An MRI is a scan that offers a detailed look inside your body. Although it might seem like a procedure that’s frightening, there really is nothing to worry about as it usually takes less than an hour to complete. Although many scans are performed inside an enclosed machine, there are open MRI centers with a table and a machine that circles around you without the enclosed sides. This can make you feel a bit more comfortable if you’re anxious or claustrophobic.
Talk to your doctor about why you need to have an MRI. If there are certain medical conditions or issues that your doctor is looking for or concerned about, then you need to know the details so that you can prepare for possible treatments. There’s not a lot that you have to do to prepare for the scan aside from leaving jewelry and valuables with someone else or at home. You also need to let the technician know if you could be pregnant or if you have any tattoos. Ask your doctor if you should avoid eating or drinking anything before the scan as there are some areas of your body that can be examined better if you don’t eat or drink.
Proceeding With the Scan
Sometimes, you might need to have contrast injected before the scan. This will make it easier for certain details to show up on the images from the MRI, such as blood vessels and areas of your heart and brain. A benefit of open MRI centers is that an IV can stay connected in the event that you need any other medications or types of contrast without disrupting the scan. During the scan, you might hear a loud noise as the machine circles around you. There will usually be a light to look at that will instruct you as to when you should hold your breath if needed.