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What is a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI scan)?

A magnetic resonance imaging scan, also referred to as an MRI scan, is a clinical imaging technique that involves using strong magnetic fields and radio waves for generating comprehensive pictures of bodily structures. It is a non-invasive procedure offering the most valuable information linked to organs, tissues, and other body structures.

MRI scans are mainly beneficial in diagnosing and assessing a comprehensive range of medical conditions by offering images of body parts, such as the brain, spinal cord, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and organs. It helps in identifying abnormalities like tumors, infections, injuries, and other conditions that aren’t easily visible on other imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans.

MRI scans are a very secure and successful method and don’t involve using ionizing radiation. However, there are people who aren’t eligible for MRI scans because of safety reasons such as those with implanted metallic devices or certain medical conditions. Hence, it is vital to inform the medical staff about metallic implants, pacemakers, or other relevant medical conditions before undergoing an MRI scan.

MRI Scan Uses 

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans are often used in medical imaging to gather detailed and high-resolution body’s internal structures pictures. Some of the main uses of MRI scans includes:

  • Diagnosis and Evaluation: MRI scans help to diagnose and assess a wide range of medical conditions. 
  • Brain and Nervous System Disorders: MRI scans are specifically helpful in assessing the brain and nervous system disorders. 
  • Musculoskeletal System: MRI scans help to evaluate the musculoskeletal system which includes bones, joints, and soft tissues. 
  • Abdominal and Pelvic Conditions: MRI scans offer detailed images of the abdominal and pelvic regions to determine various conditions. 
  • Breast Imaging: MRI scans are also used for breast imaging, mainly in situations where mammograms or ultrasound results are inconclusive. It helps to identify breast cancer and other breast related medical conditions.
  • Vascular Imaging: MRI scans are useful in visualising blood vessels without the need for invasive procedures. It is commonly used to assess the heart, carotid arteries, and peripheral arteries.

Benefits of MRI Scans

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans offer various benefits in the medicinal and healthcare field. Some of the key benefits of MRI scans:

  • Detailed Imaging
  • Non-Invasive
  • Multi-Planar Imaging
  • Differentiation of Soft Tissues
  • Functional Imaging
  • Improved Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
  • Preoperative Planning
  • Follow-up and Monitoring
  • No Radiation Exposure for Patients
  • Safe for Most Patients

MRI Scan Preparations

There are certain steps followed before initiating an MRI scan procedure. Here are the steps followed by both the healthcare team and the patient:

  • Scheduling the appointment for an MRI scan
  • Medical history and screening
  • Pre-scan instructions
  • Removing metal objects
  • Screening for metal implants
  • Contrast dye administration 
  • Informing the healthcare team if a female is pregnant 
  • Relaxation techniques or sedation if required

What happens during an MRI scan?

There are some steps followed by a surgeon and healthcare team which includes:

  • The patient will be asked to change into a hospital dress for an MRI. 
  • In the next step, the patient has to lie face up on the MRI scan bed for evaluation and the bed will be sliding into the MRI machine.
  • After the completion of the second step, the camera equipment makes clicking sounds and begins taking pictures. 
  • The patient is asked to stay still during the process as it helps in ensuring the best image quality. 
  • It is usual for the body area to feel warm after being imaged. 
  • In the last step, an MRI technologist will see the patient and constantly talk to the patient to ensure safety. The call button is given inside so that the patient can let the team know if there is any issue or discomfort.

What happens after an MRI scan? 

If the patient is not given any sedative, then there is no requirement for the recovery period. One can go home and resume their normal routine like every day. There might be a need for a recovery period when the patient is given a sedative. Hence, it is recommended that the patient must get someone along with him/her, or else may have to rest in the hospital for some time.

Why should you choose BM Birla Heart Research Centre for an MRI scan?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre is a super speciality hospital with modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology in Kolkata. BM Birla Heart Research Centre is the only hospital offering super speciality cardiac care in entire eastern India. With a 200+ bed capacity, cardiac rehabilitation services, cath labs and modular OTs, BM Birla Heart Research Centre has made a mark with its singular focus on the treatment of a variety of cardiac ailments. Here are a few advantages of choosing BM Birla Heart Research Centre for an MRI scan in Kolkata -

  • Highly qualified and experienced cardiologists
  • Cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Transparent pricing structure for cost-effective treatment. 
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate


How long will an MRI scan take?

An MRI scan might take around a few seconds to around 8 minutes.

Can MRI detect cancer?

Yes, MRI is helpful in detecting MRI scans and helps in identifying tumors that are cancerous.

What not to do before an MRI?

It is recommended not to apply deodorants, perfumes, body sprays, and lotions before an MRI scan.

Is MRI harmful?

No, an MRI scan is a non-invasive and safe procedure.


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