MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. An MRI scan uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to take pictures of the inside of your body. It helps physicians screen for critical health issues such as cardiovascular and neurovascular disease, certain cancers and more.
How Do MRI Machines Work?
MRI machines are fascinating pieces of technology. Using a strong magnetic field and radio waves, these machines can generate images of body parts that can’t be clearly seen by other devices such as X-ray or CT scans.
Since the human body is mainly water, our bodies are filled with hydrogen atoms.
These hydrogen atoms spin randomly until they are placed in a magnetic field, i.e. the magnetic field from the machine. These spinning atoms then line up in the direction of the magnetic field. The magnets in the machine can be switched on and off to adjust the direction of the atoms’ spin. Put simply, as the atoms spin, they emit a radio signal which is detected by the MRI’s scanner. These signals are measured and produce an image.
Since our bodies don’t feel any of this activity taking place, MRI procedures are painless.
Are mri machines safe?
MRI machines are safe for most patients. The process is painless, albeit a bit noisy. However, not all patients should be imaged using MRI. Because of the magnetic field created by the MRI machine, it could be risky for patients with any metal implant such as a pacemaker, cochlear implant, artificial joints, or metal screws and plates.
Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRI machines do not use radiation. Additionally, MRI machines can see parts of the body that cannot be easily seen with an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan. Of course, CT scans are valuable tools for detecting cancers and imaging patients with metal implants. However, it is easier to spot the differences between normal and abnormal tissue with an MRI machine. It is especially valuable in the area of sports injuries.
Dr. Mirza uses only the best technology. That’s why we’re proud to use the Siemens Magnatom Aera MRI machine with 1.5 Tesla system. This top of the line machine has 50% higher productivity, meaning higher resolution images and shorter scan times for the patient.
The Magnatom Aera is designed with your comfort in mind. It supports up to 550 pounds, has a 70cm Open Bore (ideal for patients who don’t like tight spaces), and has music and headphone capabilities, so you can drown out the loud noise the machine produces.