FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What should I take with me to the examination?
- An insurance card from a health insurance company;
- A valid identity card or passport;
- A request for examination confirmed by the referring specialist doctor;
- Previous findings (USG, X-ray, CT, MR) or medical history.
Is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) safe?
After years of experience with this technology, it can be said that MRI is safe and generally provides much more detailed images than other imaging methods. The main advantage of MRI is that it does not use X-rays so the patient is not exposed to radiation.
Does MRI require special preparation?
We recommend refraining from eating two hours prior to MRI due to possible contrast medium administration. You can drink liquids, we recommend clear and still water. For small pelvis MRI, we recommend drinking 0.5 l of water 30 minutes
before MRI. It is desirable to have full bladder for more accurate examination.
What about taking medication?
Should I discontinue taking medication prior to MRI?
No, there is no need to change your medication before MRI. If you suffer from diabetes or epilepsy, please consult our staff in advance.
Is MRI painful?
No, MRI itself is not painful. You will only feel a needle puncture when administered a contrast medium. Some discomfort may be caused by the noise that accompanies MRI. Be prepared that you will have to lie still for some time.
What about pregnancy?
There are no known adverse effects of the magnetic field or radio-frequency waves on the foetus. Nevertheless, let us know that you are pregnant. It will be necessary to discuss the next steps with our specialists. If you are breastfeeding and you have been administered a contract medium, discontinue breastfeeding for 24 hours and drink plenty of fluids to eliminate the medium from the body as soon as possible.
What is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)?
MRI is a diagnostic method that produces images of different parts of the human body. It is particularly suitable for imaging of soft tissues and organs, such as brain, blood vessels, organs of the abdominal cavity and the small pelvis, joints and the spine. MRI produces images in any planes using fast changes in the auxiliary magnetic field and radio-frequency waves. The obtained images help to determine the cause of your problems or the diagnosis, and to start adequate, timely and correct treatment. Our MRI technology consistently belongs to the most advanced technology in Slovakia.
If you have any metal object, joint replacement, pacemaker, vascular clip, artificial heart valve, vascular replacement, stent, insulin pump, medication dispenser, removable denture, cochreal implant etc. in your body, it is necessary to inform us about this fact in advance in the questionnaire and also before the examination. If you have any of the above objects in your body, MRI can harm you or damage these objects. A larger tattoo may cause burns. Facial make-up may distort MRI images. Please do not bring valuable jewellery, weapons or pets to MRI. We ask you for your understanding with our assistant scanning you before MRI using a metal detector, like at airports. We care about your safety. If you have any questions, please consult us while waiting in the waiting room or call us a day before MRI.
What is the course of an MRI examination?
Before MRI, we ask you a few questions and ask you to fill in a questionnaire. The questionnaire is available from your doctor and you can also download it before MRI from our website www.magnetickarezonancia.sk. Please come at least 15 minutes before your appointment time. Some patients may take longer to examine than usual. Emergency patients have priority. As a result, your appointment may be delayed. We will inform you about the delay and we ask for your kind understanding and patience.
We also ask you to call or e-mail us in advance if you are unable to attend MRI or if you will be late. We will escort you from the waiting room to the changing room. We will ask you to take of some clothes depending on the nature of MRI. The MRI scanner uses a very powerful magnet, so please leave all metal objects, bank or other chip cards and your mobile phone in the changing room. Metal objects would be drawn into the scanner and could injure you or our staff, or damage the scanner. All data may be lost irretrievably from bank cards and mobile phones. Please turn off or mute your mobile phone in the changing room.
From the changing room to the examination room
We will escort you from the changing room to the examination room. You will lie down on an examination table. A radiology assistant will give you headphones. You will hear quite intense noise during MRI, similar to the sound of a pneumatic hammer or a powerful engine. These sounds are generated by changes in the magnetic field and they are not dangerous for you. They are just unpleasant. Therefore, you can ask to listen to music in the headphones during the examination. A radiology assistant will then place MRI coils on the examined part of your body and slide you into the scanner. You will have contact with the examining radiology assistant throughout the examination and you can give him/her a signal at any time using a balloon in your hand. Please squeeze the balloon only if you are sick or if there is another serious problem as the examination will be interrupted.
During some examinations, a radiology assistant may give you instructions, such as “hold your breath”, “you can breathe now” etc. The scanner looks like a tunnel open from both sides. If you feel fear of being enclosed in a space (claustrophobia) and you cannot overcome it, please inform the radiology assistant. If you cannot cope with this fear, we will deal with this problem on the spot or find an alternative examination date. During MRI, images are produced in multiple series; one series lasts 3 to 5 minutes. The scan can take 10 to 30 minutes depending on the examined area of the body.
When is a contrast medium administered?
For some examinations, it is necessary to administer a contrast medium. We will inform you about this fact in advance. The contrast medium is not identical to contrast media used in X-rays. It is much safer and rarely causes allergies. If you are allergic to anything, please let us know either by specifying your allergy in the safety questionnaire before the examination or in person. You can also inform your referring doctor about your allergy so that he/she can specify it in the request for examination.
The contrast medium is usually administered in the arm vein. It is eliminated from the body within 24 to 48 hours by urine.The contrast medium is not administered to patients with severe kidney impairment or patients who are being prepared for a liver transplant.
Please inform us about these important facts in advance. The contrast medium is administered to children under 1 year of age only if there is a serious indication as their kidney function is not fully developed.
After the examination, our doctors, who are erudite radiologists, will analyse and describe the obtained images and information. There is large amount of information. Sometimes, it is necessary to consult the obtained data with other specialists. As a result, the evaluation of images may take some time and the result of the examination may sometimes be ready in a few days. The MRI result is generally delivered to the referring doctor. If your referring doctor is connected to our software, he/she receives the results immediately after they are entered into the system by our doctor. In a rare case when you want the result delivered to you, please make an arrangement with our centre’s receptionist.