You or someone you know – including characters in a TV show – might have been prescribed an MRI. But what exactly does the doctor mean when scribbling this down as instructions for your further checkups? As intimidating as it may sound, it is a simple and painless process.
The Marginal Resonance Imaging or MRI scan is an imaging test. It is used to develop images of the inner body parts. The technique uses radio waves and magnetic fields for this purpose. This makes it completely safe and risk-free.
It is divided into many types based on the area being scanned. It can be a whole-body MRI scan or limited to a specific part of the body. These include cardiac MRI, brain MRI, spine MRI, and more.
It gives precise images of your internal organs, tissues, bones, and cells. Because of this, complex operations and surgeries are performed with ease. It helps your doctor gain better insight into the condition so it can be remedied easily.
Purpose of an MRI
MRI scans take pictures of your organs to check for damages. It can also be used to check for any tumors or cysts that may be developing.
An MRI scan focused around the heart is used to check for blood vessel damage or blockage. It assists in analysing the impact of a heart attack. It also checks for any inflammation, disease, or changes in the organ structure. Moreover, MRI scans assess the effects of a stroke, problems in the joints, spinal disk issues, and even bone cancer.
Apart from this, you can run an MRI scan for any part of the body. This includes the inner ear, breasts, liver, and more. It aids the doctor in performing surgeries and obtaining a correct diagnosis.
Cost of an MRI Scan
As technology develops, doctors can provide much advanced care. However, better tools come with higher costs. MRI scans are one of the most expensive tests done for diagnosing problems. But they are also worth the price as they are safe, non-invasive, and free from radiation. As more people become equipped with the technology, newer variants of MRI machines are becoming available.
The MRI scan price can lie anywhere between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 25,000. The cost depends on the area being scanned and the city where it is done. Metro cities charge much higher prices. For instance, the average MRI scan price in Delhi is around Rs. 8,200. This can go up to Rs. 10,000 in cities like Chennai and Gurgaon. You may find more affordable prices in smaller cities. A whole-body MRI is naturally more expensive. This ranges between Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 25,000 per scan. Moreover, there is an additional charge for contrast images. These are used to differentiate blood cells or nerves and are required only in certain cases.
A further difference in the MRI scan price comes from the facility provider. Scans in a government organisation are more affordable. So if you want to save some expenses, you can opt for scans from hospitals like AIIMS. These can offer you specific MRI scans for prices as low as Rs. 1,500.
Undergoing Process of an MRI
For undergoing the MRI scan, you will have to remove any metal items. These include all jewellery, glasses, and credit cards that you may be carrying. You will also have to notify your doctor if you have a pacemaker or any other metallic attachment. This is necessary as it may cause a problem with obtaining the scan or may skew the results.
Before starting the scan, you may have to change into simpler clothing or a gown. The MRI machine is like a tunnel that has a bed-like space. The tunnel has a magnetic circle attached to it. The power of the machine is thus measured in terms of magnetic field units called Teslas.
When you lay down for the procedure, you are slid into the tunnel. You may hear buzzing sounds when the machine is turned on. Your doctor can offer you earbuds to reduce the discomfort. There is also a microphone attached to the machine so you can communicate with the professional while being scanned.
The machine sends out radio and magnetic waves to the part being examined. This process can take anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour. Scans are done in short intervals and are then compiled. The recordings are stored in computerised form and are used to display high-quality images of the internal organs.
MRI scans have revolutionised the process of diagnosing health problems. It gives high-quality and accurate images that aid proper care, helping you stay on track for quick recovery.