It's an MRI FYI
Mar 24, 2022
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive test, not involving radiation, that is used to diagnose medical conditions. A powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer are utilized to produce detailed images of organs, soft tissues, bone, and virtually all other internal body structures.
MRI is the most frequently used imaging test of the brain and spinal cord. It's often performed to help diagnose aneurysms, disorders of the eye and inner ear, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, stroke, or tumors (bone or soft tissue).
MRI may be used to help evaluate joint disorders (such as arthritis), joint abnormalities caused by traumatic or repetitive injuries, disk abnormalities in the spine, or bone infections.
A breast MRI may be used in addition to mammography to detect breast cancer, particularly in women who have dense breast tissue or who may be at high risk of the disease. Breast MRI can also be used to evaluate implant rupture.
How to prepare for an MRI
You will need to change into a hospital gown. This is to prevent artifacts from appearing on the final images and to comply with safety regulations related to the strong magnetic field.
For safety purposes, you will be asked to remove all jewelry, watches, credit cards, and hearing aids. Metal and electronic items are not allowed in the scan room (they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit, cause burns, or become harmful projectiles).
Some MRI exams use an injection of contrast material (gadolinium is commonly used). The technologist may ask if you have asthma or allergies to contrast material or certain types of food or drugs.
If you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) or anxiety, ask your provider to prescribe a mild sedative to be taken prior to your exam.
Women should always tell their provider and technologist if they are pregnant. Nevertheless, MRI has been used since the 1980s with no reports of any ill effects on pregnant women or their unborn babies.
In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. People with the following implants may not be scanned and should not enter the MRI scan room without first being evaluated for safety: some cochlear (ear) implants, some types of clips used for brain aneurysms, and some types of metal coils placed within blood vessels. Check with the MRI facility prior to your appointment if you have a pacemaker or spinal stimulator.
Tell the technologist about any shrapnel, bullets, or other metal that may be in your body. You may be asked to have x-rays of your eyes prior to the MRI scan if you have a history of metal removal from your eyes.
High-quality images are assured only if you are able to remain perfectly still during the imaging. If you are anxious, confused, or in severe pain, you may find it difficult to lie still for the exam (your physician/provider may be able to prescribe some medication to be taken prior to the scan).
A person who is very large may not fit into the opening of a conventional MRI scanner.
The MRI exam poses almost no risk to the average patient when appropriate safety guidelines are followed.
Diagnostic Imaging at WNH
The MRI team at William Newton Hospital in Winfield serves the south-central Kansas region with high-quality imaging. Your scan will be interpreted by a radiologist, and the report will be sent to the ordering provider (usually within one day) so the results can be relayed back to you as soon as possible. For scheduling convenience, MRIs can often be scheduled as late as 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In addition to MRI, William Newton Hospital offers CT, DEXA, adult echocardiography, mammography (screening and diagnostic), nuclear medicine, sonography, and routine x-ray.
For additional information or to schedule imaging studies at WNH, call 620.221.2300.
Posted in Weekend Check-Up Column on Mar 24, 2022