Thursday, March 4, 2010 I don't like having an MRI

That's almost always the first question I get asked about the procedure when I have to have it done. Here are all your MRI questions answered (as far as a head scan goes):

They are not fun. First thing I do is check in, fill out gobs of paperwork (even though I've had this same procedure done multiple times) and put on those stylish hospital pajamas. I've gotten to the point where I don't where any jewelry because ALL metal has to be removed. Wearing metal while in a giant magnet is NOT a good idea and a mistake I have made only once and never repeated--fortunately there were no explosions :)

Next, they stick me with an I.V. Halfway through the MRI contrast dye is added because my procedure is always with and without contrast.

Finally it's into the tube, and I mean tube. Those nice, open, big machines that you see on t.v. are nothing like the one i get squeezed into. This pic is fairly accurate:

Add to that, because it is a head scan I also get to wear the cool "darth vader" mask: See full size image

These masks also have little stabilizers they place against your face to keep you from moving your head. SO, earplugs are in, because MRIs are LOUD (quick sample here--turn down volume): , Vader mask is on, panic button in hand, and hopefully I'm on the board enough that I'm not going to fall off the sides. I get slid into the tube (see above pic) and the MRI starts. I get about 20 minutes of those wonderful sounds before they pull me out to inject contrast then about another 10 minutes of sci-fi noises and the procedure is done!

Results take 24-48 hours to get to my doctor (unless they discover a walnut sized tumor than they tend to let you know the same day) and I find out results at next appointment with him. Currently my doc is Dr. Wilson. He runs the Cyberknife program here in Austin which is a pretty amazing technology. Check it out:

Hope this has answered some questions and if you have to have one done and are a little nervous check out the site below or ask me questions :)

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