What is a Pelvic MRI?
Your healthcare provider has recommended you for a Pelvic MRI, which is a special type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that creates detailed cross sectional images of the pelvic floor, a network of muscles that stretches between the pubic bone and spine and the abdominal organs it supports. Our team of sub-specialized physicians utilizes Pelvic MRI to evaluate various conditions such as:
- Cervical Cancer Staging
- Provide information for surgical and treatment planning
This exam does not use any radiation, but does involve:
- A soft gel that acts as a contrast agent will be injected into the vagina.
- An IV will be placed for an injection of the MRI contrast. If health professionals commonly have difficulty finding your veins when drawing blood, please let us know so extra time can be added to your appointment
Before Arriving for Your Exam
We encourage patients to utilize the IMI online registration option where you will be able to complete the MRI Screening Questionnaire and the MRI and Pregnancy form (if applicable). This will help speed up your registration process.
If you are claustrophobic (fearful of small, enclosed areas) or experience pain when lying on your back for more than 30 minutes, your referring physician may prescribe a relaxant or pain medication to help you through the exam. Please let the IMI Team know of any concerns upon scheduling your appointment, so we can make certain you have what you need to complete your exam successfully.
We don’t anticipate a long wait time, however, we want to make any waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music with headphones to help you pass the time.
Please do not eat or drink anything four hours prior to your arrival.
Unless you are told otherwise, you may take your medications as usual.
Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
You will be asked to wear scrubs during the exam.
Please tell the technologist, radiology nurse and/or radiologist of any allergies you may have and if you are pregnant or nursing.
You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire which will determine if an MRI is safe for you. People with various implants (usually metallic), body piercings or with metal in their bodies (including some tattoos) may have difficulty with an MRI – which utilizes a strong magnetic field. The imaging physician needs to be informed of any of these potential problems.
You will be asked questions that verify the soft gel that acts as a contrast agent is safe for you.
During the Exam
This exam requires the use of an IV contrast agent to improve the quality of the images. The contrast agent (Dotarem) is injected into a vein in the arm, which may cause a cool sensation. You can learn more about MRI contrast here: http://bit.ly/2DKojxr
An MRI machine consists of a large cylinder shaped tube with a moveable table that slides into the center of the machine. For this exam, you will be asked to lie down on the scanning table, head-first with arms at your side.
Once you are placed on the MRI table, approximately 45ml of ultrasound gel will be placed into the vagina. This method increases the diagnostic information that will be obtained from the MRI imaging
Coils (special devices to improve image quality) will be placed on or around your pelvis.
The scanning table will slide your whole body into the magnet. During the scan, you will not feel anything but will hear intermittent humming, thumping, clicking and knocking sounds. Headphones will be provided to help mask the noise and to allow you to listen to music. As your images are taken, you must hold very still.
As part of the exam, you will be asked to “expel” the contrast material while scanning to simulate a bowel movement.
The technologist is always able to see and hear you during the exam.
After Your Exam
There are no restrictions placed upon you. You may eat or drive as normal. Your images will be examined by a radiologist and their report will be sent to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will review the results with you.