A sedative MRI scan is an MRI scan in which a patient has been sedated to reduce anxiety and movement during the procedure. As MR scans pose no risk to patients, there is no downside to being sedated for safety reasons alone.
An MRI scan may be requested for any of the above reasons. However, it is not always appropriate for the patient to be sedated for an MRI, and another imaging modality may be chosen instead. In these situations a conscious MRI scan is performed. A conscious MRI gives similar-quality images to an awake scan with the advantage of being able to use sedation if required in difficult cases or in an emergency situation.
The MRI scan
The MRI scan is performed in a standard way. A head coil, internal and external fixation are applied, and a patient’s hair is tied back.
The scanning room must be very quiet to avoid movement at the time of the scan. The patient is asked to keep still, but allowed to breathe as normal throughout the scan.
The patient is given an injection of an intravenous sedative which quickly reduces consciousness. Depending on the size of the patient this may take over half a minute for adequate sedation. The patient is then put in the scanner and scanned.
The individual tissue image sequence or volume is acquired, and the scanner operates normally. The whole scan is completed in just over two hours, although particular volumes may be carried out at a faster rate if there are a number of patients undergoing scanning at one time.
The MRI scan results
After the scan is complete the patient can usually be discharged from the hospital. However, sedation may take longer to wear off in some patients, so it may still be necessary for nursing staff to observe them for any length of time after completion of the scan.
The sedation MRI scan experience
These sedation MRI in New Jersey should always be performed by a specialist clinician, as this is an area of very minimal experience amongst radiology staff. Experience with these scans also varies considerably, so it is not always possible for the patient to provide feedback.
The sedation procedure may be accompanied by some short term side-effects which are relatively mild. These include a slight headache, drowsiness and feeling light-headed or dizzy. These side effects are usually no more than mildly uncomfortable and remind the patient that they have been medically sedated as part of the scan.