Common MRI Questions

Common MRI Questions

Millions of MRIs are prescribed each year yet many patients still have concerns regarding MRI. We’ve compiled thousands of patient conversations to identify the top concerns and misconceptions and answer them. 

  • “I will suddenly get claustrophobic”

An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. During your MRI, you will lie inside the tube while the machine rotates around you. Some people find the experience relaxing while others experience some discomfort. If you have experienced claustrophobia before, there is a chance it will occur during your MRI. If that’s the case, your doctor can write you a prescription for a mild sedative (usually Ativan) or you can schedule an open MRI. Open MRIs are exactly how they sound, they are more open scans that decrease patients’ feelings of claustrophobia.

  • “I’m worried about radiation exposure”

Unlike X-rays, CTs, and PET scans, MRIs do not use radiation. Instead, MRIs use a strong magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures of your body. Because MRI machines do not use x-rays or other radiation, it is the imaging machine of choice when frequent imaging is required for diagnosis or therapy.

  • “There’s a lot of preparation”

Most MRI exams require minimal preparation for the patient. Certain scans such as abdominal or pelvis may require fasting. Disclosing certain medical history is vital to the success of the scan and more importantly, the health of the patient. Patients should always inform the imaging center if they have a pacemaker, are pregnant, have any sort of metal in their body, diabetes, claustrophobia, or allergies to iodine. These conditions may impact one’s ability to get an MRI scan.

  • “I have to be completely still for a long time”

A general rule is the MRI scan takes 45 minutes per body part. Remaining still during the MRI exam is a critical part of its success. Being unable to remain still will negatively affect image quality. Often, excessive movements result in needing a repeat MRI scan. 

  • “It’ll break the bank”

This is the easiest misconception to debunk. While some MRIs and other medical imaging may cost thousands of dollars, you can often find a lower-cost provider without sacrificing quality or outcomes by shopping around. 20 minutes of calling or searching online could save you hundreds. Cheaper MRIs usually don’t result in lower quality or bad patient experiences. Medmo works to help you secure the lowest possible cost for your next imaging scan; whether you are using insurance or self-pay, we’ve got you covered. 

To book a scan, visit us at 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. 


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