One of the more complex areas of the body that we image here at Open Upright MRI is the brain. We have a few different protocols for imaging the brain, and one of the ways we determine which protocol is better suited for the patient is by taking a good history. We sit down with each patient before each exam and ask some specific questions that help us figure out the best way to scan your brain in the open MRI. The ordering physicians are sometimes specific about which protocol they want, and sometimes we can figure out what we need by reading the diagnosis provided by the ordering physician.
Even if they provide specifics, we screen each patient and obtain historical information to insure safety and provide important information to the radiologist that will interpret your open MRI of the brain.
To Use Contrast Or Not to Use Contrast
Some protocols request the use of contrast material that help see certain pathologies better. There are some risks involved, so please address any concerns that you may have about contrast with your technologist. Some people require a renal function test to check their kidneys to be sure the use of contrast materials are in the patient’s best interest. This just requires a simple blood test that takes only seconds to get the result.
What to Expect During the Brain MRI
Once it is time for your open MRI of the brain procedure, you will be asked to sit in a chair and we will put a device around your head that takes images. This apparatus is not constricting. It only needs to surround your head to obtain your images. You can see out of it and watch TV during your scan. Typically, an open MRI of the brain lasts about 30 minutes. Some of the protocols that require contrast material can last up to 45 minutes. Patients that get the best results remain very relaxed and still during the entire procedure. Open MRI’s of the brain are very susceptible to any movement and can easily become blurry with any movement by the patient. If this occurs, your technologist may come into the room and inform you that they are getting motion artifact on your images and encourage you to be as still as possible. We realize that some patients may not be able to remain perfectly still, but we still try to encourage everyone to do their best so that they can get the best open MRI of the brain possible. If you have any questions about open MRI of the brain, feel free to call ahead of time or address them to your technologist. We hope your open MRI of the brain experience is as good as it can be, and we look forward to helping you in any way we can.