The world of medicine has improved tremendously with the development of imaging techniques such as MRI scans. An MRI scanner uses magnets to produce images of different parts of the body. The visualisation produced by MRI scans has the ability to detect even the smallest changes in the body. For example, if used to scan the brain, MRI machines can create images of abnormalities related to conditions such as trauma or stroke.
When are MRIs used?
MRI scans are used to detect health conditions when other tests have not provided conclusive results. In many cases related to blunt trauma to the head, an MRI scan will show areas of the brain that swell or are bleeding internally. Many other brain abnormalities that are seen through an MRI include aneurysms, stroke, tumours, as well as disorders related to the lumbar region of the spine.
In addition to this, an MRI also gathers important information when used to scan various glands inside the body. In some instances, doctors may hold performing a surgery because of the more accurate information available through an MRI.
What are the risks involved?
An MRI scan is relatively painless with the added benefit of zero exposure to radiation. Medical practitioners agree that there are virtually no side effects to an MRI scan. While there are no risks involved, there are some safety precautions that patients need to be aware of. Patients with any metallic particles inside the body must notify the physician before the examination. Patients with implants, such as a pacemaker, are exempted from undergoing an MRI scan. Since MRI scanners operate with the use of magnets, metallic objects in the body can move or distort the images produced.
During an MRI scan, the patient is required to lie very still for a number of minutes. This can be very challenging for kids with special needs as well as patients with claustrophobia. In these instances, sedation may be recommended as a way to mitigate possible risks involved with the procedure.
How is an MRI performed?
During the procedure, the patient will be asked to lie very still. This is important to ensure the accuracy of results. Patients can communicate with the technician via a two-way intercom system. More advanced machines even allow patients to watch a movie for relaxation. This is particularly helpful when doing a scan on kids. You can check private MRI London clinics near you for specialised features available.
Some patients may feel anxious about the loud banging noises while inside the machine. To lessen the anxiety of patients, some technicians provide earplugs. There are some instances when a dye needs to be injected intravenously to enhance the images. This dye is safe and will be removed shortly after the procedure.
There is truly nothing to fret about if it is your first time undergoing an MRI scan. As long as you go to a reputable clinic or hospital, you will be in good hands.