MRI is a diagnostic test that uses a computer, powerful magnets, and radio waves to create detailed images of your organs. It is basically a diagnostic test, however, your physician can use this test to see how well you are responding to specific treatment. Unlike CT scans and x-rays, this imaging procedure does not use radiation.
Why Is MRI Performed?
Scientists, researchers, and doctors are now able to accurately examine, evaluate and assess the functions of the human body using a non-invasive tool. MRI scanner can be used for the following conditions;
- Injuries to the joints,
- To evaluate the cause of persistent pain,
- Cysts, tumours, and other abnormalities like abscesses and fractures in various parts of the body
- Abnormalities of the spinal cord and brain
- Diseases of the abdominal organs like liver, pancreas, and kidney etc.
- Certain types of congenital and acquired heart problems
- Evaluation for infertility
- Uterine abnormalities in women
What can you expect?
Before an MRI scan, you will get a contrast dye into your hand or forearm vein. This dye works as a contrast medium and helps your physician see structures more clearly inside your body.
You are asked to lie on a table that slides into the MRI machine. The straps can be used to keep you still during the procedure. Depending on the investigation required, your body could be partly or completely inside the machine. The machine then creates a strong magnetic field and make a series of images from inside your body. These images show details of the targeted part of your body.
How to prepare
You can eat and drink normally before an MRI exam. You can continue taking your supplements and prescribed medications unless otherwise instructed. You will be asked to take off clothes and change into a gown.
Possible side effects
This procedure is generally safe. A few patients may experience side effects due to the contrast material used. These include
- A headache
- Pain at the site of injection.