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What To Know Before An MRI Scan

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging procedure that utilizes powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of organs and tissues within the body. It is a valuable tool for doctors to diagnose and monitor a variety of medical conditions, from cancer and brain tumors to heart and vascular problems. 

How it Works

An MRI scan works by using a powerful magnet to align the hydrogen atoms in the body. This creates a strong magnetic field around the body, which is then used to create a detailed image of the inside of the body. Radio waves are then used to disrupt the magnetic field and create a high-resolution image.


The advantages of an MRI scan are numerous. For one, the images produced by an MRI scan are highly detailed and can show detailed images of organs and tissues that may otherwise be difficult to see. This can help doctors diagnose a variety of medical conditions, including cancer, heart and vascular problems, and neurological disorders. Additionally, an MRI scan is completely non-invasive, so there is no risk of tissue damage or discomfort. Another advantage of an MRI scan is that it is relatively quick, with most scans taking between 15 and 30 minutes. This is much faster than other imaging techniques, such as CT scans or X-rays, which can take significantly longer. Additionally, an MRI scan can be used to monitor a patient's condition over time, as it is able to detect changes in the body's tissues and organs.

Special Consideration

An MRI scan can cause anxiety and claustrophobia in some patients, as they must remain still in a confined space for the duration of the scan. If you know you have trouble in small spaces it would be good to ask to be sedated before the procedure. It is also a good idea to have children sedated to keep them from moving around and to keep them calm. If the outpatient facility does not offer sedation, ask your doctor for an oral sedative to take before going to the facility, just be sure to have someone else drive you there and take you home.

Overall, MRI scans are an invaluable tool for diagnosing and monitoring a variety of medical conditions. They are non-invasive, relatively quick, and provide highly detailed images of the body's organs and tissues. However, they can cause anxiety and claustrophobia in some patients. Nonetheless, they are a valuable tool for doctors and should be considered when a patient needs to be diagnosed or monitored.

To learn more about MRI scans, reach out to a local medical clinic that offers them.