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An Understanding of Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Feb 7, 2019

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There are many tests that a doctor might use to help diagnose your condition or monitor your body, and one of the more common is an MRI or magnetic resonance imaging. You probably know that it takes images to help doctors see inside your body, but there are a lot of machines that do that, and it helps to understand the differences between them and what to expect from an MRI.

What It Does

The good news is that MRIs don’t use the same radiation as X-rays. If you get an MRI from a diagnostic and imaging center, you will find that it's safe. This scan uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to see parts of the body that you can’t see with X-rays, ultrasound, or CT scans. MRI images provide the doctor with more details as well.


The main piece of equipment that you're probably most familiar with in diagnostic imaging centers is the tube itself. This tube has a hole at both ends and a magnet surrounds the tube. You lay down on a table that slides into that tube and let the equipment work. If you’re claustrophobic, you might have the option to use an open MRI, which is open on all sides. You might also come across a short-bore system, which is smaller than the standard size. Most of your body is outside this tube, and only the part that’s being scanned goes in.

Why You Might Get One

You might need diagnostic imaging services in Suffolk County, NY, for a number of reasons. An MRI specifically can be helpful in a number of situations. MRIs are used to scan the brain, spinal cord, heart, blood vessels, bones, and joints. It can help determine diagnoses like heart disease, a stroke, disc problems in the spine, and more. It’s also used extensively in sports medicine since it can see inside joints and ligaments.

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How to Prepare

Before you get diagnostic imaging in Suffolk County, NY, you will need to have a conversation with your doctor about your current medical condition. For instance, you should let them know about ongoing health problems, recent surgeries, or allergies. You should also let them know if you are or might be pregnant. Since metal interferes with the magnetic field in the MRI, you should also talk to your doctor about any metal you have in or on you like a pacemaker, metal joints, or even tattoos with metallic ink. You’ll need to remove all metal that you can on the day of the scan, too. Your diagnostic imaging center in Suffolk County, NY, can walk you through the rest of their protocol, but there isn’t generally that much that you have to do to get ready. If you want to learn more contact Peconic Bay Medical Center today.