What are the indications for MRI?
The indications for performing an MRI scan are covered under each organ system being investigated.
What is going to happen?
An MRI scan takes longer than a CT scan and requires you to lie in a tunnel. A non contrast MRI of the brain takes about 15 minutes whereas a MRI of the spine or breasts with gadolinium contrast material may last for up to 1 hour. During this time the patient needs to lie still to avoid motion artefact. Some patients may suffer from claustrophobia in which case sedation will be given. Should sedation be needed, the patient will not be allowed to drive home. An intravenous contrast material, gadolinium, may be used in selected circumstance. This allows enhancement of the vascular structures and other abnormality. Should this be necessary, the radiologist will come into the room during the procedure and inject through a small needle placed in the forearm. Communication is possible with the radiographer during the procedure should the patient experience any discomfort.
Will I experience any pain?
The procedure is painless unless you need a contrast injection which involves a slight burning sensation. Pain may be felt in the region being investigated only as a result of having to lie still in a particular position for a protracted period.
Am I fit for a MRI?
Patients with a cardiac pacemaker or certain metallic prosthesis cannot be imaged with MRI due to the magnetic field. The patient must inform the radiographers of any such devices before the scan is booked. Most metals used today are MRI friendly.
When will I get my results?
The results will be available on the same day from your doctor.