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What is MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI as a medical imaging radiology technique uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images of organs and structures inside the body. MRI is extremely useful to examine the brain and spinal cord and further, it is used to diagnose a number of health issues like tumours, breast cancer, torn ligaments, certain heart problems, etc. Further, it is also used by health officials to monitor the progress of ongoing treatments of certain medical conditions.
Difference between CT scan and MRI
The technical difference between MRI and CT scan is that the first one uses radio waves to generate images while the latter makes use of X-rays. MRI is considered by many to be better than a CT scan as it does not expose one’s body to any harmful ionizing radiation. CT scans are used to diagnose a number of conditions and diseases such as abdominal pain, evaluating facial or head trauma, and to determine the cause behind unexplained pain, among others. On the other hand, MRI scans are recommended by doctors for the detailed images that it provides of soft tissues, organs, ligaments and other features that prove to be more difficult to be seen through a CT scan.
MRI scan centers in Mumbai
There are over hundreds of MRI Scan centers in Mumbai and the preference of one center over the other varies from person to person. Some decide this on the basis of the distance of the center from their current residence, while for others the cost of the test, and the time at which the patients will receive reports matter more. The cost of an MRI scan further varies depending on the part of the city where the MRI center is located and the part of the body the test is being conducted on. But generally, an MRI scan can cost anywhere between Rs 1500 to Rs 25,000.
While choosing where to get MRI scan Mumbai, one should effectively research on the Internet so to decide which center would be most suitable for them. They can do this by searching about all the centers closest to them, browsing through their facilities and further contacting those to know about any other information that they wish to know. People can also make use of various websites like Zywee, which allow them to make comparison and book appointment for the test at the center that they seek to be the best.
What you should expect
- Before the procedure
Patients are usually allowed to eat and drink normally before the MRI; unless one is undergoing an abdominal or pelvic MRI scan, in that case, it is advisable to stop eating and drinking at least five hours prior to the test. Upon arriving at the MRI scan centers in Mumbai, patients are asked to remove any metal accessories that they have on their body as it might interfere with the procedure. Some are given medication if they are feeling anxious or IV to increase the visibility of the tissue relevant to the scan. Patients, especially children, are sometimes given headphones or earplugs so that they can block out the loud noises emanating from the scanner.
- During the procedure
The procedure to get the MRI scan done is extremely simple and painless. The MRI scanner is designed in the shape of a tube with a moving table in the center where the patient lays down and is slid partially or fully inside the MRI machine during the test; depending on the part of the body that is supposed to be examined. A specialized computer placed in a different room then picks up the strong magnetic field, created by the machine, in your body.
After making sure that the patient has settled comfortably on the table, the doctor steps out of the room and continues to communicate with the patient via intercom throughout the procedure. The patient is instructed to stay still at all times and even asked to hold their breath for some images if necessary. The loud noises of the machine are quite normal but can sometimes leave the patient with a headache or feeling nauseous.
- After the procedure
The radiologist effectively checks the images to ensure that they are optimum before letting the person leave the center. He then prepares the report for the doctor who discusses the results with the patient during their next appointment.
Side effects associated with MRI Scan
There are limited risks involved with an MRI scan as the procedure does not require any involvement of radiation. People with any medical implants are, first of all, unable to take the test because of the strong magnets created by the machine. Also, some people experience nausea, burning sensation when injected or headaches and allergic reactions that cause itchy eyes or hives due to contrast dye. This is why patients should always inform their doctor about all the allergies that they have. People who are uncomfortable to be in enclosed spaces or have claustrophobia also sometimes face difficulties when going through the procedure.
So, to conclude, an MRI scan is a totally non-invasive and painless procedure that is used by doctors to diagnose a number of conditions including tumours and heart problems. Though the enclosed space of the machine does serve to be a big problem for people who are claustrophobic and the loud noises that emanate from the machine also give some people a headache. But still the procedure is vital to be done in many cases and one can easily browse through various MRI Scan centers in Mumbai to choose the one that they find to be most convenient for them. They can further make an appointment at the hospital or scan center that they find best either online or by contacting them through their contact number or email id which one can usually find easily using the Internet. The appointed radiologist will further guide the patient through small preparations and further procedure of the test.