The medical professionals at HOPE Healthcare Services are well trained and able to diagnose many medical issues. However, sometimes we need specialized tools to take a look at what is going on inside the body. An MRI is one of those tools that is used to give healthcare professionals a better idea of what is going on inside the body. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging and it could best be described as a special scan that produces detailed images of the inside of your body.
It is common knowledge that the human body is mostly made up of water molecules. These molecules are made up of hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
Every hydrogen atom has, at its center, an even smaller particle called a proton. These protons are sensitive to magnetic fields. The magnets of the MRI scanner cause these protons to line up. After this radio waves are sent to certain areas of the body which causes the protons to fall out of alignment. The radio waves are turned off, causing the protons to realign, and giving the MRI scanner information on the placement of protons.
A good analogy for how this process works is to think about how when you look at a picture on a computer or television screen you are actually seeing millions of pixels come together to create the image you are looking at. The protons in the body are like the pixels coming together to give your healthcare provider the information that they need to know the condition of your body and how best to treat it.
Are There any Risks?
MRIs are relatively risk free procedures. Unlike an X Ray, there is no radiation used, so there is not a chance of complications from radiation exposure. It is recommended that women who are pregnant or may be pregnant notify their doctor before an MRI due to the fact that the procedure can raise the temperature of amniotic fluid. Occasionally a special kind of dye is injected into a person to enhance the image produced. If you are allergic to any medications, contrast dye, iodine, or shellfish be sure to communicate with your healthcare providers before undergoing the procedure.
Who Can’t Get an MRI?
An MRI uses a strong magnet, so if any of the following is true for you, your healthcare providers will need to use an alternative method to diagnose you:
- Cochlear implants
- Certain prosthetic devices
- Implanted drug infusion pumps
- Bone-growth stimulators
- Certain intrauterine contraceptive devices; or
- Any other type of iron-based metal implants.
- Implanted pacemakers
- Intracranial aneurysm clips
You should also avoid taking anything metal into the MRI room as this will affect the magnets used in the MRI machine. Here are a few examples of common items that can not go into the MRI room:
- Credit Cards
- Hearing Aids
- Underwire Bras
- Body Piercings
A good basic rule to remember when getting an MRI is that nothing metal should go into the machine with you, inside or outside of your body.
Why Get an MRI?
An MRI is well suited to giving healthcare providers a clear image of the soft tissue of a human body. For this reason, if your doctor needs to know more about what is going on in your brain, spinal cord, tendons, ligaments, or muscles you will likely be sent to get an MRI.
How Fast Will I Get My Results?
No one likes to wait for test results. It can be a period of great stress and anxiety for many as they bide their time for potentially life changing news. MRIs are often prioritized by the severity of the situation. An ER patient who might need a life saving surgery as soon as possible will get their MRI read before someone who is in for a more routine test. In theory an MRI result could be read instantly, but, in practice, this is not often the case. While every healthcare provider is different, it is possible for MRI results to be read in less than 24 hours. However, there are often times in which many healthcare providers will need to consult on results to provide the most accurate diagnosis. In these cases it may take 1-2 weeks to get results. The best thing you can do is communicate with your doctor who will be able to give you a more accurate estimate on when your results will arrive.
If you or someone you love is anxious and worried about their test results please feel free to reach out for prayer. We are passionate about walking alongside you during your healthcare journey!
What to Expect at Your MRI
The MRI machine is long and narrow. When you arrive for your test you lie down on a movable table that slides into the opening of the machine. The person who runs the machine monitors you from another room and you will be able to talk to this person with a microphone.
An MRI creates a strong magnetic field around your body, but this is not a sensation that you can feel. It can be a loud experience and often a patient who is getting an MRI will be given headphones or earplugs to assist with the management of the noise.
An MRI can last between 15 minutes and 1 hour. If you are anxious about being in an enclosed space for that long there are medications to reduce anxiety that can be given.
MRI in Hendricks County Indiana
At HOPE Healthcare we currently do not provide MRI scans, but we are dedicated to helping our patients connect with the care they need. Our community partner at Hendricks Regional Health offers MRI Scans in a wide bore MRI system that greatly reduces the noise of the procedure and also has a larger opening, creating a less claustrophobic environment.
IU Health West Hospital in Avon Indiana, another of our community partners, also provides MRI scans. IU Health West is a good option due to their affiliation with the greater IU Health network, giving them access to the expert opinions of colleagues from the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Another local option is ProScan Imaging in Avon Indiana. ProScan advertises the use of an Open MRI. This variation of the standard MRI is a more open and comfortable design that will not leave you feeling as claustrophobic.
Avon is also home to RAYUS Radiology. RAYUS specifically highlights their open and upright MRI which allows the patient to sit upright as they receive their scan.
Services Provided at HOPE
At HOPE Healthcare we are dedicated to providing a wide range of low cost medical services to our neighbors who do not currently have insurance so that we can help them avoid the high costs associated with healthcare. We also seek to care for the spiritual lives of our patients by offering counseling services and access to spiritual resources. Through our services we want to become a source of hope for the people of Hendricks County Indiana and beyond! Call (317) 272-0708 for more information today.
How can I see my MRI report?
Your healthcare provider will often give you a digital copy of your MRI results so that you can see them and share them with your primary care physician. Practices vary from provider to provider so be sure and talk to your healthcare staff to receive clarification on their common practices.
How quickly do you get MRI results?
In theory it is possible to read MRI results instantly, but it often takes time for the correct doctors to receive the results. Patients in critical condition will have their results read more quickly, while those who are in for more routine tests may have to wait a few days, or even a few weeks for results. Your healthcare provider can give you a more clear picture of how long you will wait for results.