What happens during a MRI procedure?
• You will lie comfortably on your back on a table that is moved inside a large magnet.
• A piece of equipment called a "coil," which sends and receives the radio frequency waves used in this technology, will be placed around the area being examined.
• During the scan, as with all MRI exams, you will hear various noises, ranging from a buzzing to a loud knocking.
• You will be given earplugs to diminish the noise.
Because an MRI exam takes images or "slices" from various angles, several sequences or sets of images will be taken.
• Each sequence will last from one to 10 minutes, and the technologist will inform you before the scanning noise begins.
• The total exam time for a scan can range from 15 to 60 minutes.
• You must lie very still during each sequence, in order to produce clear, diagnostic images.
Depending on your symptoms or prior medical history you may be given an intravenous contrast medium for your scan. The technologist will explain this procedure to you if necessary.
What are the benefits and risks of MRI?
An MRI is able to visualize internal organs that are difficult or impossible to see with other diagnostic exams. You don’t even feel the Magnetic Field or the radio waves. There is no radiation, the exam is painless, and there are no harmful side effects.