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Abdomen MRI

Abdominal MRI is a cutting-edge, non-invasive diagnostic tool that provides detailed images of the abdominal organs. This imaging technique offers soft tissue contrast and multiplanar views, making it useful for detecting a wide range of conditions.

Why would a doctor order an MRI of the abdomen?

Abdominal symptoms: An MRI can provide detailed images of the organs and structures within the abdomen to help diagnose the cause of symptoms like persistent stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or changes in bowel habits.

Abnormal blood tests: If blood tests indicate potential issues with the liver, pancreas, kidneys or other abdominal organs, an MRI can be used to further investigate and identify any underlying problems.

Physical examination findings: If a doctor detects an abnormal mass or other concerning findings during a physical exam of the abdomen, an MRI can be ordered to get a clearer picture of the issue.

Detailed imaging for symptom visualisation: An MRI allows doctors to visualise soft tissues, organs and structures within the abdomen in high detail, which can be crucial for accurately diagnosing the cause of abdominal symptoms when other imaging tests are inconclusive.

In summary, an abdominal MRI is a valuable diagnostic tool that can help identify the underlying cause of various abdominal issues, from unexplained pain to abnormal test results, by providing detailed, high-quality images of the organs and structures within the abdomen.

What an Abdomen MRI Scan Detects

An abdomen MRI can detect a variety of conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Tumours and Cysts: Both benign and malignant growths in organs such as the liver, pancreas, and kidneys.
  • Inflammation and Infection: Conditions like appendicitis, diverticulitis, or infections in organs.
  • Organ Abnormalities: Structural abnormalities in the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and other organs.
  • Vascular Issues: Problems with blood vessels, including aneurysms and blockages.

Do I need an MRI abdomen with contrast?

Contrast dye is a substance injected into the body during imaging scans like MRI to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels, aiding in diagnosis. The dye, often gadolinium-based for MRI, increases the magnetic properties of nearby water molecules, improving the contrast and detail of the images produced.

Contrast dyes in MRI enhance image clarity, improving the visualisation of abdominal organs and identification of abnormalities. While generally safe, they carry risks such as allergic reactions and kidney stress. Overall risk should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

CT Scan vs MRI for Abdomen Imaging: Which Should You Choose?

Both CT scans and MRI scans have their own advantages and applications:

  • CT Scans:some text
    • Faster and more widely available.
    • Better at imaging bone structures and detecting acute bleeding.
    • Often used in emergency situations.
  • MRI Scans:some text
    • Provide more detailed images of soft tissues.
    • No radiation exposure, making it safer for repeated use.
    • Better for diagnosing conditions like tumours, liver diseases, and soft tissue abnormalities.

Your doctor will decide which imaging technique is best based on your specific medical condition and symptoms.

How to Prepare for Your MRI Scan?

  • Appointment Scheduling: Ensure you have a confirmed appointment for your MRI scan.
  • Medical History: Inform your doctor and the radiologist about any medical conditions, allergies, or previous surgeries.
  • Clothing and Accessories: Wear comfortable clothing and avoid metal accessories such as jewellery, watches, and belts.
  • Fasting Instructions: Follow any fasting instructions provided by your healthcare provider, especially if a contrast dye is used.
  • Hydration: Stay well-hydrated unless otherwise instructed.

What to Expect During an Abdominal MRI Scan?

  • You will be asked to remove all metal items, including wristwatches, keys, and jewellery. These objects must be kept outside the scan room.
  • You are often asked to undress and put on a hospital gown or loose-fitting clothes.
  • You will be told to lie on the scanner’s table.
  • The examination table will then move into the open end of the tube in the machine. An intercom inside the MRI scanner lets you talk with the radiography personnel.
  • It is essential to lie very still: movement will blur or warp the images.
  • While it is in operation, the MRI scanner makes loud noises. (You may be offered earplugs. Sometimes, you can listen to music through headphones if you prefer).
  • The part that is being scanned may feel a little warm.
  • If the images are satisfactory, you can get dressed and go home.

How Long Does an Abdominal MRI Take?

A typical abdomen MRI scan takes around 30 to 60 minutes to complete. However, the duration can vary depending on a few factors:

  • If contrast dye is used, the scan may take an additional 15-30 minutes.
  • Scans that require more detailed imaging or a larger area to be scanned may take up to 90 minutes or even 2 hours in some cases.
  • If sedation is needed to help the patient remain still, the procedure may take an extra 15-30 minutes.

Schedule Your MRI Scan

If you need an abdomen MRI scan, don't delay. Early diagnosis can lead to better treatment outcomes. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and take the first step towards understanding your abdominal health.

Schedule Your MRI Scan | Contact Us for More Information.

Lorea content writter
Reviewed by
Dr. Sachin Shah
Clinical Lead
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Frequently asked questions

Do I need a GP-referral?

No prior GP-referral is required. Booking with us includes a GP phone consultation and referral. Shortly after booking you will be contacted by a GP from our team who will discuss your scan and provide a referral.

How long is an MRI scan?

MRI scans generally take a bit longer than other types of scans. Individual scans take 10-30 minutes depending on the body part being scanned, overall it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 90 minutes. You do have to lay very still for an MRI and if there is movement the scan may need to be repeated which can add some additional time.

What’s included in my booking?

With your GetScanned booking, you will receive:

  • A pre-scan phone consultation with a member of our medical team.
  • A referral for the scan.
  • Scheduling of a private MRI scan at your preferred scanning centre.
  • Access to your written report by a radiologist.
  • Access to your scan images (online and downloadable).

How much is a private MRI scan?

A private MRI scan cost varies depending on the part of the body being scanned and the location the scan is performed. Generally, a private MRI scan in the UK starts at around £350, and includes the scheduling, scan itself and results.

What’s the difference between an open and closed MRI?

Closed MRI machines are the traditional and first type of MRI. They are used more frequently because they provide higher quality images, however they aren’t ideal for certain types of scan or when the patient has limited mobility. Open or wide-bore MRI machines don’t involve lying in a tight cylinder, instead they have wider openings with more space and are therefore considered better if you suffer from claustrophobia. A standing MRI or upright MRI is a new type of open MRI that allows the patient to be in various different positions, including weight bearing positions. If you would prefer an open MRI please filter by MRI type to find an open MRI near you, but please be aware it is only available at certain locations.

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