As you know, the Hollywood Diagnostics Center offers many services for those in the South Florida area. PET scans, CT scans, and yes MRIs. An MRI is one of the most requested services that we provide. So, it is important to know exactly what an MRI is and how to be prepared for it.
What Is an MRI
An MRI aka a Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses powerful magnets, radio waves, and a computer to create detailed pictures of the inside of the body.
Your doctor uses this test to diagnose or to see how well one has responded to treatment. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRIs don’t use the damaging ionizing radiation of X-rays.
Uses for an MRI
An MRI helps doctors diagnose a disease or injury, and it can monitor how well one is doing with treatment. MRIs can be done on different parts of the body. It’s especially useful for looking at soft tissues and the nervous system.
An MRI of the brain and spinal cord can help diagnose many things, including: blood vessel damage, cancer, brain injuries, stroke, eye problems, inner ear problems, and more.
An MRI of the heart and blood vessels could discover things like: heart disease, structure problems with the hear, blocked blood vessels, and damage caused by heart attack.
An MRI of the bones and joints looks for: bone infections, cancer, disk problems in the spine, damage to joints, and neck and or lower back pain.
MRIs can also be done to check the health of your organs. This includes: liver, kidneys, pancreas, prostate (in men), as well as breasts and ovaries (in women).
What are the Risks of an MRI
There are some risks involved in MRIs. Pregnant women shouldn’t get an MRI during their first trimester unless they absolutely need the test. The first trimester is when a baby’s organs develop. You also shouldn’t get contrast dye when you’re pregnant. You also don’t get contrast dye if you’ve had an allergic reaction to it in the past or you have severe kidney disease.
Before your MRI, let the doctor know if you have any health issues. Let them know about recent surgeries. You also should include any allergies to food or medicine. For women, it is important to let the doctor know about pregnancy or pregnancy possibilities.
No metals are allowed in the MRI room, because the magnetic field in the machine can attract metal. Tell your doctor whether you have any metal-based devices that might cause problems during the test. These items can include: artificial heart valves, body piercings, insulin pumps, metal joints or limbs, pins or screws, and even fillings and dental work.
On the day of the test, wear loose, comfortable clothes that don’t have snaps or other metal fasteners. There is a chance you might need to take off your own clothes and wear a gown during the test.
What Happens During Your MRI
Before some MRIs, you’ll get contrast dye into a vein in your arm or hand. This dye helps the doctor more clearly see structures inside your body. The dye often used in MRIs is called gadolinium. It can leave a metal taste in your mouth.
You will lie on a table that slides into the MRI machine. Straps might be used to hold you still during the test. Your body might be completely inside the machine. Or, part of your body may stay outside the machine.
The MRI machine creates a strong magnetic field inside your body. A computer takes the signals from the MRI and uses them to make a series of pictures. Each picture shows a thin slice of your body.
You might hear a loud thumping or tapping sound during the test. This is the machine creating energy to take pictures inside your body. You can ask for earplugs or headphones to muffle the sound.
The MRI scan should take 20-90 minutes.
A specially trained doctor called a radiologist will read the results of your MRI and send the report to your doctor. Your doctor will explain the meaning of your test results and what to do next.
Hollywood Diagnostics Center has been recognized as a leader in the medical diagnostics field while performing over 30,000 diagnostic procedures annually. This includes the MRIs discussed in this article. The center continues to be at the forefront of medical technology by progressively updating its equipment and procedures to reflect the latest advances in medicine. HDC is your complete, one source provider of all diagnostic services.
If you, or someone you know requires an MRI in South Florida, then contact us today at (954) 966-3600!