Magnetic Resonance (MRI)
MRI is short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI is an advanced technology that lets your doctor see internal organs, blood vessels, muscles, joints, tumours or areas of infection -- without x-rays or surgery. MRI is a very precise method; it utilizes the characteristics of a magnet and has no known harmful effects. MRI will not expose you to any radiation.
Why an MRI ?
MRIs can provide very early detection of many conditions, so treatment can be more effective. The excellent quality of MRI images can also provide the best possible information if surgery is required. If there is an abnormality, an MRI can show exactly where it is, its size, and whether or not the disease has spread.
How does the MRI machine work ?
The MRI machine creates a magnetic field, sends radio waves through your body, and then measures the response with a computer. This creates an image or picture of the inside of your body that is much clearer than can be obtained with most other methods.
May I bring someone to the exam with me ?
Yes, however they will likely have to wait in a waiting room while the scan is being done. While you're having your scan done, you can communicate with the technologist at any time through an intercom system.
How should I get ready for the exam ?
In most cases, you can just stick with your normal, everyday routine - no special preparation is needed. You can eat and drink your usual diet, work, or play sports (unless you have an injury!) and take any prescription medications you need. However, there may be some circumstances in which you'll be given specific instructions to follow before the exam. These instructions will be given to you when you make your appointment.
Are there any restrictions with the exam ?
Yes. Because the MRI machine uses a strong magnetic field, which can interact with metal objects, let your doctor know if you have :
•Steel surgical staples
•An implanted drug infusion device
•Any implant made partially or wholly of iron or steel
Even metal objects made of iron or steel can interfere with the exam - so don't bring any of the following into the examination room (a secure place to store your valuables will be provided) :
•Dentures or partial plates
Magnetic waves can also erase the code on bank cards and credit cards, so don't bring any to your exam.