What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a method of looking inside the body without using surgery or x-rays. The MR scanner is a large doughnut shaped magnet open at both ends. It uses a strong magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce clear pictures of the human body. This technology is important because MRI scans can demonstrate to your doctor the difference between healthy and diseased tissue.
What happens during an MRI?
All you have to do is relax and keep absolutely still. The radiographer will position you on a padded table (usually on your back) and this will slowly be moved into the scanner. The scanner is air-conditioned and well lit. You will be able to hear and talk to the radiographer via an intercom system at all times. You have a choice of recorded music to listen to during the examination. A friend or family member may safely accompany you in the scan room, if you wish.
The examination will not hurt. You will feel nothing from it either during or after the test. You will hear tapping noises. These can sometimes be quite loud, so you will be provided with ear plugs or earphones.
MRI examinations may take up to 1 hour to complete. This time is broken into a series of scans each 5 minutes on average. The duration of your examination will depend on what regions of the body are being examined and if multiple regions need to be scanned.