We picked out the 5 most common questions our patients have before getting an MRI or a CT scan.
1.My doctor has prescribed a scan with contrast – what is it and why is it required?
If you have been recommended a MRI or a CT examine, your specialist may sometimes ask for a scan with contrast. A contrast is nothing but a liquid dye that is usually injected into your veins or administered orally.
This dye helps to highlight feature the inner parts of your body, giving the specialists a more clear picture of irritation, organs, body structures and veins.Sounds scary? It’s not – in fact, it’s a very common and painless procedure – so don’t worry!
Plus, scans with contrast produce clearer pictures, helping you get a more accurate diagnosis.
2.What is the duration of the scan?
The duration of your scan depends on what kind of scan you need. The average duration of a CT scan is 5-15 minutes, while the duration of an MRI is around 7 – 20 minutes. If you need to have a CT scan in Bangalore with contrast, you will be given a contrast agent to drink approximately 45 minutes prior to the scan.
At Star Imaging, we constantly update the patient on the amount of time remaining for the scan, especially in the case of our (3T) MRI scans.
3.Any important instructions before I undergo an MRI?
Since the MRI scanner consists of a very powerful magnet, following safety precautions is crucial. Make sure you remove ALL metal items from your body, including jewellery, piercings, watches, keychains, mobile phones, etc. This is because the magnet attracts metal items toward it at great speed, putting you at high risk for injury. Before the examination, you will be asked to change into the hospital gown provided, and if you need a contrast dye, you will be administered one.
Make sure you strictly follow the staff’s instructions and get your doubts clarified immediately. If you have a pacemaker or other electrical implants, notify the staff without fail – these items cannot be taken inside the MRI room. Most cardiac stents are now MRI-compatible, so these shouldn’t be a cause for concern. To ensure utmost safety, do not go into any scanning room without a nurse or qualified staff member.
4.Any important instructions to be followed for a CT scan?
Unlike the MRI machine, the CT scanner does not have a magnet – however, you should still not wear or carry any metal items while getting scanned, since these items may interfere with the scan quality and necessitate a repeat scan. In the case of CT scans, a serum creatinine report is mandatory for patients above the age of 40. If you’re getting a scan with contrast dye, you will be asked to fast for 3 hours prior to the procedure. The dye will be administered 45 minutes before the scan. Many patients worry about side effects from the contrast agent – however, complications are rare and can be taken care of easily.
Some patients may experience loose bowel movements for 24 hours post the scan, but this will pass soon.
Consistently, ensure that you follow the staff’s instructions; and do not go anywhere unaccompanied.
5.When can I get my reports?
A CD of your scan will be available 20 minutes post the procedure. The hard copy of your report will be given only after 4-5 hours, because the scan pictures have to be analyzed and interpreted by our radiologists.
A soft copy of the report will also be emailed to you, within 4-5 hours. You will receive an SMS notification when your reports are ready.