MRI stands for Magnetic resonance imaging. It is a test that creates comprehensive images of your body part for which your doctor has asked MRI for. This test is harmless and painless. In this test, a machine produces the images with the help of radio waves and magnetic field. MRI tests are done in radiology centers and hospitals. It is unlike to an X-ray or a CT scan. It unites images to generate a 3D image of your internal structures body part. It is more useful, accurate and effectual than other scans at identifying problems. In this article, you will learn about the procedure of MRI scan and how long does an MRI take.
Some Popular MRI Tests
Following are some of the popular MRI tests:
- Whole Body
- Lymph Nodes
- Fallopian Tube
- Cervical Spine
- Blood Vessels
- Bile Ducts
- Adrenal Glands
How Do I Prepare for MRI scan?
The medical team will ask you if you have brain aneurysm clips, vascular stents, special kinds of heart valves, a pacemaker or defibrillator, artificial joints or internal ear implants. You should inform them if you have ever worked with sheet metal.
Such points may influence the result of an MRI. In case of pacemakers and implants, those things may discontinue working correctly because of the magnetic field of MRI.
You also remove things that are made of metal and include any piece of metal including sunglasses or jewelry. The reason for removing metal is that it gets in the ways with the ability of MRI machine to create an unambiguous and perfect picture.
Dental fillings and Braces do not normally create a problem, but some dental machines, pins, pens and pocketknives may create issues.
What happens during the scan?
Do you know how an MRI scanner looks like? It is a small cylinder that is unlocked at both ends. The medical staff asks you to lie on a bed (which has a motor).
They move the bed into the scanner area. On the basis of the body part being scanned, they will either enter your feet or head into the scanner. Sometimes, they put a frame over the body part being scanned, like chest or head.
This frame includes receivers that catch the signals transferred out by your body at the time of scan and it may assist in producing a higher-quality image. They use a computer for operating the MRI scanner.
You can talk to them via intercom, and they can see you on a monitor. During the scan, they let one of your family members or friends to stay with you in the room. That person will have to follow the same instructions such as having no metallic items.
During some short scans, they may also ask you to hold your breath. They give you headphones or earphones to get rid of the noises produced during the scan. The sound is produced due to the current of coils in the scanner. You can also listen to music during the MRI scan.
How Long Does an MRI Take?
The majority people think that all MRIs take equal time. This concept is wrong. Some people need more than 1 MRI for examination. Take the example of Head MRI. Different kinds of images can be different in terms of requirement of time.
Some images need a little amount of time, and some images require a very long time. It is a joint effort between radiologists and doctor that will lead to the perfect MRI and the necessary pictures to observe what is the root cause of the problem.
The fastest test of the brain is known as an MRI Limited Brain. These images are fast sequences that are established to just take about five minutes and, as the name implies, it is a very limited research. Your kid will not need any sedation for this special test since the period is little and it is arranged to have slight motion.
A number of small kids may be a little afraid of the sound that arises during the image taking, but they are completely secure and happen to be in the MRI scanner for approximately three to five minutes for this partial brain study.
The parents can lessen the fear of their children by just being there in the place where the examination is being done. Parents can tell them that this is harmless and it won’t take so long. Motivating them and being there for them will definitely calm them down.
Apart from the process discussed earlier, the most of the MRI scans need around 30 to 60 minutes. Remember, the particulars of the MRI are determined by radiologists on the basis of symptoms and signs you may be having.
No MRI takes more than 60 minutes. If doctors do not suggest MRI suggest then it will take 30 minutes to 45 minutes. So the question “How Long Does an MRI Take” depends on the requirements of your doctor.
If your radiologist has decided for an MRI of the brain plus further requirements, such as IACs (inner auditory canals), orbits or the CCJ (Cervical Cranial Junction), then the test may take 45 minutes. These extra demands take additional requirements, for example, tracking of patient’s pulse or images with higher resolution.
The medical team explains each and every requirements and procedure to patients to make them feel good and prepared.
What Happens After MRI Scan?
Once the scan is over, you can put your clothes on, take back your metallic objects (if any) and leave the scan room. If they sedated you for the scan, they take you to another room until you get up.
It may take 1 or 2 hours. Your MRI images are examined by a radiologist. The reports will be provided to your doctor, and next steps will be taken on the basis of your results.