An MRI scan is a painless and safe imaging method which uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create pictures of body's soft tissues, internal organs, blood vessels, brain and joints. It may be safely used for fetal diagnostic;
Unlike CT scan that takes approximately couple minutes, MRI scan can take 20-45 minutes during which you need to lay motionlessly, also it is somewhat noisy so you will be given some headphones or earplugs to protect your ears.
An MRI scan can create clear pictures of most parts of the body. So, it is useful for all sorts of reasons where other tests (such as X-rays) do not give enough information required.
As the MRI scanner uses an extremely strong magnet people with certain types of medical implant cannot be scanned. This is because the magnet can potentially move medical devices with metal in them, or affect their function.
Before the scan you have to fill in a safety questionnaire.
Because of the strong magnetic field pregnant women should not have this exam in the first three to four months of pregnancy unless the potential benefit from the MRI exam is assumed to outweigh the potential risks.
If you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) or anxiety, you may want to ask your physician for a prescription for a mild sedative prior to your scheduled examination.
Infants and young children usually require sedation or anesthesia to complete an MRI exam without moving. Whether a child requires sedation depends on the child's age, intellectual development and the type of exam. Moderate and conscious sedation can be provided at many facilities. A physician or nurse specializing in sedation or anesthesia for children will be available during the exam for your child's safety.
In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. People with the following implants cannot be scanned and should not enter the MRI scanning area:
-Cochlear (ear) implant
-Some types of clips used for brain aneurysms
-Some types of metal coils placed within blood vessels
-Nearly all cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers
-Implanted medicine infusion ports.