What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic tool that creates cross-sectional images of your internal organs using radio waves and a powerful magnetic field. The data is then sent to a computer where it's compiled into transverse images of your body - literally slices that allow your doctor to examine your body in great detail. While x-rays are primarily used to take pictures of bones and other hard structures, MRIs can be used to examine soft tissues, such as your ligaments, tendons, cartilage, eyes, and ears.
When Is It Used?
MRIs are used to diagnose a wide range of health problems, such as liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, congenital heart disease, and malformed blood vessels. They are also used to locate and evaluate tumors. Some of the most widely used MRI scans are:
MRI Back Scan
MRI back scans are used to evaluate spinal injuries and diagnose diagnose back pain. They're also used before back surgery, to help doctors plan their operation, and to search for tumors.
MRI Head Scan
MRI head scans examine your brain and the surrounding nerves. They're used to diagnose a wide range of conditions, such as damage caused by aneurysms, strokes, brain abcesses, and brain tumors, or eye and ear disorders.
MRI Neck Scan
MRI neck scans examine the veins, arteries, muscles, and ligament in your neck, as well as your cervical spine. They are are most often used to check for neck injuries, herniated discs, bone abnormalities, multiple sclerosis, and arterial and aortic aneurysms.
MRI Body Scan
MRI body scans examine all the structures in your body from head to toe, looking for evidence of injury or disease. It be used evaluate a patient's overall health, or track the progress of chronic health conditions, such as cancer.
What Happens During an MRI Procedure?
When you visit the MRI center, you will be taken into the examination room and asked to lie down on a cushioned bed that will guide you into the MRI machine. Because even a small amount of movement can blur the image, you will have to lie very still during the procedure. Fortunately, it only takes 30-60 seconds for an MRI machine to scan your body. You will hear loud knocking and whirring noises as the pictures are being taken. If the noise is unpleasant, you can wear earplugs or listen to music. When the test is over, your images will be sent to your referring doctor, so the two of you can arrange a time later to meet and discuss them.
What is an Open MRI?
An open MRI is a specialized MRI machine that allows patients to lie on an open bed instead of sliding into an enclosed tube. They're also useful for patients whose weight or height make it difficult for them to be scanned by a conventional MRI, and for patients who feel anxious when enclosed in tight spaces.
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
MRIs allow doctors to examine internal organs that are difficult to see with other diagnostic exams. They are painless and have no side effects.
How Do You Schedule an MRI Exam?
If you're interested in scheduling an MRI in Glendale or an open MRI in Glendale, please enter your contact information on our appointments page.