What is an MRI?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging – a technique used to create images of body tissue and organs in great detail. It makes use of magnetic fields and radio waves to do so. You may be familiar with what it looks like – a large tube-like device into which a patient passes lying down. The device is magnetic and the field is used to realign hydrogen atoms in the body. This allows the machine to create images of the cross-section of the body. It can even be used to create 3D images of various organs, allowing for detailed study by doctors. The MRI scan in Coimbatore can be used to examine almost any part of the body, including:
- Brain and spinal cord
- Bones and joints
- Heart and blood vessels
- Internal organs, such as the liver, womb, or prostate gland
The results of an MRI scan can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan treatments, and assess how effective previous treatment has been.
How do I get ready for an MRI
Your health care provider will explain the procedure to you and give you a chance to ask questions. Bring a family member to the medical appointment to help you.
If your procedure involves the use of contrast dye, you will be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear.
Generally, you don’t need to fast or limit any activities before an MRI procedure.
Before the MRI, it is very important that you tell the technologist if any of the following apply to you:
- You are claustrophobic and think that you will be unable to lie still inside the scanning machine, in which case you may be given a sedative.
- You have pacemaker or have had heart valves replaced.
- You have any type of implanted pump, such as an insulin pump.
- You have any metal plates, pins, metal implants, surgical staples, aneurysm clips.
- You have any metal fragments anywhere in the body.
- You have permanent eyeliner or tattoos.
- You are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
- You have ever had a bullet wound.
- You have ever worked with metal (for example, a metal grinder or welder).
- You have any body piercings.
- You have intra uterine device (IUD).
- You are wearing a medicine patch.
Based on your health condition, your health care provide may have other instructions for you on how to get ready.
What happens during an MRI scan?
MRI may be done on an outpatient basis or as a part of your stay in a hospital.
- You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, hairpins, removable dental work, or other objects that may get in the way of the procedure.
- If you are asked to remove clothing you will be given a gown to wear.
- If you are to have an MRI with contrast, an IV (intravenous) line will be started in your hand or arm for injection of the contrast dye.
During an MRI scan, you lie on a flatbed which is moved into the scanner. Depending on the part of your body being scanned, you will be moved into the scanner either head first or feet first.
The MRI scanner is operated by a radiographer. They control the scanner using a computer, which is in a different room from the scanner to keep it away from the magnetic field generated by the scanner.
You will be able to talk to the radiographer through an intercom and they will be able to see you through the dividing transparent screen. A squeezable bulb will be given in your hand and if you need to call the technologist you can squeeze the bulb to raise an alarm.
During the scan, the scanner will make loud tapping noises. This is the electric current in the scanner coils being turned on and off. You will be given earplugs or a headset to wear to help block out the noise from the scanner.
It is very important that you keep as still as possible during your MRI scan. The scan will last between 15 and 90 minutes, depending on the size of the area being scanned and how many images are taken.
At intervals, you may be told to hold your breath, or not to breathe for a few seconds. You will then be told when you can breathe. You should not have to hold your breath for longer than a few seconds.
If contrast dye is used, you may feel some effects when the dye is injected into the IV line. These effects include a warm flushing sensation or a feeling of coldness, a salty or metallic taste in the mouth, a brief headache, itching, or nausea. These effects usually only last for a few moments.
You should tell the technologist right away if you feel any breathing difficulties, sweating, numbness, or heart palpitations.
Once the scan is done, the table will slide out of the scanner and you will be helped off the table.
If an IV line was put in, it will be removed.
While the MRI itself causes no pain, having to lie still for the length of the procedure might cause some discomfort or pain, particularly if you’ 've recently been injured or had surgery. The technologist will use all possible comfort measures and complete the procedure as quickly as possible to reduce any discomfort or pain.
On occasion, some people with a metal filling in their teeth may experience some slight tingling of the teeth during the procedure.
What is the Safety procedure during MRI Scan??
An MRI scan is a painless and safe procedure. You may find it uncomfortable if you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces), but with support from the radiographer, most people find this manageable. Sometimes going into the scanner feet first may be easier, although this is not always possible.
MRI scans do not involve exposing the body to X-ray radiation. This means people who may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of radiation, such as pregnant women and babies, can use them if necessary.
However, not everyone can have an MRI scan. For example, they are not always possible for people who have certain types of implants fitted, such as a pacemaker(a battery-operated device that helps control an irregular heartbeat).
Extensive research has been carried out into whether the magnetic fields and radio waves used during MRI scans could pose a risk to the human body. No evidence to suggest that there is a risk that has been found, which means that MRI is one of the safest medical procedures currently available.
Can paediatric patients receive an MRI?
Yes children can receive an MRI. Parents can accompany their children into the scan room with the child during the MRI exam. Some children may need sedation and the radiologists work closely with the anesthetists for meeting this unique need.
Should I take medications on the day of my MRI?
Yes, patients can continue taking all medications as prescribed by their physicians before their MRI. Patients should let their technologists know what medications they have taken prior to their MRI scan.
Can I eat before my MRI?
Patients will receive individual instructions about eating from a member of the MRI department prior to their scan.
How should I dress for my MRI?
Patients should dress in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing without metal snaps or zippers. All valuables should be left at home. Jewelry, glasses, hearing aids, dentures, hairpins, credit cards, coins, keys, and other metal objects need to be removed.
Will I receive an intravenous contrast during my MRI?
Depending on the type of exam, patients may receive a contrast agent intravenously (IV). Contrast mediums or contrast agents are safe injections used to highlight organs and blood vessels to produce a better image for the radiologist. If your physician or radiologist has determined that an IV contrast will improve your MRI scan's result you will receive an IV contrast through a vein in the arm or hand.
If contrast scans are to be done blood test results are needed. Blood tests needed are blood urea and serum creatinine.
For all lactating / Nursing mothers MRI
The intravenous MRI Gadolinium-based contrast agent that we use for your MRI is excreted in very low concentration in human breast milk. Further, babies who drink this milk absorb very little of the contrast agent. There is no evidence that this small amount is harmful to your baby. There is no evidence that it is necessary to stop breastfeeding after contrast injection.
If you still have safety concerns about your baby receiving your breast milk, you may elect not to breast-feed for 24 hours after the administration of this MRI contrast agent. During these 24 hours, you can express (pump) and discard the milk from both your breasts.
If you decide to withhold breast feeding for 24 hours, you are encouraged to prepare for this by expressing and saving your breast milk before your scheduled MRI appointment.
What equipments are used?
We make use of state of the art:
- 3.0 Tesla GE discovery 750 which is a top notch MRI scanner with a host of diagnostic application.
- 1.5 Tesla Siemens Magneto Avanto machine which has innovative application for each part of the body.
What is a CT scan?
CT is short for ‘computerized tomography’ scan. The scan in very simple terms is essentially a computerized composite of a number of X-rays that have been taken from various angles. This generates a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the scanned patient. A CT scan shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X – rays. In an emergency, it can show internal injuries and bleed quickly.
Ct scan may be done with or without “contrast”. Contrast is a substance taken by mouth or injected into an intervenous (IV) line. It causes the particular organ or tissue under study to show up more clearly on the scan.
How do I get ready for CT scan?
Your health care provider will explain the procedure to you and ask if you have any questions.
If your CT scan involves the use of contrast dye, you will be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear.
Tell your health care provider about all medicines (prescribed and over-the-counter), vitamins, herbs, and supplements that you are taking.
Tell the technologists if you have ever had a reaction to any contrast dye, or if you are allergic to iodine.
Tell the technologist if you are pregnant or think you may be.
Based on your health condition, your health care provider may request other specific preparations.
Should I do anything special to prepare for a CT scan?
How you prepare for a CT scan depends on which part of your body is being scanned. You may be asked to remove your clothing and wear a hospital gown. You’ll need to remove any metal objects, such as jewelry, that might interfere with image results. Some CT scans require you to drink a contrast liquid before the scan or have contrast injected into a vein in your arm during the scan. A contrast medium blocks X-rays and appears white on images, which can help emphasize blood vessels, bowel, or other structures. If your test involves a contrast medium, your doctor may ask you to fast for a few hours before the test.
Can I take my medicine before a CT scan?
Yes, please take medicines before the CT scan, with the exception of diabetic medicines. Consult your physician before the test for instructions.
How long will it take to do a CT scan?
The scan itself may take less than a minute on the newest machines. Most scans take just a few minutes to complete. For a few studies depending on the preparation needed the exam may last longer than an hour.
Will the radiation that I receive from the CT scan hurt me?
CT scans are similar to those of conventional X-rays. During the CT scan, you’re briefly exposed to radiation. Our studies, protocols and our newly acquired machine makes sure our patients receive the lowest dose of radiation. Having the very latest equipment allows for studies to be done quicker which also lowers radiation exposure.
What will I experience during and after the procedure?
During the CT scan, you lie on a narrow table that slides through the opening of the gantry. You may lie on your back, side or stomach, depending on the area to be scanned. The table can be raised or lowered. Straps and pillows may help you stay in position. During a CT scan of the head, the table may be fitted with a special cradle that holds your head still. CT scans are painless. If your exam involves use of an intravenous contrast medium, you may feel a brief sensation of heat or experience a metallic taste in your mouth.
If you receive the contrast medium through an enema — to help highlight your lower gastrointestinal
region — you may feel a sense of fullness or cramping. After the exam, you can return to your normal routine.
If you were given a contrast medium, your doctor, a nurse or the CT technologist performing the scan may give you special instructions. You may be asked to wait for a short time in the radiology department to ensure that you feel well after the exam. After the scan, you’ll likely be told to drink lots of fluids to help your kidneys remove the medium from your body.
Will I have to take a CT contrast or dye, and can I be allergic to it?
It depends on which part of your body is being scanned. Although rare, the contrast medium used in a CT scan poses a slight risk of allergic reaction. Most reactions are mild and result in hives or itchiness. For people with asthma who become allergic to the contrast medium, the reaction can be an asthma attack. In rare instances, an allergic reaction can be serious and potentially life-threatening — including swelling in your throat or other areas of your body. If you experience hives, itchiness or swelling in your throat during or after your CT exam, immediately tell your technologist or doctor.
If you’ve had a reaction to a contrast medium in the past, and you need a diagnostic test that may require a contrast medium again, inform your doctor. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have kidney problems since contrast material that’s injected into a vein is removed from your body by your kidneys and could potentially cause further damage to your kidneys. If you have had a prior reaction to contrast media or have asthma or allergies, there’s an increased risk of a reaction to the contrast medium. Diabetes, asthma, heart disease, kidney problems or certain thyroid conditions may increase your risk of a reaction to contrast media.
You will need to have someone accompanying you for contrast CT scans.
If contrast dye was used, you may be watched for a period for any side effects or reactions to the contrast dye, such as itching, swelling, rash, or trouble breathing.
If you notice any pain, redness, or swelling at the IV site after you go home, tell your health care provider. This could be a sign of infection or other types of reaction.
Otherwise, there is no special type of care needed after CT scan.
Will I need someone to drive for me after the CT scan?
No, the CT scan is a safe test that will not affect your ability to drive.
What equipment do you use?
Here at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, we make use of
Special instructions for contrast CT scans
- The latest high end, state of art 512 slices GE revolution CT with many advanced features.
- The more advanced Siemens 256 slice ‘dual source CT’ which allows doctors to examine the subject in far greater detail than with the normal type of CT scanner.
Do not eat solid food for 4 hours prior to the appointment time. You may drink clear fluids up until 30 minutes prior to the appointment time.
Please provide the blood test result/echocardiography results to the CT receptionist.
If you don’t have we will need to take blood tests/echocardiography.
The blood tests are:
- Blood urea.
- Serum creatinine.
In an emergency, when contrast CT abdomen or CT thorax is necessary the scan is taken without the blood tests / echocardiography.
Special instructions for an abdominal (stomach) or pelvic CT
You will need to arrive one hour prior to your scheduled appointment time for oral preparation. You will drink several portions of oral contrast or water during a specific time in the hour leading up to your scan.
The 60 minute oral contrast preparation is
- Drink 450 ml 60 minutes before your scan.
- Drink 300 ml 30 minutes before your scan.
- Drink 150 ml immediately before your scan.
Alternately, water will be used as an oral preparation, the 60 minute water preparation is
For all lactating / Nursing mothers CT
- Drink 480 ml 60 minutes before scan.
- Drink 480 ml 30 minutes before scan.
- Drink 480 ml immediately before scan.
The intravenous iodine-based contrast agent that we use for your CT is excreted in very low concentration in human breast milk. Further, babies who drink this milk absorb very little of the contrast agent. There is no evidence that this small amount is harmful to your baby. There is no evidence that it is necessary to stop breastfeeding after contrast injection.
If you still have safety concerns about your baby receiving your breast milk, you may elect not to breast-feed for 24 hours after the administration of this CT contrast agent. During these 24 hours, you can express (pump) and discard the milk from both your breasts.
If you decide to withhold breastfeeding for 24 hours, you are encouraged to prepare for this by expressing and saving your breast milk before your scheduled CT appointment.
Special instruction for CT guided biopsy
You will need to fill out a questionnaire through the CT scheduling office. In addition, we will need to take blood tests before your biopsy. The blood tests are
- Prothrombin time (PT).
- Partial thromboplastin time (PTT).
- Platelet count (PLT).
- International normalized ration (INR).
- Serum creatinine.
- Blood Urea.
On the day of your scheduled biopsy: Do not eat solid food for 6 hours priors to the appointment time. You may drink clear liquids up until 30 minutes prior to the appointment time (unless otherwise instructed).
You will need to have someone with you during a CT guided biopsy. All biopsies are scheduled for a two hour period, but the length of procedure may be longer or shorter. After the biopsy, you will be sent to a recovery area in the radiology department for approximately two to size hours.
You will be asked to sign a consent from that gives permission to do the procedures. Read the form carefully and ask questions if anything is not dear.
What is a mammogram?
With breast cancer
becoming among the most common forms of cancer, and incidents on the rise, mammograms are increasingly becoming important. New screening tests, performed in a timely manner, are saving thousands of lives. Mammograms are essentially x rays of the breasts. In it, the breast is flattened between two plates before imaging. Digital mammography does away with the need for film and records the scans digitally. This allows analysis by both physicians as well as computers. In addition, it reduces the patient’s exposure to radiation by as much as 25%.
Mammograms allow radiologists to look for breast lumps and changes in breast tissue. They can show small lumps or growths that may not be felt during a clinical breast exam.
How do I get ready for my mammogram?
Some general guidelines include:
Is the mammogram going to hurt?
- Before your mammogram, discuss any new findings or problems in your breasts with clinician or Ob/Gyn clinician. In addition,inform your clinician of any prior surgeries, hormone use, and family or personal history of breast cancer
- Make your appointment for one week after your period, when your breasts are less likely to be tender
- Bring previous mammograms, breast sonograms, and reports to your appointment so that they are available to the radiologist, who needs the prior information in order to make comparisons to your current mammogram
- Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam. Inform the technologist of your previous breast history
- Don’t wear deodorant, perfume, lotion, or powder under your arms or on your breasts on the day of your appointment, as these can cause shadows on the mammogram
- If you have breast implants, be sure to tell your mammography facility when you make your appointment
Adequate compression is necessary for the radiologist to see the breast tissue better. Compression of the breast also lowers the radiation dose. Women who have tender breasts may experience discomfort. If you are afraid or nervous about feeling pain during your mammogram please discuss this with the technologist before the examination. The technologist will work with you to make you as comfortable as possible while still taking good-quality images.
How is a mammogram done?
The radiological technician places one breast at a time between two plastic plates, which press the breast to flatten it. You will feel pressure and possibly some discomfort for a few seconds. The flatter your breast is, the better the picture. Usually, two pictures are taken of each breast, one from the side and one from above. Screening ultrasound of breasts may be done following the mammogram. A screening mammogram appointment takes about 1 hour from start to finish.
How often should I get a mammogram?
- Women 40 years and older: Yearly screening.
- Women who have had breast cancer or other breast problems or who have a family history of breast cancer might need to start getting mammograms before age 40, or they might need them more often
American cancer society and US preventive services task force guidelines.
What is an ultrasound?
You’ve probably heard of the term ultrasound and seen some fuzzy looking images but you may not be sure what it really is. Ultrasounds are basically sound waves of frequencies which are higher than what is audible to humans. It is used in a host of fields to for identifying objects and even measuring distances. In medicine, ultrasound imaging or sonography is used to create images of the internals of the body. They are most commonly used to monitor pregnancy. Since it uses sound waves, there is no radiation at all. Typical ultrasounds produce flat images while new technology allows for even 3D images. They are taken in real time and are a huge boon to diagnostics.
How is it performed?
The individual being examined is either seated comfortably, or lies on a cot depending on the area to be examined. It may be necessary for you to assume a particular position, to allow access to the area of concern. A gel is applied to the skin and a transducer (or probe) is placed on it. It emits high frequency sounds which are transmitted to the gel and then the inside of the body. As the sounds bounce back, the probe ‘collects’ them and the computer uses the information to create an image.
What are the risks?
Ultrasound uses non-ionizing radiation and is extremely safe.
Why does the bladder need to be full for a pelvic exam?
A full bladder moves the intestines out of the way so that we can adequately visualize the pelvic structures especially the uterus and ovaries.
Why do I have to fast for my abdominal ultrasound?
This decreases the amount of gas in the abdomen and allows the gallbladder to be adequately visualized. The gallbladder contracts when you eat or drink.
Why is it better to schedule my abdominal or RUQ ultrasound in the morning?
Your abdomen has the least amount of gas in the morning.
Is ultrasound better than other modalities?
Not necessarily. Each modality images differently. Sometimes it is necessary to image with different modalities for the best diagnosis. An ultrasound is what your doctor’s office has ordered at this time.
Can I have a transvaginal exam while I am still on my period?
Yes, but if you are uncomfortable in any way we would be happy to reschedule your appointment.
I am under age 25, why am I having an ultrasound of my breast instead of a mammogram?
It is best to start with an ultrasound (no radiation) first. Women under the age of 30 also have very dense breasts, which makes mammography very difficult to interpret. If the radiologist feels that a mammogram is necessary, we will then proceed with mammography.
What equipment do you use?
At Sri Ramakrishna Hospital we use top-of-the-line ultrasound machines from GE and Phillips.
Digital radiography is the modern equivalent of x-ray imaging. In it, the images which are ordinarily captured on an x-ray film, are captured digitally instead. The image is generated within minutes and the film can be shared with physicians from remote locations instantly.
Digital radiography uses sensors instead of film and the cassette used in computed radiography. It also makes use of a lower dose of radiation than Computed Radiography (CR). At Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, we use the very latest technology to give our patients the best possible care and it is no different in this department.