At times, your doctor might need to see a few more details inside the body than an x-ray would allow. This is when an MRI or another type of medical digital imaging scan is ordered. The scan is generally painless unless you’re given some kind of contrast through an intravenous line. Even if the contrast is used, there are usually very few side effects on the body and little to no pain involved from the supplies used and the medication itself. An MRI will offer images in a high-resolution so that the doctor can see everything from soft tissues to issues with the skeletal system.
Most of the time, an MRI is used to look at details of the brain and the spinal cord. The scan can help to diagnose everything from aneurysms to tumors. Doctors can use the image results to determine if multiple sclerosis is present or if there are any issues with the vascular system. After a spinal cord injury, an MRI can detect the damage that has occurred to give the doctor a better idea as to what the treatment plan could look like. Brain injuries that result from trauma are also diagnosed using an MRI or another type of magnetic imaging.
An MRI can also be performed to see details of the heart and the blood vessels. The doctor can examine the chambers of the heart and the thickness of the walls of the chambers. The flow of blood can be viewed to see if there are any blockages. If there has been a heart attack, the doctor can see the damage that has been done to the heart. This information can be used to determine what kind of treatment should be done or if surgery might be an option in the future.
There are other areas of the body that can be examined with an MRI. If there is pain in the side or the center of the abdomen, the doctor can order a scan to see if there is anything wrong with the appendix or if there are kidney stones or gallstones. If there are any issues seen, then surgery is often performed. The scan can also view the pancreas, spleen and ovaries.