Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
During the MRI Procedure
The study may take place on either an open scanner or a closed scanner. For an open scanner, a person lies on a table face up, and the table slides under the magnet from the side. For a closed scanner, which looks like a tube, a person lies on the table face up and goes in either head-first or feet-first, depending on what part of the body is being scanned.
The MRI scan is performed inside a large magnet, and the person lies on the table in the center. During the procedure, the machine scans the body by turning small magnets on and off. Radio waves are sent into the body. The machine then receives returning radio waves and uses a computer to create pictures of the part of the body being scanned. The radio waves used in the procedure are safe and are similar to the radio waves used in a car radio.
After the MRI Procedure
If a contrast injection is used, the IV is removed from the arm before the person goes home. No side effects from the scan or the contrast injection should occur.
In the rare circumstance that sedation is needed, that person is sent home once awake and alert. For those people who receive sedation, someone must drive them home. No aftereffects occur from having an MRI.
A radiologist is a medical doctor trained to interpret various imaging studies. The radiologist interprets the results of the scan, and the results are then sent to the doctor. How quickly the doctor receives the report depends on the imaging center where the study is performed.
Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2017
Lawrence M. Davis, MD
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