Magnetic Resonance Imaging

 

In parallel with clinical experience and expertise, International Radiology Centre offers the most advanced digital Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR) systems in the Gulf Region.

What MRI is

Through the use of powerful magnets and radio waves, the purpose of MRI is to provide high resolution images within the body to help identify conditions and plan treatment. It is a safe and painless procedure which involves lying on a bed inside a large tube that contains the magnetic coils. A radiographer operates the scan and communicates with the patient during the procedure through an intercom. Moreover the patient is visible through a television monitor.

Parts of the body that are often investigated through MRI include:

  • The brain
  • The spinal cord
  • Bones and joints
  • The breasts
  • The heart
  • Blood vessels

Organs such as the kidney, liver or the intestines

That said pacemakers, metal objects and cochlear ear implants exclude people from undertaking MRI.

Preparing for an MRI scan

If patients experience high levels of anxiety or claustrophobia or have or have had in the past any metal or surgical implants, they must inform our medical staff.

In respect to metal, if patients have had this in their eyes in the past and not undertaken an MRI scan before, an X-ray needs to be taken to ensure that none remains. Should metal be detected, it will need to be removed by a doctor prior to having a scan. Metal within the eyes may cause permanent damage due to the powerful magnetic field of the MRI scanner.

Patients may eat and drink normally and take their usual medication. It is important to remain still throughout the examination. Jewellery and make up cannot be worn whilst having an MRI scan.

What does the procedure involve?

The patient is asked to lay on a bed that glides into the scanner and moreover will be positioned comfortably, generally with arms at sides.

The MRI is well lit, remains open at both ends and air consistently circulates around during the examination. The scanner makes a series of loud banging noises – this is the electric current - and there will be a small amount of vibration while images are being collected. Our radiographers as such will provide patients with ear plugs or headphones, will be communicating over the intercom and if requested, provide music.

It is important that patients remain still and at times may be asked to hold their breath for a few seconds while the images are being taken. This is to reduce the possibility of a blurred images.

How long does an MRI investigation take?

MRI procedures can take anything from a few minutes to about 90 minutes depending on the body part being scanned.