Don't be Afraid of the Doctor

Here's What to Know About an MRI

Has your doctor recommended that you should undergo an MRI and you don't have a clue about what it is?  Undergoing any new medical procedure is enough reason to feel apprehensive. This is because you don't know what to expect before, during and after the procedure.

Here's what you need to know about an MRI.

What Is It? 

Are you afraid of invasive procedures that may leave you with painful wounds? If so, you shouldn't be worried about undergoing an MRI. Short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, an MRI is a non-invasive medical test that relies on the use of a powerful magnetic field and radio frequency to take high-res pictures of almost any internal body structures.

MRI machines are typically large, tubular magnets that you can lie inside. Once inside the machine, a technologist will monitor you on a computer screen from a separate room. Some form of ear protection may be provided to protect you from the loud noises produced inside the machine. Or, music can be used to distract you from the noise. 

You'll also be required to remove any metal objects that may interfere with the transmission of the magnetic fields. If you have metal material implanted in any part of your body, you should let your doctor know.

How Long Does an MRI Take? 

The amount of time that patients spend inside an MRI machine varies depending on the part of the body they need to scan. So, don't assume that you'll get out of the MRI room after the same length of time as the patient who just left the room. Your test might take longer or less time to complete.

The best way to estimate how much time you might spend inside the MRI machine is to ask the technologist at the medical facility where you're having the test done. They carry out different types of MRIs on patients every day, so they probably know the average time it takes for the various patients to leave the MRI room.

What If You're Scared of the MRI Machine?

Although you have nothing to be scared about, you may still feel afraid of the MRI machine. In case anxiety sets in, you may have to take anti-anxiety medication before going in the machine.

Whatever your specific questions, problems or concerns are, it is important to raise them with your doctor and medical imaging services so that they can help you decide on the best way to deal with undergoing an MRI.