Young woman having an Magnetic resonance imaging

Getting Ready for an MRI Scan


An MRI scan is considered necessary when a doctor needs to gather more information about your particular problem, before devising an adequate treatment plan. It offers an in-depth look at areas that would otherwise be hard to study, such as various blood vessels and soft tissues in the body.

An MRI machine is an advanced scanning system that uses magnetic fields to form images of the internal parts of your body. The procedure can be used to investigate different sections, including your spinal cord, brain tissue, heart, blood vessels, and chest cavity to name a few. MRIs are used to gather more information about a particular area, making them an essential part of the healing process when required. The noninvasive procedure is not painful and can be completed in 15 to 90 minutes depending on the area being studied.

If you have not undergone an MRI scan in any of your previous medical visits, coming across the unfamiliar machine might cause you a bit of anxiety if you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, established service providers such as the Intermountain Medical Imaging center can guide you through every step of the process to enhance your comfort levels. Attaining information about the procedure beforehand can also help you relax and stop worrying about the coming procedure.

What do I need to know?

The role played by a patient in an MRI scan is pretty simple and doesn’t require a lot of preparation on their part. You just need to position yourself in the machine according to the operator’s wishes. The operator can be located in another room in some cases, but they will maintain an open communication line with you using a microphone and speaker system attached to your end. This allows them to give you instructions without having to leave their post at the monitoring station.

Metals and other accessories such as your watch and bracelets should be removed due to the magnetism involved in the procedure. If you happen to have a surgically implanted device, be sure to let your doctor know as this could disqualify you from the suitability for such a test. Pregnancy can also exclude you from taking the scan, especially if you happen to be in your first trimester.

The process works best when an individual can lie still and relax, so the machine is developed to provide as much comfort as possible. Soothing music can be played from the speakers as you undergo the process, while some modern devices have reduced the buzzing noise associated with their older counterparts. At times you might be required to shift your position within the scanner for a better angle according to the operator’s needs.

How can I deal with any Claustrophobia?

If you happen to have a severe claustrophobic disorder making it nearly impossible to comfortably enter the scanner, dealing with this issue early on is the best means of approach. Informing your doctor about your troubles, for instance, can allow him to offer you a prescription with calming effects before you go for the scan. In some cases, friends and family who have passed rigorous safety tests may be allowed to stay with you during the scan.