose with higher amounts of accuracy and lower risk.
What Will Be Seen Through A Full-Body MRI Scan
Whilst CT scans, x-rays, and PET scans will expose your body to ionizing radiation, an MRI scan will not. A full-body scan will take images of 14 organs, allowing a doctor to get a good look at different parts of your body. They include the brain, spine, lung, and liver.
A full-body scan will look at all these organs to spot anything out of the ordinary, such as a tumor or abnormalities such as internet bleeding or inflammatory conditions. An MRI scan could also be used to look into problems with the heart and blood vessels, such as structural defects or heart damage in general.
How It Can Help You Physically
One of the main purposes of an MRI scan is that it will help to identify any risks such as cancer or other serious diseases. In some cases, it can even spot smaller less serious issues that can be rectified sooner rather than later. To get the best treatment available, you will want to get early screenings before major symptoms arrive for you.
That’s the benefit of an MRI scan, you will be able to get issues sorted ahead of time. There are a variety of different ways you can have an MRI scan. You may be referred by a doctor or at a hospital, or you could look into other methods. Ezra, for example, allows you to book an MRI scan online, allowing you to take control of your healthcare. They will also allow you to get a discount on a first scan, so it’s worth looking into.
How It Can Help You Mentally
Of course, it’s not just physically that you will benefit from an MRI scan. Indeed, the reason many choose to have an MRI scan is to get reassurance about their health. This means your mental health can rest easy knowing that you are taking care of issues.
Whether the result is positive or negative, you will know the next step you need to take, rather than worrying needlessly about ‘what if’ scenarios. This will mainly help ease symptoms of anxiety, rather than depression, but it will essentially set you on your next course.
Risks Associated With MRI Scans
Compared to other medical procedures and scans, MRIs are much safer. That’s because they are considered to be non-invasive and painless for most. The only issue that can arise is from implanted metal devices inside the body. As MRIs is magnetic, it can be disastrous if the procedure is done with certain metals inside. However, some metals will be certified with use with an MRI scan.
Other such devices inside of your body that could cause concern, which you should mention to your MRI technician include pacemakers or other automatic implanted cardioverter-defibrillator. If you have cochlear implants or any neurostimulators that are used for pain management then you should also bring it up.
Amongst other devices, you will need to mention any drug infusion pumps such as insulin pumps as well as intrauterine devices. Some dental implants will also be interfering with an MRI, as will any metal fragments in the eyes or body.
What You Need To Know About Pregnancy
Whilst it’s not exactly a risk, your technician will benefit from being informed about if you’re pregnant or not before going into an MRI scan. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to do during pregnancy, just that it’s worth knowing about. After all, ultrasound testing is used for pregnancies similarly, but a different process.
A fetal ultrasound will help to provide you and your healthcare provider with evidence that everything is going well, and what will require attention. Essentially, it will help evaluate development and growth as well as monitoring yourself.
It is generally a good idea to speak to your obstetrician before you have an MRI scan or even schedule one. If you get to your appointment with the suspicion that you might be pregnant, then you should notify your technician straight away.
How To Prepare For An MRI
When going in for your MRI scan, there are some tips you should consider. Firstly, don’t worry too much about not taking your medication beforehand, you will be good to take your medication as you normally would on the day.
Before going into your MRI scan, try to avoid large amounts of liquid, such as coffee or water. Although it is best to avoid all types of liquid beforehand. As mentioned previously, MRI scans don’t go well with metal objects or electronic devices in general. That’s because MRI scanners have a strong magnetic field as a part of the machinery. This means you will need to leave behind metal objects and devices such as your phone or watch, as well as any jewelry or even glasses that you wear.
Depending on the facility or doctor you see, you may be able to take advantage of certain amenities associated with your scan. This could include more comfort before and after your scan, as well as clothes provided or music of your choosing. Ask your specialist what you can take advantage of to make your experience go as seamless as possible.
What You Should Expect With Your Scan
Once you have gotten to your scan, you will now be able to get started. In most cases, you will be laid down onto a soft bed, which will then slide into the machine. The scanner itself is quite open, meaning you aren’t closed off from the world. However, your technician will usually be in the room opposite watching through glass, so they do not disrupt the process, but sometimes you will be able to have someone else with you in the room.
You must be as open and honest with your technician as possible. That means you should let them know if you are afraid of tight spaces or suffer anything like claustrophobia, as they may be able to work with you to accommodate this.
When you are undergoing the scan, you will need to lay as still as possible. Your technician may give you instructions such as taking deep breaths or moving from time to time. There will be noises you will hear throughout the scan, so don’t be alarmed when you hear something loud, it is perfectly normal.