One of the best things about the medical advances our society has made thus far is that detecting and diagnosing ailments or injuries has never been easier! There are so many incredible medical imaging procedures available, each with their own benefits and use cases, and doctors are able to utilize this technology to catch diseases in their earliest stages, detect abnormalities, and even perform life-saving treatment. One of the most versatile and useful of these technologies is Magnetic Resonance Imaging— also referred to as MRI.
MRI’s are a common diagnostic imaging procedure used to diagnose a variety of conditions including tumors, torn ligaments, soft tissue injuries, brain abnormalities, etc. While they’re quite common in today’s world (chances are you know several people who have had an MRI at some point!), there’s still a lot of misinformation surrounding how MRI technology works and what the procedure actually does.
As a premiere MRI provider in the Manhattan area it’s our job to set the record straight on this incredible technology, so we’re taking some time today to bust three of the biggest myths about MRI.
MRI Myth #1: All MRI Machines Are Created Equal
We cannot stress how incorrect this statement is. Think of your MRI results as a picture, and the machine as the camera. For your doctor to be able to clearly determine a diagnosis of the part being scanned, a clear and high-quality image must be produced! In order to produce that sharper, higher quality image, you’ll need a higher quality camera. Anyone who’s used a cheap point and shoot camera and then picked up a DSLR can tell you that not all cameras are the same, and likewise not all MRI machines are the same. For complex injuries that require detailed imaging, more advanced MRI machines are needed to create a better image.
MRI Myth #2: People Who Have Had Joint Replacement Can’t Get An MRI
Before getting an MRI, patients are instructed to remove any and all metal from their body in order to keep it from interfering with the frequency of the radio waves or being sucked up by the magnetic pull of the scanner. For patients who have undergone procedures like joint replacement and may have implanted devices that contain metal within their body, the concern is that they wouldn’t be able to safely get an MRI. Wrong.
In most cases medical devices such as these are not affected by the magnetic field of the MRI machine and don’t cause any issues when scanned! Before recommending the procedure your doctor will talk to you about your previous medical history and any medical implants you may have to ensure that the procedure would be safe to undergo, but don’t let this MRI myth keep you from proceeding!
MRI Myth #3: MRI’s Are Painful & Emit Dangerous Radiation.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Although they can sound scary, MRI’s are completely painless and non-invasive. In fact, the patient isn’t exposed to any radiation during the procedure either, which isn’t the case for many other imaging scans like CT or X-ray. That’s part of the reason why MRI’s are commonly recommended in pediatric cases or for patients whose doctors are concerned about minimizing radiation exposure.
MRI’s are a valuable diagnostic tool that have been to help detect a wide variety of illnesses and injuries for over 50 years. While there’s still a lot that patients don’t understand about the procedure, our team is always here to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have about MRI safety so you can go into your procedure feeling calm, comfortable, and confident that you’re in great hands.