Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that is often used to diagnose health conditions that affect organs, tissue and bone.
MRI scans use strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce a detailed image of the inside of the body. The device that carries out MRI scans is known as an MRI scanner. The scanner consists of a large tube that contains a series of powerful magnets. The patient lies inside the tube during the scan.
One of the main advantages of MRI is that, unlike X-rays, it does not involve exposing the body to radiation.
Extensive research has also been conducted into whether the magnetic and radio waves that are used in MRI could pose a risk to the human body. No evidence that there is a risk has ever been found. This means that MRI is one of the safest medical procedures currently available.
An MRI machine is basically a giant tube with a table that the patient lies on. The patient is placed
into the tube either feet or head first depending ont he area that is being examined. Inside the large tube there are magnets, which are not visible to the patient. When the machine is turned on the magnets rotate around the patient and create a situation where the patient is in a low strength magnetic field. The MRI machine is attached to a sophisticated computer system. The computer translates the information from the MRI to produce detailed images of your organs and tissues. The result is a document similar to an X-ray that can be interpreted by your physician.