When you or your loved one is unwell and requires some form of imaging, whether that be an x-ray, CT scan, ultrasound or MRI, there can be a measure of stress you feel when going in for these tests. For you to require imaging at all, the fear and worry surrounding the reasons for the tests already have you under pressure. The fear of the unknown and what these tests will feel like often has people the most anxious. By understanding what to expect during body imaging tests, you can relax more and hopefully feel at ease. Here are some of the most common body imaging scans and how they are performed.
Before you have the MRI, you will be asked to remove all jewelry and change into a hospital gown. The actual MRI machine is a large, cylindrical tube that uses a magnetic field to produce a picture of inside your body. The test takes approximately 45 minutes and you will be asked to lie very still during this time. There will be very loud banging and knocking within the machine and these noises are normal as it is the sound of the magnets moving within it. To soften the intensity of the sound, you will be given earplugs or headphones with music for your comfort. Some MRI tests require contrast administered into your veins to help the picture to be clearer in some body parts.
A CT machine looks like a giant ring or donut with a bed going through the hole in the center. As with the MRI, intravenous contrast may be needed to see areas more clearly. As the contrast enters your bloodstream, you may feel a warm sensation and a funny taste in your mouth. Then you will lie on the bed as the ring moves around you. There may be times when you are asked to hold your breath. The entire test takes 10-20 minutes.
During an x-ray, you may be asked to remove jewelry or clothing and put on a gown, depending on what is being x-rayed. If it is your chest, you will stand in front of the x-ray machine and using various positions, they will take digital pictures.. You may be given a lead shield to wear on other body parts to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure. A little exposure is essential for the x-ray but there is no need to worry because in this amount, the risks are low.
What to expect after the test
When the test is finished, there will be a period of time to wait as the test results are examined. Here are a few of the things you can expect when you have your imaging done at IMI:
Your choice for quality imaging in the Boise/Meridian area
Making your imaging experience, whether it’s for a CT scan, x-ray, MRI or more, a good one is what IMI is all about. Your positive experience means a lot to us and we will go above and beyond to make sure your visit to our clinic is a pleasant one. We are grateful to our patients and we look forward to meeting you.