3 Things To Expect While Getting An MRI Scan
If your doctor has ordered you to get an MRI scan, it can be helpful to know what to expect before you go in for your scan. Knowing what to expect can make the entire experience less scary and more helpful.
You'll Have to Change Clothes
When you get to the exam, you are going to have to change clothes. You will be provided with a locker where you can put all of your personal belongings and clothes. You will be asked to remove all jewelry and to put on a hospital gown. You will be required to put on a hospital gown to ensure that your outfit does not contain any medical, which can mess with the MRI machine and your results. Hospitals ask all patients to wear a gown when using the MRI machine.
You May Have a Catheter Inserted
If the directions for your MRI scan request an MRI contrast, you are going to have an IV catheter inserted into your arm. A nurse or a technologist will insert the catheter. The IV will deliver a contrast fluid into your body. This fluid will not harm you. What it will do is highlight certain parts of your body or certain body processes. This will allow the MRI technician and your doctor to get a better idea about whatever condition they are sending you in for.
You Will Need to Stay Still
You are going to be expected to lay still when you are inside of the MRI machine. The MRI machine is designed to be open on both ends, so it is not like going inside of a box. There will be lights inside of the MRI machine so you are not sitting there in darkness while the procedure is going on. There should even be a small fan running to keep you cool.
The MRI machine can be loud when it is operating, so you will more than likely be provided with earplugs or head phones so that the noise isn't too loud. You will expect to stay still this entire time. Staying still will help the technician capture the needed images. If you move around, the procedure will take longer or may need to be repeated.
It generally takes around an hour per body part for an MRI scan. If your doctor wants multiple body parts scanned, your MRI will most likely take more than an hour. Your technician may do all the scans at once, or may give you a break in between scans.
If you have any questions about the process, be sure to ask the technician performing the procedure. Keep in mind that you will be able to talk to the technician during the procedure through a two-way speaker system, so you will have someone explaining what is happening every step of the way.