The pelvic region encompasses a series of bones, muscles, and ligaments at the lower part of the trunk, which are crucial to a variety of bodily functions. Within the pelvis, the pelvic floor stretches between the pubic bone and the spine, acting as a sling to support organs such as the bladder, rectum, uterus, and prostate. When pain, discomfort, or other symptoms of dysfunction develop in this region, our team at Intermountain Medical Imaging can use dynamic pelvic MRI as a means to help diagnose and treat any underlying issues or health conditions that are causing you problems.
How Dynamic Pelvic MRI Works
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a common medical procedure that is used by doctors to examine a wide range of body parts and systems. The machine itself is a large, cylinder-shaped tube with a moveable table on which the patient lies. As the table slides into the tube, the MRI machine creates a magnetic field and radio waves, which provide detailed, cross-sectional images of different parts of the body. Doctors can then use these images to examine body organs, tissues, and bones, which can aid in diagnosing and treating a variety of potentially serious medical conditions.
With a dynamic pelvic MRI, the goal is to obtain information regarding the pelvic floor, how well it is working, and to diagnose any dysfunction that could be causing the patient problems or discomfort. To do this, a soft, gel-like substance will be placed in the rectum. Coils, which are specifically designed to improve image quality, are then placed on and around the pelvic region. During the exam, you will be asked to expel the gel-like substance in a way that is similar to having a bowel movement. This allows our radiologists to see and capture images showing how this system works and any problems that may exist.
The procedure itself takes approximately 60 minutes and is performed in our office. For patients who are claustrophobic or experience pain when lying on their back, the referring physician may provide medication or a relaxant to help you through the process. Otherwise, there are generally no special advance procedures to follow and no activity restrictions will be placed on you in the aftermath. Once the test is completed, you can eat, drink, and engage in all of your normal activities. The images captured will be examined by our IMI radiologists and a report will be sent to your healthcare provider. They will discuss your results with you, along with any recommended course of treatment they suggest.
Diagnosing Issues in the Pelvic Floor
For patients experiencing pain or discomfort in the pelvis, dynamic pelvic MRI can provide important information regarding how well the pelvic muscles are working and whether there is any damage or defects involving the various compartments in the region. It can also help to diagnose issues with the pelvic floor, which can cause a variety of uncomfortable and potentially dangerous health conditions.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is one of the more serious issues that dynamic pelvic MRI can help to diagnose and address. It involves the inability to control the muscles that comprise the pelvic floor. These muscles can eventually tear and the pelvic organs may prolapse, or slip out of place. Patients with pelvic floor dysfunction often experience a variety of symptoms, which may include:
- Urinary issues, such as painful urination or frequent urges;
- Constipation or straining with bowel movements;
- Pain and pressure in the pelvis, lower back, genitals, or rectum;
- Pelvic muscle spasms;
- Painful intercourse for women.
Pelvic floor dysfunction may be caused by chronic health conditions or specific events. These include obesity, childbirth, traumatic injuries, or prior pelvic surgeries. Dynamic pelvic MRI plays an important role in diagnosing and treating this condition. Left untreated, pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to chronic pain, infection, and long term colon damage.
Dynamic Pelvic MRI at Intermountain Medical Imaging
At Intermountain Medical Imaging, our radiologists are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and have been serving patients throughout the Boise, Idaho area for more than 20 years. Whether you require dynamic pelvic MRI to diagnose a medical condition or it is ordered as a means of providing additional information for surgery and other treatments, you can trust our highly trained and skilled staff at IMI to make the experience as efficient, effective, and comfortable as possible. To discuss your options and to find out more about our services, contact Intermountain Medical Imaging today.