If your doctor has recommended a Pelvic MRI, there are a few things you'll want to know and do before committing to this simple routine. There are many MRIs that have been done recently to diagnose a variety of different illnesses. The technology behind conducting MRI exams has also improved over time, so there is no need to be anxious about having one done. There are a few steps you will want to take to make sure you're fully prepared on the day of your examination. This article will cover the basics that you'll want to know before committing to the MRI scan.
The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam was developed to allow doctors to get a glimpse inside of your body without cutting into you. This machine will use a combination of magnets and radio waves to create a series of images of what is going on inside of your body. As the MRI passes down your body, it takes snapshots of a cross-section for your body's frame. This means that it can see inside of every part of your body, even your brain and stomach. For a Pelvic MRI, the doctors will primarily be focusing on your midsection. After running a scan that covers at least this part of your body, they can use it to further diagnose any illness you may have.
Reasons for a Pelvic MRI
If your doctor suggests that you get a pelvic MRI, you may be wondering why you need this examination. There could be a variety of reasons, so make sure that you talk to your doctor to understand why this is happening. You may have exhibited certain symptoms that are warning signs to many doctors. These symptoms could include urinary tract bleeding that produces discoloration in your bodily wastes. It may also include gastrointestinal pain or discomfort that you have been feeling on a regular basis. You may also have recently had some trauma to your hip area that has caused some sort of internal injury.
Realize that the pelvic MRI is just one of many steps your doctor will take to diagnose your illness. You may be afraid that the results will indicate that you have colon or pancreatic cancer. Though this is a serious illness, taking the pelvic MRI exam may help the doctor decide on a course of treatment. If cancer is suspected, they may also want to conduct a breast MRI exam. This is a routine test done for many women, since breast MRI exams can detect whether the cancer is spreading. If the breast MRI exam concludes that you have a metastatic form of cancer, you will need to decide on a course of treatment as soon as possible.
Preparing for a Pelvic MRI
Once you have a date set for this exam, you’ll want to begin the preparations that will let your MRI go more smoothly. You will always want to let the doctor know if you have had any surgical implants before you have this exam done. The MRI is a powerful magnetic device, which means that it can attract metal pieces from within your body. As a safety precaution, it is best to let the doctor know about these implants so he/she may change the way the MRI is conducted. They might opt to simply scan part of your body that won't interfere with the metal pieces that are located elsewhere in your body.
Typically, the doctor will ask that you do not consume any food or liquid immediately prior to the Pelvic MRI exam. Food substances can block their view of your pelvic area while the machine is taking images inside of you. Let the doctor know if you have a particular fear of enclosed spaces or any other form of claustrophobia that should be considered. They may be able to give you a sedative that will reduce your anxiety and help you get a good night's rest before the exam. You should always take off any metal jewelry or other objects from your body before getting into the MRI machine.
What to Expect During a Pelvic MRI
When you sit down on the table and are waiting for the test to begin, you may be wondering what it is like to receive an MRI exam. The process is quite simple and won't require much activity on your part. Typically, the process will ask you to lie flat on a board that will be moved into a chamber. You will be inserted into a tube that is inside of the MRI examination machine. This will allow the magnetic field and radio waves to pass through your body while the exam is in session. In turn, this will generate a complete picture of your insides for your doctor to look over as they attempt to diagnose your illness.
It is important to note that you should not feel any pain while the MRI exam is in session. The tube may be somewhat tight, depending on the size of the patient’s body. The doctors will continue to communicate with you via an intercom system that is inside of the MRI. If you experience any distress while the exam is in session, feel free to tell the doctors any time. The total experience should not take more than a half hour, especially if the Pelvic MRI will only be scanning one section of your body.
What to Expect After a Pelvic MRI
Once your doctor has the results, he/she will look them over to determine a diagnosis for your condition. Though you may feel apprehensive waiting for these results, realize that it will help you in the long run to have an accurate picture for your disease. Abnormal results on the MRI exam could mean a lot of things and may actually generate several possible diagnoses.
Whether you have just the Pelvic MRI or a Breast MRI as well, give your doctor time to make an accurate conclusion based on the results. You'll want to ensure that the diagnosis is correct before you proceed to your treatment options. No matter what the diagnosis is, there will almost always be a course of action to take. So don't worry about what may come out of the Pelvic MRI exam. Just focus on what you can do with this valuable scientific information about your condition.