The Basics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Many of the breakthroughs in medical science are thanks to the continued increase in technology. Research has created better machines that allow for more accurate diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Proper doctors take advantage of all of the tools at their disposal when treating their patients. One of the very best tools they can call on is an MRI machine.

MRI machines are becoming more common and can be combined with other treatment to provide an excellent diagnosis of injuries and diseases. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. The MRI machine usually looks like a large cylindrical tube. People lay down on a platform which is put into the tube. The MRI machine will then scan the person and to create the image.

What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?

The concept of magnetic resonance imaging is pretty impressive. The machine uses two immense magnets. The first magnet is used to align all of the water molecules in the body in a certain direction. This doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort, it’s merely setting them up in one direction. The second magnet turns on and off repeatedly and quickly. This causes the hydrogen atoms within the water molecules to move around before moving back

The scanner can detect the water molecules as they move and change. This allows the scanner to then render it into images for people to use. Any area can be displayed as a cross section. This allows doctors to look inside of a person and determine if there is something wrong without having to consider something like exploratory surgery.

The MRI works very similar to CT scans and X-Rays. However, MRIs don’t use any form of radiation. Many people can be harmed by the radiation found in consistent CT scans. The MRI avoids these issues.

There is also “Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging”. This is a system that uses MRIs to monitor the blood flow throughout a brain. This allows doctors and researchers to see the neurons of the brain working depending on the blood flow. It’s allowed for the diagnosis of a huge number of brain and spinal cord problems.

MRI Scan Costs

The MRI machine can do a lot of different things for doctors and patients. They work to detect anomalies in the brain and spine. They figure out what’s causing joint and back pain. They can detect tumors, cysts, liver disease, uterine problems and other issues. For something that provides so many benefits, it seems like being able to use one should be mandatory at times. MRI scans take between 20 to 60 minutes and people need to be as completely still as they can during that time.

For all of this, MRI scanning can seem expensive. As always, it depends on what kind of health insurance coverage you have to determine how much an individual visit is going to cost. Currently, the average price of an MRI comes in at over $2,600. The price depends on the strength of the machine and the amount of time it needs to run. While the average comes in that high, a typical MRI may be lower. For example, many in-network MRIs run from around $500 to $2800.

MRI machines are expensive. The very cheapest MRI machines still cost around $150,000 to purchase. Adding in maintenance fees makes it a very costly piece of equipment. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that the prices for use can be so high.