Magnetic Resonance Imaging Of The Head And Neck
What you should know
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Of The Head And Neck (Precare) Care Guide
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging Of The Head And Neck
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging Of The Head And Neck Aftercare Instructions
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging Of The Head And Neck Discharge Care
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging Of The Head And Neck Inpatient Care
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging Of The Head And Neck Precare
- En Espanol
- A magnetic resonance imaging scan is also called an MRI. An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to take pictures of the inside of your body. An MRI is done to see tissues, bones, blood vessels, and joints of your head, neck, and spine. Joints are where bones meet. An MRI also shows your brain, inner ears, orbits (eye sockets), sinuses, thyroid gland, and mouth. An MRI can show how and where blood is flowing in your brain. It can also help caregivers see how your brain is working.
- An MRI may show what is causing symptoms, such as headaches or dizziness. This test can be used to check for a disease, to plan surgery, or to guide caregivers during surgery. A functional MRI maps out areas of the brain, and may be done before brain surgery. An MRI may also be used when a medical device is placed inside the brain. It may be done after surgery to check for problems, such as bleeding. If you are already being treated for a disease, an MRI may show how well treatment is working. This test may be done after an x-ray or another test to give caregivers more information about a medical problem. If you need treatment, MRI results can help you and your caregiver decide on the best options for you.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- If dye is used during the MRI, it may damage your kidneys. This risk is higher if you have diabetes or kidney disease. If you have metal in or on your body during the MRI, the metal may heat to a dangerous level and cause a burn. If you had surgery to have a coil, stent, or filter placed in your body recently, it may move out of place during the MRI. An MRI can make medical devices work wrong or stop working. You may have short-term hearing loss after an MRI.
- If you do not have an MRI, a medical problem may not be found. If a medical problem is not found and treated, it may get worse. Without an MRI, your caregiver may not find a disease in the early stages when it may be treated more easily. If you have symptoms, such as headaches or dizziness, they may get worse. If you have a lump, it may grow bigger. Having an MRI before or during surgery helps caregivers plan for and complete the surgery. If you are being treated for a disease and do not have an MRI, caregivers may not know if the treatment is working. Your condition may get worse, and you may die. Talk to your caregiver if you are worried or have questions about having an MRI of the head and neck.
Before the test:
- Tell your caregiver if you know or think you might be pregnant.
- Ask caregivers for directions about eating and drinking: You may need to avoid eating or drinking anything for four hours before your MRI.
The day of the test:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- If you are afraid of small spaces, being inside the MRI machine may make you worried or scared. Your caregiver may offer you medicine to help you relax and lie still. You may also be able to listen to music to help you relax. A friend or family member may be able to stay with you during the MRI.
What will happen:
- Take off any jewelry, and all removable metal objects. If you have a medical device, it may need to be turned off. You will lie down on a table with your arms at your sides or over your head. Caregivers may place padding and cushions around and under you. You may be given earplugs or headphones to wear to decrease the noise of the MRI machine. The table is slid into the round tube in the center of the machine. There are loud banging, tapping, or chirping noises made as the magnets in the machine move to take pictures.
- During the test, you may be asked questions or to do certain actions. These tasks can help caregivers see your brain at work. Actions may include moving your fingers in a certain order or making a fist. Other than doing these actions, hold very still during the test. You may be given dye through an IV to help areas of your head and neck show up better in the pictures. Other procedures, such as taking a biopsy (sample) of tissue, may be done during the MRI. Ask your caregiver for more information if you need another procedure done during your MRI.
After the test:
Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. If medicine patches or medical devices were removed before the MRI, they will be put back on. If you have a medical device, caregivers will check it to make sure it is working as it should. Your IV may be removed. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you may be able to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your room.
This is an area where your family and friends can wait until you are able to have visitors. Ask your visitors to provide a way to reach them if they leave the waiting area.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your MRI.
- You think you may be pregnant.
© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of the Blausen Databases or Truven Health Analytics.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.