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Magnetic resonance imaging equipment has undergone significant advancements since the first scan was completed in 1977. These days how long does MRI take, a full body MRI scan can take around an hour to an hour and a half.
How Long Does MRI Take
With data captured piece by piece as the machine focuses on different parts of your body. But you may be wondering how exactly the process works.
Preparation for MRI Full Body
There is little you need to do to prepare for your scan, although many doctors recommend limiting food and beverage intake a few hours prior to your appointment. This helps you avoid discomfort or bloating and to reduce organ displacement that can sometimes occur from a large meal.
Talk to your doctor if you have a condition that causes you to urinate or pass bowel movements so frequently that remaining in place for up to 90 minutes would cause you discomfort. In some cases, if a urinary tract condition is being investigated, you may even be asked to drink a large amount of liquids in order to expand specific areas of concern.
Implants of Surgery
Since the machine uses a powerful magnet to perform the scan, all metal must be removed from the exterior of your body, and your doctor must be aware of any implants or past surgeries that might affect the MRI. Pacemakers, plates or screws in joints, shrapnel, dental fillings, copper IUDs, and even tattoos or nail polish containing metal compounds can present a problem.
Make sure your doctor is aware of any potential issues at the time of scheduling. In some instances, the how long does MRI take intensity of the scan can be lowered to avoid issues with implants.
While the initial models were designed with tight quarters known to cause issues for those suffering from claustrophobia, modern MRI equipment is spacious and less restrictive. In some cases, only a small portion of the body passes through the circular MRI equipment area at a time and how long does MRI take, with the rest of the area being open to a relaxing environment.
If tight spaces induce anxiety, talk to your doctor about ways to alleviate the issue so that you can remain calm, relaxed, and still during your scan. Meditation practices and sequential muscle relaxation techniques before the scan begins can be used as an alternative to various medications.
Doctors Investigation Process
Depending on the issues your doctors are investigating, you may experience a few different variations during your scan. In most cases, you will need to keep your body perfectly still while the imaging equipment is active. This can be difficult to do if you have breathing issues, allergies, cold-related issues such as a cough or sniffles, or reflexive muscle conditions.
So talk to the radiological team before your appointment for solutions. Occasionally, you might be asked to perform a certain kind of movement during the scan of a specific body part or brain scan. In this case, ask plenty of questions to make sure you clearly understand the instructions.
Another specific type of scan process involves the injection of a contrast agent so that soft tissue features become more pronounced. Gadolinium is the most commonly used MRI contrast, usually via intravenous injection. Reactions to this chemical are rare, but discuss any concerns with your doctor beforehand.
Results of How Long Does MRI Take
Once the scans have been completed, a radiologist will review and analyze the results, which can take between 24 to 48 hours (typically weekdays only) or more if the department is significantly behind schedule of how long does MRI take.
Once the data has been analyzed about how long does MRI take, it will be reported to your doctor, who will then be able to discuss the results to you unless they are still waiting for additional test results to make a determination.