Are MRI Scans Safe? And What Do They Show?


MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is one of the many forms of diagnosis used by doctors daily. Thousands of MRI scans are conducted each year in hospitals around the world. After all, MRI scans are resourceful and safe. 

But if you are on the fence about its safety, we are here to clear the air. In this blog post, the Mermaid Beach Radiology on the Gold Coast will explain the safety of MRI scans and what they show? So keep reading to learn more. 

What is An MRI Scan?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI is a test that uses powerful radio waves, magnets, and a computer to diagnose the inside of your body. Your doctor can prescribe an MRI scan to see how well your body responds to a particular treatment. Unlike X-rays and Computer Tomography (CT scans), MRIs don’t use harmful radiations. 

As with all medical tests, it’s perfectly natural for patients to worry about their safety. MRI scans are no exception. These sentiments are often shared by the prescribing doctor as well. After all, your doctor has to weigh in the pros and cons of everything before prescribing. So here is a look at the safety of MRI scans. 

Are MRI Scans Safe?

Like most radiological tests, MRI uses powerful radio waves to create pictures of your body. Specifically, MRI scans use a strong magnetic field to achieve this purpose. The strong magnetic field and radio waves from the MRI machine obtain signals from your body. Much like a connection between an antenna and a radio. 

Fortunately, MRI scans use radio waves. For this reason, MRI scans are considered safe. However, a deeper look into the subject will help clear underlying questions and concerns. 

If It’s Safe, Why Do I Have to Go Through a Safety Questionnaire?

Asking too many questions raises suspicions, which can lead to stress and panic for most patients. MRI scans are completely safe, and they don’t cause pain or discomfort. The human body absorbs more radiation under the sun than through an MRI machine. 

However, the need to ask safety questions is to prevent unexpected medical emergencies. Since an MRI machine is a powerful magnet, it’s crucial to keep metal away. That is why your radiographer will ask if you have any metal implants in your body. Plus, you’ll be asked to remove all metal items. You’ll change into a loose dress provided by the radiographer because you can’t wear jeans or anything that has metal in it. 

What If I Have Metal In My Body?

It’s not to say that all metal in the human body prevents an MRI scan. There are many people with metal dental fillings and braces who have undergone an MRI scan. They haven’t faced before, during, or after an MRI scan. 

However, it’s crucial to tell the radiographer if you have metal parts in your body. This will allow your radiographer to change their technique and assess all the risks. The only medical device that prevents an MRI is a cardiac pacemaker. Many radiology clinics are unable to conduct an MRI scan on patients with a cardiac pacemaker. 

But technology has evolved, and there are few places where MRIs have been successful on people with pacemakers. However, it’s important to tell your doctor that you have a pacemaker. If it’s possible, your doctor won’t prescribe an MRI test unless it’s absolutely necessary. 

What Does an MRI Show?

Nearly every part of the human body can be studied through an MRI scan. Doctors use MRI scans to study brain anomalies, spinal cord injuries, and other serious problems. Here is what an MRI scan shows. 

  • Head and Neck 

MRI scans can be used to detect brain problems and causes of chronic headaches. This scan can detect brain tumours, infection, dementia, stroke, and all forms of brain diseases. 

  • Arteries and Veins 

MRI can detect blockage of blood vessels, leading to other diseases such as aneurysms and carotid artery disease. 

  • Spine

MRI scans can accurately detect changes in bone structure. Therefore, your physician can tell if your spinal cord bones have moved from their position. 

  • Other Parts of the Body

An MRI scan is capable of assessing other parts of the body as well. Your doctor can prescribe an MRI test to check if a particular treatment has any effects on your condition. 

Ending Note 

MRI scans can be intimidating at first, but you won’t be afraid once you know the procedure. Some patients are claustrophobic; therefore, they are sedated before the procedure. MRI is a painless process without any moving parts that might scare you. Just relax and walk in with confidence. 


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