MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) & MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiography) are exams done by an extremely powerful magnet. The magnet along with coils producing radio-frequencies produces detailed images of the body.
MRI safety is of utmost concern, and patients will be screened at least twice before being allowed to have an MRI scan.
What to Expect
The biggest concern that patients typically have with MRI scans is claustrophobia. There are some techniques that can be used to assist with this concern:
- We have a product called "cinema-vision". This is a set of goggles that patients can wear, which allows them to watch television, watch a DVD, or listen to music during their MRI scan. "It's like watching a movie in the theatre"
- Some MRI exams can not use the goggles. If you are not able to use the goggles, or if you prefer not to use the goggles, you can ask for a wet wash cloth over your eyes. This is very comforting for some patients.
- If you know you will have difficulties with claustrophobia, you can ask your health care clinician for a mild anti-anxiety medication.
During the MRI or MRA exam, you will hear loud noises. This is the magnet & nothing to worry about. There is a two way microphone so the technologist can talk to you and can hear you.
Some of the MRI exams use an IV contrast agent. If your exam needs this, you will have a small needle placed in your arm or hand. The contrast is administered & more images will be taken.
Preparations for Exam
For all MRI & MRA exams:
- Take medications as prescribed
- Wear lose clothing that are free of metal
- Bring your current medication list
For MRI exams of the abdomen:
- Do not eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam
- No smoking or gum chewing 4 hours prior to exam
An extensive checklist and history will be filled out by the technologist to make certain you are safe to have an MRI exam.