Before getting an MRI, scan done, you should first know all the important information about it.
What are MRI scans?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging; it is a sort of a scan that uses radio waves,
magnetic fields, and computers to create or get images of your internal organs and other
structures. It consists of a large tube along with a table placed in the middle of it; the patient
lies inside and slides in. It is used for examining different parts of your body like- spinal cord,
brain, bones, breasts, blood vessels, heart, internal organs, womb, prostate glands, etc.
Once you get the results of your MRI scan it will be used to diagnose various conditions, design
treatments and evaluate whether the previous treatment was effective or not.
How is an MRI scan performed?
Before the MRI scan: the day when your MRI scan is scheduled, you are advised to eat, drink
and have medicines as usual, in case of some change you will be informed. In some cases, the
patient is asked not to eat and drink anything for 4 hours before the MRI scan or to have lots of
water before. This is based on the part of your body that is being scanned.
Once you reach the hospital, you will get a questionnaire to fill about your health and some
medical conditions. After completing it you will have to sign consent. Further, you will be asked
to remove any object that has metal-like watches, jewellery, piercings, dentures, etc. Then, you
are made to wear a hospital gown.
In some cases you are given a contrast dye injection; this helps in making certain blood vessels
and tissues to show up much more evidently and in a detailed way.
An MRI scan does not cause any pain so you won’t need anaesthesia. If you have a problem
with claustrophobia, you can have a mild sedative for relaxation. Babies or very young children
are given general anaesthetic before the scan because it is important to be still during the scan
and babies or young children are unable to stay still when they are awake.
During the scan: an MRI scanner has a cylinder which is opened from both the ends, you will be
asked to lie on a bed that is motorized and moves inside the MRI scanner. In a few cases, a
frame is placed on the body part that will be scanned. This frame has receivers that take the
signals given out by the body at the time of scan and that helps to create a good- quality image.
A computer is used for operating the scanner and is placed in another room so that it is not
affected by the magnetic field emitted from the MRI scanner.
One scan takes up to 3 or 4 minutes, you will be told to hold breath during these short scans.
This whole procedure can take 15 to 80 minutes, depending upon the area that is being
scanned and the number of images that are to be taken.
The scanner will make tapping sound at a time during the procedure; hence you will be handed
earphones or headphones for wearing. You can also listen to music during the MRI scan
through your headphones.
Once your scan is finished, you will move out of the MRI scanner.
After scan: staying overnight in the hospital is not needed in an MRI scan. You can continue
your usual activities immediately. Though in case you took a sedative, someone should be there
to take you to your home and be with you for at least 24 hours. Driving, operating heavy
machines or consuming alcohol isn’t safe for these 24 hours.
Your MRI scan will be analyzed by a radiologist and other specialists. Therefore, you won’t be
able to get your results immediately. The doctor who arranged your scan will receive your
reports from the radiologist and that doctor will then discuss the results of the reports with
you. It will almost take one or two weeks for your results to come.
Is an MRI scan safe?
An MRI scan is a safe procedure and causes no pain whatsoever, you may feel a little
uncomfortable if you are claustrophobic, but that is also managed with sedatives. Researches
have been done to find out whether the magnetic fields or the radio waves that are used during
MRI scans are harmful to the human body. No evidence is found that suggests that MRI scans
are risky for us although there are certain conditions in which they are not recommended like if
you have any metal implant and it is also not recommended to a pregnant woman.
Some side effects of MRI scan
The side effects of an MRI scan is very rare. However, people can have nausea or headaches
from contrast dye. Allergy can be caused by the material of contrast and can cause itchy eyes.
In case of any bad effect, you should immediately notify the technician.
People suffering from Claustrophobia can feel uncomfortable because of the enclosed space;
hence they are given a sedative for relaxation.
Cost of MRI scan
The cost of an MRI scan isn’t fixed; it can lie between Rs 1500 to Rs 25000, depending upon the
part of your body you want to be scanned. The costs of MRI scans are different for different
organs. Moreover, the cost can also vary in different cities and hospitals too.
Is an MRI scan in Chennai good?
There are many reputed centers and labs for MRI scan in Chennai. Various centers provide
their services at very reasonable prices. Various hospitals and diagnosis centers provide 24*7
facilities which are important in case of emergencies. These centers for MRI scan Chennai give
excellent services with the latest technology like 1.5 Tesla Machine and a Spiral 16 Slice
advanced High-Resolution CT Scan Machine. There are many good less crowded centers too
where radiologists will provide more attention and time to analyze your results. You can also
check online reviews and rating for these diagnosis centers online. Bookings can be done
beforehand on various sites and can get discounts up to 50% on tests and scans.
Hence, check all the necessary details before getting an MRI scan done.