There are many varieties of MRI exams. Depending upon the area being scanned, the set up of the room, and your position may be different. To begin the exam, you will lie down on the scan table. When the machine starts to work, you’ll hear some loud knocking sounds. These sounds occur whenever the MRI pictures are being taken. Think of them as the clicks a VERY large camera would make when taking pictures! You will be provided with earplugs or headphones to help block out the knocking sounds.
In any case, although it’s noisy, an MRI exam is completely painless. The only thing you must do is HOLD VERY STILL. When you take a picture with a camera, your subject must keep still or the picture will come out blurry. It’s the same with an MRI machine. If you move, the scans will be out of focus – and you may have to repeat the exam.
If necessary, you may be injected with a solution called a contrast agent or “dye”. This allows the radiologist to see the image more clearly. MRI contrast agents typically have few or no side effects, and the injection likely will just feel like a slight pinch. You may be asked to give your consent to this injection, at which time a more detailed explanation about the contrast agent will be given to you by our MRI technologist.