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    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

    Overview
    Procedure
    Results
    Possible Risks
    Limitations
    Where To Seek Treatment

     

    Singapore General Hospital
    Contributed by Singapore General Hospital

    Overview

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical diagnostic technique used to create images of the body using a magnetic field and radio waves. It does not use X-rays. A versatile, powerful and sensitive tool, MRI can generate thin-section images of any part of the body from any angle in a relatively short period of time, and helps in the diagnosis of various conditions.

    MRI is completely non-invasive procedure, and there are no known side or after effects. The procedure is painless.

    Procedure

    Before the examination

    To provide you with the best possible care, our staff at the MRI Centre will need to know certain information about you and your medical history.

    Please inform the staff if you have:

    • a pacemaker, surgical clips, or any metal objects or surgical implants in your body
    • Artificial heart valves
    • Neuro-stimulators
    • Metal sharpnels in the body
    • Metal fragments in your eyes
    • any intra-uterine contraceptive device
    • a prosthesis
    • Dentures
    • Or if you are likely to be pregnant.

    The radiologist will then determine from the information whether you will be able to undergo the MRI examination.

    Preparation for the examination

    • No restriction on food / fluid intake is necessary;
    • If you are on any prescribed medications, please continue the medication as directed by your physician;
    • Do not wear make-up, especially mascara, or use hairspray. Contact lenses have to be removed for the examination;
    • On your appointment day, please bring any X-rays, ultrasound and CT scan films that you may have.

    On Arrival

    You will be required to change into a hospital gown. All metallic objects e.g. jewellery, keys, watches, hearing aids, pins and credit cards must be removed before entering the magnet room. A locker will be provided for your belongings but please keep your valuables at home.

    During the MRI Examination

    • You will be positioned on a padded table and slowly moved into a magnet that surrounds the body with a magnetic field
    • Once you are comfortably positioned, it is important that you remain relaxed and completely still during the scan. Movement will result in unclear images.
    • Breathe normally, as there is nothing about the procedure to make you uncomfortable.
    • You will notice a faint knocking and intermittent humming and thumping sounds which represents the changes in the magnetic field. Earplugs will be provided.
    • You will have voice contact with the radiographer at all times and you can be seen clearly from the control room

    If you have any questions about the examination, do not hesitate to ask the radiographer attending to you. 

    After The Examination

    Please do not change out of your hospital gown immediately after the examination. It may be necessary to do some additional views/sequences after the initial images were processed and reviewed.

    Results of the Examination

    The radiologist will review the images and report the findings to your physician, who will then discuss the results with you on your next appointment.

    Possible Risks

    An undetected metal implant may be affected by the strong magnetic field.

    Limitations

    In most cases the examination is safe for patients with metal implants, with the exception of a few types of implants, so patients should inform the radiographer of an implant prior to the test.

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