What to expect
The MRI machine looks like a long narrow tube that is open at both ends. You will lie down on a movable table that slides into the opening of the tube. A technologist monitors you from another room. You can talk with the person by microphone.
If you have a fear of enclosed spaces, you will want to notify your physician. They can prescribe you medication to help you feel less anxious. Most people get through the exam without difficulty. Anesthesia is offered at multiple sites as well for those who require more extensive sedation.
During the MRI scan, the internal part of the magnet produces repetitive tapping, thumping and other noises. You will be given earplugs and headphones to help block the noise. For some exams, music can be played or a video can be watched to help distract from the noise and make patients less anxious.
In some cases, a contrast material, called gadolinium, will be injected through an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm. The contrast material enhances certain details and provides additional information to aid the Radiologists in making a diagnosis.