The MRI is a way to take pictures of the body using a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer. The MRI does not use radiation and no side effects have been reported from being in the magnetic field.
The MRI scanner is a large magnet with a circle-shaped opening. Some people say it looks like a tunnel. There is a table that moves into the opening of the scanner during the test and the patient may hear a series of very loud noises such as hums, knocks, beeps, and clicks. These are normal sounds of the scanner. The technologist will be able to talk with your child and tell him when the noises will occur and how long the sounds will last. Parents are welcome in the scan room if the child is awake. The scanner does not touch or hurt the patient, however if an IV is required for contrast, minimal pain may occur during IV insertion. Contrast is a dye given to enhance the pictures.