Radiologists and doctors utilize magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a diagnostic technique to provide precise images of the internal body. X-rays and CT scans use ionizing radiation. However, MRI uses a magnetic field to create detailed images of the body without exposing patients to harmful radiation.
Radiologists use MRI scans to diagnose tumors, injuries, infections, and brain, spine, and joint diseases. They also use them to evaluate the effectiveness of certain treatments and monitor the progress of certain conditions over time.
During an MRI scan, the patient lies on a table that slides into a large, cylindrical magnet. The magnetic field causes the body’s protons to align; then, they apply a radio frequency pulse to disrupt this alignment. As the protons return to their natural state, they release energy detected by the scanner. They are employed to produce a precise picture of the interior organs of the body.
These images are produced using a magnetic field and radio waves in a secure and non-intrusive manner. However, despite its widespread use, several misconceptions about MRI scans are prevalent among the general public. This article will discuss five MRI scan misconceptions and the truth behind them.
- Misconception #1: MRI Scans Are Dangerous Because They Use Radiation.
- Misconception #2: MRI Scans Are Painful.
- Misconception #3: MRI Scans Are Only Used For Diagnosing Joint Problems.
- Misconception #4: MRI Scans Are Expensive.
- Misconception #5: MRI Scans Are Always Accurate.
- More About MRI Scans
Misconception #1: MRI Scans Are Dangerous Because They Use Radiation.
One of the most common misconceptions of MRI scans is that they use radiation, which can harm the body. However, MRI scans do not use ionizing radiation, which is the type of radiation they use in X-rays and CT scans. Instead, MRI scans use a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce body images.
While the magnetic field used in MRI scans is strong, it does not harm the body. However, there are some safety concerns with MRI scans, particularly for people with metal implants or devices in their bodies. These individuals may not be able to undergo an MRI scan or may require special precautions to ensure their safety.
Misconception #2: MRI Scans Are Painful.
Another common misconception of MRI scans is that they are painful. While it is true that some people may experience discomfort during an MRI scan, the procedure itself is not painful. Most people find the experience to be relatively comfortable and even relaxing.
During an MRI scan, the individual lies on a table that slides into the machine. The machine makes a loud noise as it takes pictures of the body. However, it is not harmful, and earplugs or headphones can reduce it easily. Some people may feel claustrophobic inside the MRI machine, but open MRI machines are available for those uncomfortable in confined spaces.
Misconception #3: MRI Scans Are Only Used For Diagnosing Joint Problems.
While radiologists use MRI scans commonly to diagnose joint problems such as arthritis or torn ligaments, they can use them to examine many different body parts. Detailed images of the brain, spine, internal organs and blood vessels can be produced using MRI scans, among other things.
MRI scans often diagnose and monitor conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, cancer, and heart disease. They use MRI scans to identify structural abnormalities in the body that may be causing symptoms like pain or discomfort.
Misconception #4: MRI Scans Are Expensive.
Another common misconception of MRI scans is that they are expensive. People say it is only available to those with good insurance or a high income. Even though MRI scans can be costly, the price varies based on the facility and the kind of scan being done.
Many insurance plans cover the cost of MRI scans. Some facilities offer payment plans or financial assistance to the uninsured or underinsured. Additionally, some clinics and hospitals offer low-cost or free MRI scans as part of clinical trials or research studies.
Misconception #5: MRI Scans Are Always Accurate.
While MRI scans are a powerful diagnostic tool, they are not always accurate. MRI scans can produce false-positive results, meaning they identify a problem that is not there. They can also produce false-negative results, which means that they miss a problem that is present.
False-positive results might result in worry and pointless medical interventions. At the same time, false-negative results can delay the diagnosis and treatment of a serious condition. It’s important to keep in mind that MRIs are only one step in the diagnostic process. Radiologists or doctors should interpret it in conjunction with other tests and the individual’s medical history and symptoms.
More About MRI Scans
MRI scans are a valuable diagnostic tool that can provide detailed images of the body without using radiation. However, several common misconceptions of MRI scans can cause confusion and lead to unnecessary anxiety or misunderstanding about the procedure. It is important to understand the truth behind these misconceptions to understand better what to expect during an MRI scan.
You must inform your doctor if you have any metallic implants, devices, or objects in your body, as they may interfere with the MRI procedure. These objects can cause discomfort, damage, or even heat up during the scan due to the strong magnetic field used in the MRI machine. To ensure your safety throughout the surgery, it is imperative to let your doctor know in advance.
Moreover, some people may feel claustrophobic inside the MRI machine due to its confined space. However, open MRI machines are available for those uncomfortable with traditional MRI machines. Open MRI machines are more spacious and do not require the person to be completely enclosed inside the machine. Therefore, if you fear confined spaces, inform your doctor, and they may opt for an open MRI machine.
Additionally, MRI scans are not only for diagnosing joint problems. It can diagnose various medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, cancer, heart disease, and many more. Also, it can spot structural flaws in the body that might be the source of symptoms like pain or discomfort.
Regarding the cost, MRI scans can be expensive, but insurance plans often cover the cost of the procedure. If you do not have insurance, some facilities offer payment plans or financial assistance to uninsured or underinsured people. Therefore, if you require an MRI scan but are concerned about the cost, consult with your healthcare provider, and they may provide you with options to reduce the cost.
Lastly, it is important to understand that MRI scans are not always accurate. False-positive and false-negative results can occur, leading to unnecessary medical procedures or delaying the diagnosis of a serious condition. Therefore, they should interpret MRI scans in conjunction with other tests, medical history, and symptoms to have a more accurate diagnosis.
In conclusion, MRI scans are an essential diagnostic tool for diagnosing various medical conditions. It is a safe and non-invasive process that creates precise photographs of the body using radio waves and a strong magnetic field. However, several common misconceptions about MRI scans can cause confusion and anxiety. Contact us to avail the best and most affordable imaging service. Understanding the truth behind these misconceptions can help individuals better understand what to expect during an MRI scan and how it can benefit their health