A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan lets doctors see inside your body. Unlike x-rays that use radiation to show bony structures, MRIs use magnets and radio waves to show soft tissues.
You will need to remove glasses, jewelry, hearing aids, dentures, and other items before starting the MRI examination. If you have any metal implants, you will not be able to undergo MRI evaluation. You will be given a gown to wear, hearing protection devices, and medicine to relax you. You may have to drink special dye or get it through an IV needle. This dye helps show your insides more clearly.
To begin your scan, you lie on a table that will slide you into the tubular MRI machine. The machine makes loud banging and humming noises. These noises are normal and are made by the magnets. There are no moving parts in an MRI machine. You must remain still for the entire exam, which lasts between 15-60 minutes. If you move, the images will blur and you may have to redo the exam at a later date. A technician will help you get started and will monitor you during the exam from an adjacent room. The technician will talk to you through speakers, telling you what is happening and what is next.
When your MRI is done, you can go home. You will not know the results when you leave. A radiologist must view the images and provide your doctor with a written report. You will have a follow-up appointment with your doctor to discuss the findings.