If your doctor has recommended you for a radiology imaging procedure, don’t panic. This is an excellent diagnostic tool and can help your doctor determine the cause of your condition as well as eliminate other possible causes. The sooner your doctor finds out what’s causing your symptoms, the sooner proper treatment can begin.
If this is your first time to undergo the procedure, here are a few things you should know:
The typical MRI scanner usually makes for a tight fit, says the FDA. If you suffer from claustrophobia, this could be a bit of a problem. You’ll want to look for a radiology imaging service that comes with open MRI machines. With an open MRI design, you can undergo the test with little to no discomfort at all.
An MRI scanner is often noisy when it starts to capture images. However, you could wear earplugs or listen to music during the procedure. This can help block out the noise until the exam is done. If you do not have any earplugs, some hospitals keep a handy supply. However, it is recommended that you bring along your own set.
The exam can take as little as 10 minutes to an entire hour. The length of time is hugely dependent on the sections of your body that are imaged by the machine. The type of MRI being used will also impact the duration of the procedure. Once that’s done, you might still need to stay for delayed scans. These usually take place after an hour or two of the first exam and often used to scan the liver.
If you received any sedatives for the procedure, your stay at the facility might be longer. That or you could bring along a friend or relative so you’ll have someone to take you home when you’re ready to go.