At Yashoda hospital, we routinely perform MRIs to help evaluate and diagnose numerous conditions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) utilizes a powerful magnetic field that generates radio waves to create a picture of the body's inside. Our department also performs several specialty imaging procedures such as brain spectroscopy, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), prostate MRI, and venography (MRV). In pregnant women, body MRI may be used to monitor your baby safely.
What is MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive test used which is used by radiologists to diagnose medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of internal body structures which are in great detail. Detailed images help doctors in finding and detecting diseases. These images can be loaded in a server and sent electronically or copied in a CD.
What are some common applications of the MRI procedure?
MR imaging of the body is performed to analyze:
- organs of the chest and abdomen—such as the liver, the heart, kidneys, biliary tract, spleen, pancreas, bowel, and adrenal glands.
- Pelvic organs involve the bladder and reproductive organs such as the and prostate glands in males and uterus and ovaries in females.
- Blood vessels
- lymph nodes.
MRI is also used for other medical conditions such as:
- tumors of the pelvis, chest and abdomen.
- abnormalities of the bile ducts and pancreas and diseases of the liver, such as cirrhosis.
- inflammatory bowel disease like, Crohn's disease
- heart problems including congenital heart disease.
- inflammation of the vessels (vasculitis) and malformations of the blood vessels.
- a fetus in a pregnant woman.
How to Prepare for the Procedure?
Before the Procedure
- You will be told to wear a hospital gown.
- Unless you are told otherwise, you should take food and medications as usual.
- Tell your radiologists if you have undergone recent surgery. Gadolinium contrast is used for MRI, which is considered safe for patients with kidney disease. Pregnant women also should tell radiologists if they are pregnant.
- If you have claustrophobia or anxiety, the doctor may prescribe a mild sedative prior to your exam.
- Prior to the scan, leave all the jewelry and other accessories at home.
- Tell the radiologists if you have medical or electronic devices in your body such as cochlear (ear) implants, types of clips used for brain aneurysms, metal coils placed within blood vessels, older cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers.
During the Procedure
- MRI does not use radiation, and hence, it causes no chemical changes in the tissues.
- You will be placed on the moveable exam table, and straps and bolsters are used to help you maintain the position. While the images are being taken, it is important that you remain perfectly still.
- Hydrogen atoms naturally exist within the body re-align with the radio waves, and the scanner captures this energy to develop a picture using this information.
- The computer processes the signals and helps in creating a series of images. The radiologists study the images from different angles.
- After the exam, you will be asked to wait while the radiologists check the images.
- The entire exam is usually completed in 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the type of exam and equipment used.
After the Procedure
- Technologists or a doctor will interpret medical exams. Your reports will be shared with you.
- Sometimes, the patient has to take follow-up exams because of an abnormality that may need further evaluation with additional views or a special imaging technique.
- Also, a follow-up exam tells whether the treatment being used to treat the medical condition is working or not.
Are there any risks involved?
- When appropriate safety guidelines are followed, the MRI exam poses almost no risk to the average patient.
- While using sedation, there is a risk of using too much, but we monitor vital signs to minimize this risk.
- There are no risks from the strong magnetic field. However, it may result in distorted images or malfunction of the implanted medical devices.