When you get an MRI, you will have to fill out a checklist to confirm you have removed all potentially damaging or hazardous items that can interfere with the machine. All items made of metal must be removed before you can get an MRI because this type of diagnostic imaging utilizes a powerful magnet inside the machine. If you forget to take off any metal objects, they can become a safety hazard for you and anyone else in the room because they will get pulled to the machine. When you visit your College Park imaging center, you will want to follow all the precautions and procedures to make for a successful MRI scan.
How an MRI Works
An MRI machine is shaped like a giant tube with a table that inserts into its center. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, which refers to how the diagnostic images are created. With an X-ray or CT scan, small amounts of radiation are used to provide images of your internal structures. An MRI does not use any radiation and instead relies on a powerful magnet inside the machine to produce highly detailed images of your bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, and other soft tissues. You will be positioned on the table that gets inserted into the machine. Once inside, the MRI machine uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of your internal structures. MRI scans are used to diagnose a number of health conditions and injuries. MRIs are also used for research and monitoring the progress of treatment.
Preparing for Your First MRI Experience
You will receive comprehensive information about your scheduled MRI scan so you know more about what to expect. In most cases, you will not be required to fast or alter your normal routine in any way prior to the scan. Depending on what area of your body will be scanned, your doctor may want to order an MRI with contrast, which means you would receive an injection of a contrast solution that helps to highlight certain areas inside the body so they show up clearer on the scan. When you experience an MRI for the first time, you might be surprised at the loud thumping and tapping sounds that occur while the scan takes place. Those sounds are due to the magnet moving around inside the machine. You will lie on a table that is inserted into the machine and you must stay very still for the duration. Some people who struggle with enclosed spaces or staying still may be given a medication that helps them relax or even fall asleep.
5 Easy-To Forget Items You Need to Remove
When you arrive for your MRI scan at our College Park imaging center, you will need to remove all metal items before it begins. This can include more obvious items like your wristwatch or a pair of earrings, but you may be surprised at other items that are easy to forget when you have an MRI. Here are 5 easy-to-forget items you must remove before an MRI scan.
While most jewelry will be obvious, you might forget about jewelry that you wear so often you forget it’s there, like a wedding band or piercing that stays in all the time. Most jewelry has metal parts to it, which can become a safety concern during an MRI.
There is a wide variety of beauty enhancements on the market that include metal pieces. One of these items you might forget about is magnetic eyelashes. If you wear magnetic eyelashes, then you must remove these prior to your MRI scan.
Hearing aid technology has advanced so that some hearing aids are not easily visible to others. This can make them more difficult for a doctor or MRI technician to spot and remind you to remove. Even the smallest pieces of metal can become a hazard if not removed before the scan.
Glucose sensors are now designed to be more compact than ever, which may make it easy to forget about. However, any type of medical device on your person that has any type of metal in it should be removed for an MRI scan. If you have a medical device made of metal that cannot be removed then you should talk to your doctor about alternate College Park imaging options.
It may surprise you to learn that some skin patches, like nicotine patches for smoking cessation, actually have metal properties. While not all skin patches have metal properties, doctors recommend you remove them just in case because they could react with the scan and heat up, which could burn you. Here are different types of MRI scans which can help to disease diagnosis without any hassle.