What to Expect During a Brain Scan

What to Expect During a Brain Scan

A Brain scan is a diagnostic medical test which is used to produce images or pictures of the body. Common brain scan are usually the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans which use powerful magnetic fields and radio frequency pulses to produce images of organs, tissues, bone and other internal body structures; Computed Tomography (CT) scan is another type of scan used which uses X Rays for imaging.

Both scans are painless, fast and easy. For small children the procedure may take even few several minutes while adults it may take up to twenty minutes. You may experience a little bit of discomfort, especially if have trouble lying still or are claustrophobic (fearful of enclosed spaces). But you can be assured that the radiologist nurse will be there to help you through the scanning procedure.

When going for the exam, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. A gown may be provided for the procedure. Metal objects such as eyeglasses, hairpins, jewelry may affect scan imagery and could be left at home. If wear a hearing aid you may be required to remove it. Women with bras containing metal underwire will be required to remove such. Other metal objects such as hearing aids, or piercings may not be allowed.

Notify the doctor or nurse doing the brain scan of any implants fitted such as a heart pacemaker. Also inform your physician of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions and whether you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes and kidney disease or thyroid problems. Such conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect. For women, inform your physician or the radiologist if there is any possibility you are pregnant.

For the brain scan, you will usually get in head first into the scanner while on your back. Straps and pillows may be provided to help stay still during the exam. The scans usually accurately examine the brain and the results can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan treatments and assess how effectiveness of previous treatments.  Thereafter the radiologist will analyze the images, interpret the examinations and send a report to your physician who will discuss the results with you.

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