The most often requested exam here at Open Upright MRI is the MRI lumbar spine exam. We hope this article helps you understand what to expect when having an open MRI of the lumbar spine.
Before Your MRI Lumbar Spine Exam
Upon arrival, the patient will fill out important screening and history forms. After that, the patient will be called back, offered a chance at the restroom, and then potentially asked to change their clothes. If you would like to avoid having to change, you can wear clothes with no metal on them (elastic sports bra, sweats, gym shorts, etc.). In that case, you would only need to lock up items such as a watch, purse, wallet etc. before having your exam.
Once you’re dressed and your items have been locked up, the technologist will sit down with you to discuss anything you have included in your paperwork that they may have questions. During this time they will also explain the details and duration of your lumbar spine MRI. If contrast is required, bloodwork may be necessary to determine if your kidney function is within normal range. If so, we will go ahead and start an IV to do the bloodwork. This same IV will be used for the injection of contrast for your MRI of the lumbar spine. After the bloodwork is done, the patient will be taken into the room to start the MRI lumbar spine exam.
In most cases, this type of MRI is done seated in an upright MRI imaging position. In some instances, a patient’s condition may require them to lie down in a reclined position, however, this is rare. The exam itself will usually take between 25-45 minutes. Please keep in mind that it may take longer if contrast is ordered. It is very important not to move during the open MRI exam. Moving causes motion on the images and repeat pictures must be performed. In some cases, the exam would need to be restarted if the patient has moved from their original position.
After Your MRI
After completion of your open MRI, the technologist will let you know that your exam is finished and that it is okay for you to move. Our staff will assist you and help you up if needed and do everything they can to make you feel as comfortable as possible. We hope this information is helpful in preparing you for your open MRI of the lumbar spine experience. We look forward to serving you.