The term MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, and it has quickly become a popular means of medical scanning around the world since its introduction.
The main reason behind the popularity of MRI scans is that it can be used to study alternative sections of the body, making it adaptable to the various needs of different doctors and patients. As the name suggests, the machine uses a magnetic field coupled with radio waves to attain the information sought by the user. It is mainly used to develop images of soft tissues such as organs like the brain, as these regions do not appear in the more conventional X-ray scanning procedures.
How an MRI Procedure Works
An MRI machine is a fairly large contraption that features a sliding table connected to a large cylindrical container designed to be occupied by the patient. The scanner occupies a private space to ensure that no external elements can affect its results, due to the presence of a large magnet within the cylinder that is used to create the magnetic field. Patients undergoing this scan simply have to get on to the table which will then slide into the cylinder, and expose the individual to the radio waves and magnetic field concerned.
It should be noted that due to the magnetic element of the scanning process, metal objects cannot be worn during this procedure and items such as jewelry, watches, and belts are removed with the rest of a person’s clothing to be replaced by a hospital gown instead. Individuals who may have metal parts in their bodies such as bullets, shrapnel, and medical devices cannot undergo this procedure also, due to the magnetic elements involved. Such details are determined during the initial filling out of information regarding the application for such a process.
How Images are processed via an MRI
As mentioned earlier, an MRI machine implements the use of a magnetic field and radio waves to develop images that can be interpreted by the operator upon delivery. This magnetic field is created to affect the protons within a tissue’s water molecules by magnetizing them and allowing them to respond via echo to the radio waves that are emitted by the scanner. The machinery’s computer system then arranges these echoes into images that will enable a doctor to study the specific area concerned.
The cylindrical shape of the scanner allows it to take images from almost any angle an individual might wish for, ensuring that different tissues within the body can be accessed by directing the radio waves in a particular direction. The process is noninvasive by nature and features no pain, as the radio waves emitted are not designed to cause any physical as a side effect.
Getting Ready for an MRI
In most cases, there is not a lot entailed with preparing for a Boise MRI scan due to the non invasiveness of the procedure. It is wise to inform a doctor before the process if one is pregnant or suspects themselves of being pregnant, as people are not sure how this activity affects a fetus as of yet. Pelvic and abdominal MRIs may require an individual to avoid food or drink for at least five hours before the scan as well.