When many patients hear their doctor talk about an MRI, the first thought is that the doctor wants to conduct an in-depth exam to determine the degree of an injury or a health issue. However, many patients who haven’t undergone the procedure know little about it, so they do not know what to expect.

Reading on, you will understand what a private MRI scan London involves and how the procedure is carried out to help you prepare for the procedure.

What is an MRI?

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) combines radio waves and a powerful magnet with an advanced computer to give an accurate and detailed body image. It can help study different body parts, such as the spine, joints, internal organs, breasts and brain.

An MRI is generally safe and a non-invasive test that doesn’t need ionizing radiation (x-rays).

The MRI checklist

When you get to the clinic, your healthcare professional will provide you with an MRI safety checklist and review the list before you can proceed to the MRI room. Ensure you inform your healthcare professional if you have an implantable device outside or in your body. These include pacemakers, insulin pumps, aneurysm clips, neurotransmitters, cochlear implants to the eye with metal shavings or slivers.

The MRI technologist will accompany you to the changing room to help you wear the scrub gown or top and scrub pants. Ensure you remove all your clothing before your MRI exam. The healthcare professional will ensure you remove:

  • Bras or undergarments with metal
  • Barrettes, hairpins and other hair accessories with metal
  • Glasses
  • Outer clothing, including shoes
  • Cell phones, wallets and purses
  • Jewellery

Preparing for an MRI

Before your appointment, the healthcare provider will review your MRI safety checklist. You may need a preliminary x-ray to determine if an MRI exam is safe for you. When you are in the MRI scan room, the provider will confirm which procedure your doctor ordered and explain how the procedure will go.

Some people may need to go into the MRI scan machine with the head first. Others will enter with their feet first into the machine because getting the body part that requires the scan into the magnet’s centre is important for the best possible result.

You will need to lie on a moveable table during the MRI and use a blanket if you wish. The provider will place an imaging device known as a coil around your body area that requires imaging.

The coil is plastic and helps cradle your head, body or joint during the MRI exam to give better images. Depending on the exam your doctor ordered, your scan may require an MRI contrast material to enhance images to detect any abnormalities. Suppose your exam requires an MRI contrast material. In that case, the provider will insert an IV in your arm to administer the material.

You will receive an emergency call bell and a pair of headphones to help you hear the technologist during the exam and communicate your concerns. Staying still during the procedure is necessary, so the technician will try to ensure you are comfortable. And run you through the procedure to ease your nerves.

If you require IV sedation for the procedure, another adult must be on-site during your exam. The MRI technologist will be in the adjacent room with a large window looking into the MRI scan room, so you shouldn’t worry about anything.

The technologist will confirm that you can hear them during the procedure and will give you updates throughout the procedure. You will also know what is happening and how you are going through the MRI procedure. The duration of an MRI varies, depending on the time the technologist needs to review your images and set up the next scan.

You will hear buzzing or temporary sounds from the machine during your MRI, which is normal. The knocking sounds will last for a while as the machine takes images. Your earplugs or headphones will help reduce the sound.

The MRI technologist will inform you after the scans. The MRI technologist will help you come out of the machine when the exam is complete and lead you to the exam room and changing room.

Getting your result

After your MRI, the MRI technologist will send your images to the sub-speciality radiologist for interpretation. An orthopaedic/musculoskeletal radiologist would interpret the images if you had an MRI on your knee.

If you had previous MRIs, the doctor would compare them with your current images to determine the changes and arrive at the right diagnosis. The radiologist will send a report to the doctor to develop the right treatment plan.

You can book a private GP appointment today at London GP Clinic for your MRI. Call 020 7043 4318now to schedule your appointment.

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