Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The MRI Scan Experience

*Not my brain -- borrowed from

Yesterday, I had my MRI scan to rule out a pituitary adenoma. I had never experienced an MRI scan before so this was a brand new experience. I thought I would make a post to document what the experience was like. 

When I made the appointment, the MRI office mailed me a packet of paperwork to complete. Due to the strong magnetic field used to create the images, I had to verify that I had no wire implants, mesh, or other metal pieces that would potentially dislodge or otherwise be affected by the strong magnetic field. I do have a metal wire bonded to my bottom teeth (permanent retainer from when I had braces) but called in advance to make sure the bonded wire would not present a problem. I was also instructed to not wear any clothing with metal zippers, buckles or fibers. I opted for a dress (no zipper).

Once I arrived, the tech informed me the scan would be performed both with and without contrast. My doctor who ordered the test told me it was just without contrast so this was a bit of a surprise. I was then situated on the MRI table. My head was placed in a sort of metal bowl. A cage was then placed over my head to immobilize my head for the scan. Two pads were added to either side of my face to hold my head in the same position throughout the scan. While I couldn't move my head, the cage had large holes so I could still see.

The scan took about 90 minutes in total. The first 60 minutes were without contrast. The MRI machine is very loud with buzzing, clanging and chirping sounds and the tech forgot to turn on the music in the room for the first 30 minutes. Without the music, time seemed to drag by while I focused on trying not to move. Then the nurse came in to insert an IV with the contrast solution. After the contrast, I had a bit of vertigo -- try lying completely still while feeling dizzy! Luckily the dizziness subsided fairly quickly.

I was provided with a CD copy of my images to take to the reproductive endocrinologist. I'll update in a few days after my doctor's appointment to share what we learned from the MRI.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for documenting your MRI experience and sharing it with others. Getting an MRI can be stressful and sometimes scary. Often, the procedure is necessary and can provide good insights into what might be causing your medical problems. I bet having music playing really did help to pass the time instead of having to listen to a noisy machine!