If you have been scheduled for an MRI test, you may be familiar with the acronym, but not much else. The first thing to know is: Don’t worry. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) has been in use since the 1970s. An MRI test is normally painless, does not involve radiation, and helps doctors diagnose a very wide range of conditions that would be difficult or painful to diagnose using other procedures.
The infographic below, MRI Preparation: What to Expect, explains what happens before, during and after the test. From your point of view as a patient, there’s nothing in the infographic that will scare you, but there are several things you’ll learn that are very important.
The biggest challenges you’ll probably have with your MRI is the dress code. You’ll be told by your doctor in advance not to wear any metal during the test – metal and MRI tests do not mix. You should also tell your doctor about any metal you have inside, such as artificial joints or a pacemaker. The infographic also highlights other things to not wear during the test, such as makeup.
Depending on what part of your body is being scanned, you may find yourself almost completely inside the MRI tube for a test that can last from 15 minutes to over an hour. One drawback of traditional MRI scans is that they can induce feelings of claustrophobia, even in individuals who may not suffer from the phobia. Fortunately, there is an alternative: a stand-up or upright MRI. This is specifically crafted to accommodate individuals who may suffer from bouts of claustrophobia can and features a comfortable and exceptionally open environment. Individuals who may need to be scanned for concerns related to the spine and other anatomical structures may consider opting for an MRI stand up in East Brunswick, NJ, or wherever they are located.
Anyway, although an MRI produces images almost immediately, it can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks for radiologists to review them and doctors to report back. This is why, as the infographic states, it is a good idea to ask how long that report will take before you leave. For all the MRI details, please continue reading.