If your doctor needs to examine certain areas of the body that can’t be seen from an X-ray, an MRI might be the best option. An MRI is painless, and it usually takes less than an hour to complete the scan. You’ve probably seen an MRI machine that looks like a large tube with a table inside. However, there are more hospitals and imaging centers that have an open MRI machine to provide comfort for patients. You don’t need to prepare for the exam. Your doctor might ask that you not eat anything for a certain amount of time before the scan if there is anything specific that your doctor is looking for with the MRI. There are a few things that you need to let the technician know about because they could impact the MRI scan. These include a pacemaker, tattoos, any metal components in the body and if you are pregnant or if there is the possibility that you’re pregnant.
The only thing that you have to do during the MRI procedure is to relax and listen to any instructions that the technician gives. The technician will usually want you to breathe deeply at times or hold your breath at times during the scan. An open design is safe, and there are usually more benefits with this design than the closed MRI. An open design allows you to have a bit more freedom when moving because there isn’t a tube that you’re in compared to the traditional setup. The open design allows for a parent or a nurse to be with a child who might be afraid of the equipment in the room and the noises.
There usually aren’t any side effects from an MRI because there really isn’t any kind of medication or tools used directly on the body. Your doctor will usually receive the results of your MRI within 24 hours. Since most MRI scans are digital, there is a possibility that your doctor will receive the results in just a few hours. An MRI provides more detail than other types of scans, but it can take longer to get the results back because of the details that are given.