10 Things Your Doctor Won't Tell You About an MRI

What is an MRI Scan?

The use of strong magnetic fields and radio waves enables MRI scans to provide high-resolution images of the organs and structures found within the human body.

A MRI scanner resembles a long, thin tube. Within, there are strong magnets. You will be asked to lie down within the tube throughout the scan.

Almost every area of the body may be scanned using an MRI machine, and this includes −

  • Spinal cord and brain

  • The skeleton and its appendages

  • Breasts

  • Cardiac and circulatory systems

  • Internal organs such as the spleen, kidneys, and heart

A MRI scan may assist doctors in making diagnoses, formulating treatment strategies, and evaluating the efficacy of past interventions.

What is the Process of an MRI?

Hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water molecules make up the overwhelming bulk of the human body.

A proton, a particle even smaller than the nucleon, is located in the center of the nucleus of every hydrogen atom. Being basically little magnets, protons are very reactive to magnetic fields.

Strong scanner magnets align the protons in your body, just as a magnet could drag the compass needle in one direction. You will be unable to feel anything.

Short bursts of radio waves are directed at certain bodily areas in order to disrupt the alignment of protons there.

The protons realign themselves when the radio waves are turned off. Radio waves are emitted and taken up by receivers.

These transmissions reveal where in the body the protons are located.

Furthermore, they help differentiate between the many kinds of tissue in the body because the protons realign at different rates in each.

The signals from the body's many protons are merged like a computer's many pixels may render complex images, resulting in a clear picture of the organs and tissues therein.

10 Things Your Doctor Won't Tell You About an MRI

You are going to get an MRI later today. To get ready, you must remove any jewelry, belts, and anything with zippers. Yet, here is what you really must be aware of that your doctor may not mention −

An MRI Machine Emits a Deafening Noise

Throughout the MRI, you should anticipate hearing clanking and pounding that resembles a jackhammer and may vary from 82 to 118 dB in volume. The patient should bring earplugs made of foam or silicone, or they may be requested before entering the MRI tube. Sedation may be necessary for children and even some adults who are easily terrified by sound to be able to lie quietly throughout the test.

This may go on for far Longer Than you Anticipated

A straightforward process that takes only 15 minutes may drag on for an eternity. Hence, be ready by eating food beforehand and using the restroom before beginning. You can find that spending time alone is relaxing, especially if you haven't had much time to yourself recently.

Anxiety is a Possibility

If you suffer from anxiety, you may feel like you are being suffocated within the MRI machine, which may cause you to experience terror. It is helpful to shut one's eyes before entering the room and to keep one's eyes closed while inside. Make an effort to think about funny things or about the people or animals that you care about. Before undergoing an MRI, some patients find it helpful to take the anti-anxiety medication.

Throw Away ALL of the Jewelry

As they are drawn into the powerful MRI magnet, dangling metal items might cause injury to the person undergoing an MRI scan. This requires removing all jewelry, not only the visible pieces, and includes rings worn on the belly button or the toes.

Do not put on any Makeup

On the day of your MRI, do not wear nail paint or makeup since certain cosmetics include metals that might cause a reaction when they come into contact with the magnets. To be safe, reduce the use of hair products and avoid using antiperspirants, sunscreen, and other products that contain metals.

Inform Your Physician if you Have any Concealed Tattoos

When colors in tattoos, including tattooed eyeliner, get hot during an MRI, they can cause skin or eye discomfort and even burns of the first degree. It is unlikely that covering them would assist, and if skin irritation or burning does occur, the MRI must be halted immediately to prevent a burn from occurring.

Relax and Unwind

During the MRI process, some patients report feeling a bit heated due to the radio waves. Your temperature may go up by a degree, but don't worry; it won't hurt you in any way.

You may Have to do it Again

If you move at any point throughout the MRI, the pictures will need to be retaken, and the whole procedure will have to start again.

This is not a CT Scan in any way

In contrast to a CT scan, often known as a CAT scan, which employs X-rays, an MRI uses powerful magnetic fields and radio waves.

You Shouldn't be Concerned About the Radiation

In contrast to getting an X-ray, CT scan, or CAT scan, getting an MRI does not put you at risk of radiation exposure.


Getting an MRI scan is a risk-free and non-invasive process with zero discomforts. You may not like the experience if you suffer from claustrophobia, but the radiographer will help you.

Newer MRI scanners often have a larger bore, which helps ease patients' concerns about feeling trapped. It may be simpler to enter the scanner on your feet.

There has been a lot of study on whether or not MRI scans provide any health risks to patients due to the magnetic fields and radio waves employed in the process.

As no danger has been shown, MRI scans are among the safest medical treatments now accessible.

But, MRI scans may only sometimes be the best option. The use of an MRI scanner may be impossible, for instance, if you have a metal device such as a pacemaker or an artificial joint.

You and your doctor will discuss whether an MRI scan is safe for you while you're pregnant.

Updated on: 07-Apr-2023


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