5 Ways to Make Your MRI Easier
Having any kind of testing can create anxiety, especially if you don't know what to expect. Experiencing nervousness during an MRI procedure is common. Our radiology team works closely with patients to alleviate any concerns, eliminate some of the uncertainty and ensure a high quality, easy scan experience.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of medical imaging that physicians use to help diagnose and manage many health conditions. MRI scanners use magnetic fields, radio waves and a computer to produce details images of the internal body structures. MRI scans are painless and very safe.
Some patients who have an upcoming MRI may experience anxiety or nervousness about the exams. This could be based on pending outcomes and diagnosis or simply the 30 minute procedure itself.
Our team has compiled recommendations on how to make your next MRI easier and more comfortable:
- Don't make assumptions - Don't assume that your experience will be similar to MRI exams you may have had in the past; especially if your last MRI was several years ago.
- MRI technology advances significantly from year to year, especially features which improve the patient experience.
- You may wonder how long an MRI takes. Exam times are now shorter, lasting typically 30 minutes or less on a high-field scanner.
- New scanners have a wider opening, wide bore MRI systems, and are shorter in length, allowing most of your body to be uncovered and less confined.
- Noise from the MRI system has been reduced or minimized by audio options during the exam.
- Follow medication instructions unless instructed otherwise - Don't skip any pain control medication unless instructed to do so by your physician.
- Most MRI exams allow you to go about your daily activities without restriction.
- If you have been taking ibuprofen or any pain control prescriptions for your condition, please continue to do so unless instructed by your physician.
- Do avoid wearing any pain or therapy patches during the exam as they may cause burns.
- Understand what to wear during an MRI – consider what clothing and jewelry you will wear during the exam.
- No metal is allowed in the MRI room. Remove all jewelry prior to your exam. The MRI magnet is always on and may pull on metallic jewelry even when the exam is not in progress.
- Wear something comfortable but be prepared to change your clothes. To reduce any issues, the radiology staff may ask you to change your clothes.
- Answer the MRI screening questions truthfully – During the scheduling process, a series of screening questions will be asked of you.
- These questions are designed to ensure your safety and to collect medical information necessary to complete the most informative exam for your physician.
- Be sure to have any prior surgical or implant information, such as location and timing, available during your screening call.
- Relax and listen to the music – Most facilities offer the ability to play music of your choice during the exam. Listening to music during an MRI can help keep you relaxed.
Don’t hesitate to ask your physician or radiology technician for their advice or recommendations on reducing your concerns and making an MRI easy and comfortable.
Our team consists of board-certified radiologists at American College of Radiology accredited locations with state-of-the-art imaging technology throughout the Chicago suburbs. Learn more about our MRI and radiology services.
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