MRI Scan Online Prescription
- Learn about MRI scans
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MRI Scan - Overview
An MRI scan is an important diagnostic imaging study that can be used to identify a variety of medical conditions. Push Health helps people interested in learning about MRI scans and, on a limited basis currently, can connect people with a local medical provider who can provide an MRI prescription at an affordable price when appropriate which can be used to pay for and obtain an MRI at a nearby MRI facility.
What Is An MRI?
What is an MRI and what does MRI stand for? MRI is an abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI scans consist of a series of pictures taken of various parts of the body, leading to a series of images that can be analyzed for abnormalities. Common types of MRI scans performed include a brain MRI, breast MRI, cardiac MRI, functional MRI (fMRI), knee MRI, prostate MRI and shoulder MRI.
How Does An MRI Work?
The standard MRI machine is a cylindrical tube that is surrounded by a powerful, circle-shaped magnet. When turned on, this magnet creates a magnetic field which causes molecules known as protons in the body to align with the magnetic field. Once the protons are mostly aligned, radio waves are then sent through the patient used to disturb and spin the protons. The radio waves are then turned off and, as the protons realign with the magnetic field, energy is released which can be detected by the MRI scanner and used to create a visual image of the tissues.
How Much Does An MRI Cost?
An MRI scan is not cheap when not fully covered by one's insurance plan. In fact, the cost of an MRI scan is often higher when the cost is partially covered by one's insurance plan versus simply paying out of pocket at the MRI appointment. The costs associated with an MRI scan include getting a prescription for the MRI scan from a licensed medical provider, getting the MRI scan itself, and getting an interpretation of the MRI images from a radiologist and any copies of the report. Typical costs for an MRI scan range from $60 to $300 for the MRI scan prescription itself and $350 to $3000 for the actual MRI procedure and MRI scan results report.
How Long Does An MRI Take?
MRI technology has greatly improved over the years and has reduced the amount of time - from start to finish - that getting an MRI takes. Simple MRIs such as a knee MRI are relatively fast and can take under 30 minutes. Other types of MRIs that need visualization of small structures from many different angles can take longer. Additional time is also required to lock up one's possessions and change into and out of a patient gown during the MRI scan appointment. And so, the MRI scan itself will take anywhere from 30 minutes to a half day or more with additional time needed before and after the MRI scan itself.
Once the MRI scan is performed, the MRI images are processed by special software which helps organize the signals detected from the machine. Once ready, the images are generally interpreted by a special type of medical doctor known as a radiologist who will review the images and comment on normal findings and any abnormalities. Data captured in the MRI images can be stored in the cloud or on a CD and a written summary of the radiologist's findings are available as an electronic file or printout.
While an MRI is often noninvasive, some MRI scans do require an injection of a contrast material which helps to visualize certain structures in the body. Typically, the contrast material used is a compound called gadolinium which is less irritating than the compound iodine which was historically used in MRI scans. When looking for specific abnormalities, a gadolinium MRI provides the added advantage of highlighting certain structures in the body that might be missed in an MRI scan without contrast.
CT Scan vs. MRI
How does one compare an MRI vs a CAT scan? Both MRI scanners and CT scanners are used to capture pictures that help visualize different parts of the body. One major difference between MRI machines and CT scan machines is that MRI images are captured using radio waves while CT images are captured using x-rays. Because of this different technique, MRI scans are more useful for diagnosing tissue injuries in the joints, brain, heart, breasts and blood vessels. CT scans are useful for identifying internal bleeding, tumors and bone fractures. CT scans are much faster to perform than MRI scans which make them useful in trauma settings. Unfortunately, CT scans do use x-rays which increase one's overall radiation exposure.
Open MRI vs. Closed MRI
Many people undergoing an traditional MRI experience significant claustrophobia as the experience of being in the long tube of a traditional MRI machine can be disconcerting. Recently, the introduction of an open MRI has helped people with claustrophobia get an MRI scan. Additionally, open MRI units are quieter and can be tilted to allow for more accurate positioning in certain situations. Unfortunately, open MRI scans are more limited in terms of the quality of the pictures that they take and they can take longer to perform.
MRI Near You
Once you get a prescription for an MRI scan, the next step is finding an imaging facility to get a traditional MRI or open MRI near you. Some people find an MRI facility through a recommendation from their doctor or medical provider. Other people find certified MRI facilities through an internet search as more MRI imaging centers are discoverable online.
MRI Scan Prescription Online
Getting a prescription to get an MRI scan can be a difficult process. Traditionally, the way to get an MRI scan prescription was to go through one's medical provider to get one. Advances in telehealth have also increased the number of options for getting an MRI scan prescription as one can now request an MRI scan prescription from various sources online.
Additional MRI Information
Last updated November 18, 2022. Given the evolving nature of medicine and science, this information might not be accurate and should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis / treatment recommendations. Please consult a licensed medical provider if you have additional questions. Please call 911 immediately or go to the nearest emergency room if you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency.