Medical imaging, like an MRI scan or CT (CAT) scan, can be intimidating which is why it’s important to discuss options with your doctor, ensuring that the benefits of the care (in this case the MRI) outweigh the costs. If your doctor has suggested or prescribed you an MRI, here are some of the possible reasons why.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in your body.
- They are a non-invasive alternative to radiation imaging
Unlike X-ray, CT, and PET scans, MRIs do not use radiation and are considered a non-invasive procedure. Because MRIs don’t use radiation, they are often a better choice for scanning sensitive areas of the body, especially reproductive organs on both males and females. But this advantage is not limited to the abdomen and pelvis, as other important areas where MRIs are used include the brain, spine, muscles, bones, and other body parts. The lack of radiation exposure and ionizing radiation is especially beneficial if you are pregnant or attempting to get pregnant. Your doctor or imaging center will discuss these options with you before your scan.
2. MRIs produce better images than other scans
MRIs use a strong magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures of your internal organs and produce clearer images compared to a CT scan. They are specifically better at creating high-quality pictures of organs and soft tissues, such as torn ligaments and herniated discs, compared to CT images. MRI contrast medium is used in about 1 in 3 MRI procedures to improve the clarity of the images or pictures of your body’s internal structures.
3. Head MRIs are effective and non-invasive
MRI is the most frequently used imaging test of the brain and spinal cord. It’s often performed to help diagnose:
- Aneurysms of cerebral vessels
- Disorders of the eye and inner ear
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord disorders
- Brain injury from trauma
A special type of MRI is the functional MRI of the brain (fMRI). It produces images of blood flow to certain areas of the brain. It can be used to examine the brain’s anatomy and determine which parts of the brain are handling critical functions.
This helps identify important language and movement control areas in the brains of people being considered for brain surgery. Functional MRI can also be used to assess damage from a head injury or from disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Medical imaging can improve outcomes
Patients are recommended to undergo medical imaging to avoid or limit more invasive procedures and return to their everyday lives faster. Peer-reviewed research confirms that medical imaging technologies improve health outcomes and save lives due to their effectiveness at early detection.
5. Lower the total cost of health care
One of the biggest concerns people have when they’ve been told that they need an MRI is how much it will cost. According to Healthcare Bluebook, the average price of an MRI in a metropolitan area ranges between $800 to $3,000. Although this cost may seem steep, scans like MRIs play a huge part in early diagnosis and correcting treatment in short-term and long-term illnesses. Receiving the right treatment at the right time can significantly lower healthcare costs as well as recovery time. There are also many ways to save on imaging costs, making your MRI cost less, with or without health insurance. Before booking an MRI, there are a few things to consider such as claustrophobia, side effects, and potential out-of-pocket costs. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about your MRI.
To book a scan, visit us at Medmo.com. Medmo helps people schedule radiology imaging tests – such as MRI, CT scans, PET, and more – at nearby accredited centers and identify the payment solution that works best for them.