Brain MRI: What To Expect

There are multiple reasons your physician may recommend you have an MRI of your brain. It can be a bit disconcerting, but an MRI is a useful diagnostic tool to help identify conditions that can affect the brain and the spinal cord. If you are having a brain MRI, here is what to what to expect.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)Doctor examining MRI image

Similar to an X-ray, an MRI gives Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center a visual of the inside or your body without having to perform surgery. It is painless, non-invasive, and no radiation is used. Instead, it uses a magnetic field and radio waves, so it is vital to identify any kind of metal in your body to the radiologist prior to having an MRI.

Things like inner ear implants, artificial joints, pacemakers, defibrillators, and stents can interfere with a clear image. Ask for a full list of objects which are problematic prior to your MRI.

What To Expect Prior To The Scan

Besides telling the technologist about metal in your body, remove all jewelry, hearing aids, body piercings, and any dental work that is removable.

You will lie flat on your back on a moveable table, and your head will be positioned so it can be scanned by the MRI.

You may have a neck and head brace with padding or a blanket to help you relax and be more comfortable.

Earplugs and headphones will be supplied because the test is rather loud. Sometimes you can bring your own music or ask for some.

If you are claustrophobic, tell Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center ahead of time and you may be scanned in an “open MRI” which has a wider tunnel. If that is not possible, you may be given medication as well as a mirror so you can see outside the MRI machinery.

Sometimes there may be a need for contrast material placed into your body via an IV line. This allows Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center to see certain parts of the brain more easily, especially blood vessels.

What To Expect During Scan

The table will move in and out of the tunnel, and it is important to remain still throughout the test.

The technologist will move to another room, but you will be able to communicate throughout the MRI.

The MRI can take 30 to 60 minutes.

Once complete, you are able to leave the facility unless you have been medicated.

Summing Up

Having an MRI is painless and safe,  but can be unnerving without any information ahead of time.

Contact Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center at (214) 345-6905 if you have any additional questions about your brain MRI and what to expect.

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