Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize internal structures in a detailed manner. MRI uses Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to picture nuclei of atoms inside the body. Preparation work before a MRI scan is hassle free and it is mostly used for orthopaedic injuries.
It is extremely easy and there is no restriction except for one thing – metallic objects. Metallic objects cannot be brought into the MRI room and that includes metallic products you are carry such as your jewellery and even metal implants in the body. If you have metal implants, you need to let your doctor know and he will advise accordingly. It is also advisable to go for the MRI scan without make up if you are a female. This is due to some cosmetics containing traces of metallic elements which may interfere with the MRI scan.
It is also important that you declare your medical history to the doctor truthfully before the MRI scan so that they will know exactly what implants you have in your body and whether they could be metallic. The magnetic fields generated during a MRI scan are so strong that it can suck you towards the machine if there are just minute traces of metallic substances in your body.
Generally, you will need to arrive at the hospital around 30 minutes before the scan. This is to allow the staff ample of time to start the registration process and perform some last minute checks before sending you to the MRI room. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown that is free of metallic substances. You will then are interviewed and ask to verify your details by a technologist.
The MRI scan will take roughly 45 minutes on average and you will be placed on a padded table and you will be slowly moved into a large open magnet that will surround your entire body. You will be provided with an assistance handheld device that you should use if you feel any discomfort during the scan. There will also be a speaker which the technologist will use to talk to you. Once you are comfortable in the lying position, try to relax yourself and keep still as any movements will cause the images to be blurring, rendering the results inaccurate. You will hear lots of loud noises and this is due to the changes in the magnetic field.
MRI is generally a safe process but patients who are claustrophobic or those with metallic implants in crucial parts of their body are not allowed to undergo a MRI scan due to safety constraints.