Everything You Need to Know About MRIs

If you’ve never seen a medical drama or have never needed to get an MRI done, you may not be familiar with what this diagnostic imaging tool is for. There’s no need to get stressed out if your doctor ordered an MRI for you; we’ll go over everything you need to know before your imaging appointment.

What Is An MRI?

People often refer to this important medical tool as “an MRI”; however, Magnetic Resonance Imaging is simply a type of imaging that can be used to take pictures of the inside of a patient’s body. When your doctor schedules an MRI scan, you will show up to an imaging center and lie in a horizontal machine. MRI machines use powerful magnets to create images— this is why it’s so important to let your imaging specialist know if you have any metal in or on your body.

Some MRI orders will request contrast; this is a substance (iodine or gadolinium) that will be injected into the imaging site. This liquid will cause certain blood vessels and vascular tissue to appear very dark on your scan. While it may be uncomfortable to be injected prior to your imaging procedure, it can help the radiologist better understand what is going on in your body.

What Does An MRI Show?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses both electromagnetic and low-frequency radio waves (not radiation) in conjunction to produce images, called cross-sections, of the inside of your body. A single MRI cross-section is rarely used— most often, multiple slices are spliced together to create a three-dimensional model of the organ being scanned.

What Are MRIs Used To Diagnose?

MRI images are extremely useful diagnostic tools; it would be impossible to name all of the potential uses here. According to Mayfield Clinic, some of the most common diagnoses that a head or neck MRI can aid with are “brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, developmental anomalies, multiple sclerosis, stroke, dementia, infection, and the causes of headache.”

An MRI scan of your body’s vasculature can detect aneurysms, vessel blockages, and other vessel abnormalities that could cause issues. An MRI machine may also be used to view images of your spine; “herniated discs, pinched nerves, spinal tumors, spinal cord compression, and fractures” can all be detected with this machine.

How Long Does An MRI Take?

Since an MRI machine takes multiple, separate cross-sections of a part of your body, it can take varying amounts of time to develop an accurate, three-dimensional picture. Depending on the location of your scan, the entire procedure can take anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes.

What If I’m Claustrophobic?

We completely understand your apprehension— many people struggle with being in confined spaces. At Rosetta we have several measures to make sure patients feel comfortable and calm throughout the duration of their procedure! You can ask for music to be played in the exam room, and in some cases patients can be accompanied by a “support” person.

When Will I Get My Results?

One of the best parts about getting your imaging done at Rosetta is that you’ll be working directly with onsite radiologists. This means the radiologist conducting your exam will be able to look at your results as soon as their available, and then come to chat with you directly about them. This cuts out much of the wait time typical imaging centers resort to as the results are sent back and forth through different middlemen.

How Much Does An MRI Cost?

Your out-of-pocket cost will depend entirely on your insurance provider and the nature of your need for an MRI scan. Here at Rosetta Radiology, we work closely with your insurance provider to make sure you get the coverage you’re expecting to receive. Your best option is to contact your insurance provider directly to find out how much they cover; once armed with this information, our office can provide you with more information.

Where Can I Get An MRI In Manhattan?

Rosetta Radiology has proudly served patients throughout the Manhattan area for many years, speaking with our patients directly about their results. Get top of the lining imaging and personalized care when you choose Rosetta! Get in touch today to find out more or schedule your MRI.