Who Performs MRI?
The MRI test is performed by a specially trained MRI technologist, with continuous assistance from a pediatric MRI radiologist. The input of all these personnel is essential for achieving the most complete study, and explains why testing times are limited.
The study will be interpreted in detail by a pediatric MRI radiologist. The final report will be available to your child's pediatrician within a few days.
As long as they can remain still and breathe comfortably, children can generally tolerate an MRI scan by simply watching a movie (on specially equipped goggles) or listening to music. Anesthesia is usually only needed for children less than 6 years of age (depending on the maturity level of the child).
When general anesthesia is required, an anesthesiologist administers the sedation.
Please make sure the pre-procedure personnel are aware of all devices inside your child’s body.
Any removable metal on the patient or clothes should be removed. If your child has had numerous metal devices placed, in his / her body, artifacts from the devices may obscure useful pictures of the body.
Depending on your child's reason for the exam, an IV may be required for the MRI.
The MRI machine is a large magnet that is in the shape of a tunnel. Whatever body part that is being scanned needs to be in the center of the tunnel.
While your child is lying on a table in the middle of the tunnel, nothing will touch or hurt him/her as the pictures are being taken. When we start to take the pictures, loud knocking or banging noises will be heard. Whenever your child hears the loud noise, the machine is taking pictures; this is when he/she will need to hold perfectly still. To protect the child's hearing, earplugs or special headphones will be given to listen to music or a video.
The entire MRI study can be as short as 30 minutes, but sometimes can last for up to two hours. Your child has to hold perfectly still (like a statue) while pictures are being taken. Several series of pictures will be taken. Each series will last between 30 seconds to seven minutes each. The technologist will talk to your child between each set of pictures to ensure that he/she is OK.
Parents are welcome to accompany their children into the scan room, as long as you are not pregnant and all jewelry and metal are removed. Parents can be given earplugs during the scan.
When the MRI pictures are complete, your child will lie on the table a few moments longer while a radiologist checks to make sure there are enough pictures. Sometimes a set of pictures will need to be repeated (this takes five to 10 minutes).
Once the doctor checks the pictures and confirms that the scan is complete, the IV will be removed and the patient and family may leave.