What to Expect Before, During, and After an MRI
For many, the thought of having to undergo an MRI is terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be. MRIS are often recommended by physicians when they suspect an injury or illness that cannot be picked up in an X-Ray, CT scan, or Ultrasound.
MRIs often aren’t nearly as scary as they seem. The trick to releasing anxiety about having an MRI is to
- Understand how they work and why they are used.
- Collect tips for overcoming claustrophobia and anxiety.
- Learn what to expect before, during, and after an MRI.
In case you are not familiar with the MRI test, take a few minutes to read through the linked blog articles provided above. Basically, an MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to make a series of detailed images inside your body. Those images are layered together to create a good view of the affected area from different angles.
Before Your MRI
You usually don’t have a lot of preparation before you get an MRI. The most important step is to remove all metal from your body. This includes metallic nail polish, charms, piercings, etc. Due to the strength of the magnetic field, observe these serious safety measures and please let the staff know prior to your scan if you have any implanted devices that may contain metal.
Depending on why you are having an MRI conducted, your physician may order a contrast material called gadolinium to help improve the information seen on the images. You may need an injection of this contrast agent beforehand.
During the MRI Procedure
During the MRI, you will be placed on a movable table and once the Sonos Imaging technologist has properly positioned you, the table will move into the MRI scanner. During the scan, there will be a repetitive drumming noise. At Sonos Imaging, we want our patients to be relaxed, therefore we can provide earplugs to help block the noise or have the option to listen to music.
During the MRI procedure, it is extremely important to keep your body as motionless as possible. Movement will NOT harm you but WILL disrupt the images being formed, which may result in the entire scan having to be repeated. A typical exam will last between 15 to 30 minutes. More detailed studies/exams could take longer.
After Your MRI
No special precautions are required after an MRI scan. You may return to normal activity unless medication was taken for sedation or anxiety… then you will need someone else to drive you home.