3 Commonly Asked Questions About MRIs

Posted on: 10 September 2021

There are many diagnostic tests available for doctors, but one of the most common is still an MRI test. MRI tests are incredibly helpful at letting a doctor see what's going on inside your body without making an incision. If you would like to learn more, check out these three commonly asked questions about MRI scans.

1. Why Do You Need an MRI?

An MRI is needed when the doctor needs to see what's going on inside your body. Unlike an X-ray, however, it can't just find problems with bones. MRIs can also help diagnose problems in the hard and soft tissue, including arthritis, spinal metastases, structural problems, and tumors.

2. Do You Need to Prepare for an MRI?

Preparing for an MRI is simple, and you don't usually need to follow any rules before the MRI, such as not eating food or not wearing deodorant. You will need to remove your clothes and any metal objects you are wearing, including piercings. The machine uses a strong magnetic field, so any metal can interfere with the test.

If your doctor has recommended contrast, you'll also need an injection of gadolinium or a similar material. This contrast will cause certain parts of the body to appear in different colors, making it easier to diagnose many conditions, including MS. The contrast dye can make it feel like you wet your pants, cause a mild headache, or cause minor itching.

3. What Happens During an MRI?

During an MRI, you lie on a bed that pulls you into the machine. It's normal to hear lots of sounds like knocking during the MRI. Those sounds simply indicate the machine is doing its job. During the MRI, it's important that you stay incredibly still. If you move, the machine can't get a clear image. You will likely need to take deep breaths a few times, but your technician will instruct you when to inhale and exhale.

While you lie inside the machine, the bed will position you to the desired location before the machine starts taking several photos, which are then used to see the inside of your body.

An MRI can be a life-saving diagnostic tool. If your doctor has recommended an MRI, don't wait. MRIs can detect a multitude of issues before they become life-threatening conditions. If you would like to know more, contact a provider in your area today, and ask about an MRI scan.