5 Important Facts to Know Before Getting an MRI

MRI and CT Scan
MRI facts

If you’re reading this, you (or your loved one) have probably been advised to get an MRI scan. But first, what is an MRI? An MRI (or Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses a powerful magnet, radio waves and a computer to produce hi-resolution, detailed images of the insides of your body. If you need an MRI scan, you will be asked to sleep on a moveable bed that goes into the MRI scanner. This machine is a tube-like structure surrounded by a circular magnet. Since the scanner works on magnetic fields, there is no radiation exposure involved.

Now that you know what an MRI scan is, keep in mind these 5 crucial facts before getting one done – they could save your life.

Always ask for the latest 3T MRI machine.

A poor-quality MRI (1.5T or lower) often fails to capture crucial details which a 3T MRI can. This includes tumours or lesions that could be life-threatening. Always insist on the latest 3T MRI machine available – the cost difference may not be much, but it could have a life-changing impact for you.

The MRI magnet is very powerful – don’t go near it with metal.

Taking any metal into the MR room can have dangerous and even fatal consequences. Make sure you remove all metal items, including jewellery, watches, mobile phones, etc. before entering the MR room. Always enter with a technician or radiologist, who can double-check if you’re safe to go in. If you have a pacemaker, implant or brain aneurysm clip, do inform the centre beforehand – the magnet in the machine could interfere with these medical devices.

Claustrophobia shouldn’t stop you from getting an MRI.

Many claustrophobic patients shy away from MRI scans – since they find the entire experience too suffocating. If you’re one of them, take heart. Today, technology has evolved to make this scan more comfortable for you. For example, the latest 3T MRI with ambient experience (like the one at Star Imaging) allows the patient to watch movies while getting scanned; and creates the illusion of more space and light. With this new feature, over 90% of our claustrophobic patients now no longer require sedation.

And if you still experience claustrophobia, you can always ask to be sedated.

Which brings us to our next point.

If you need sedation, ask for an anesthetist to be present.

Confirm this with the diagnostic centre beforehand and make sure they have an anesthetist present during your entire procedure. This is especially important if the patient is a child.

Make sure a qualified radiologist is interpreting your report.

The scanning technology may be the best in the world, but if the radiologist interpreting the report is inexperienced, you may end up with a wrong diagnosis. Before choosing a centre, read up on their team of doctors/radiologists. At Star Imaging, all our radiologists have specialized in organ-specific imaging and have significant experience.

About Star Imaging

Star Imaging offers the world's most advanced 3T MRI scanner with ambient experience, and has 12 super-specialized radiologists. Call us for more information.
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Comments (4)

  • You mentioned that we shouldn’t go near the MRI machine with metal. IT makes sense that this could cause fatal consequences, as you added. My husband thinks that we need to get an MRI for our son because of some brain problems he’s having. I’ll remember this advice as I start looking for a medical place to help us out with this.

  • Thank you for stating that if you need an MRI scan, you will be asked to sleep on a moveable bed that goes into the scanner. I am getting an MRI for the first time, and I have no idea about what to expect or how to prepare. I will definitely utilize all of your great tips and information when getting an MRI.

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