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How long does it take to get MRI results?

Key takeaways:

  • MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a safe, painless, and non-invasive screening test that gives detailed pictures of the inside of your body.
  • How long does it take to get MRI results? Well, it depends on the nature of the test (emergency or routine), time of day, day of the week and other factors.
  • While the scan may take 1-4 hours, the final report may take from a few hours to a few days.

Any medical test can cause some anxiety. Getting an MRI is no different. And once you’ve taken the scan, it is only natural to ask the question “How long does it take to get MRI results?” To answer this question, you’ll have to take certain things into account. Let’s take a look.

How long does it take to get MRI results?

How long does it take to get MRI results: two people reviewing a document

There are two aspects to getting results from an MRI scan — scanning and reporting. First, at your appointment, an MRI machine scans your body for abnormalities. The next step is to make sense of the images. This is done by an expert radiologist who is trained to read the scan images. Lastly, a healthcare provider can diagnose the medical issue if an abnormality is detected.

Scan time.

An MRI scan can take 15 to 90 minutes, but this time may be shorter or longer depending upon which area of the body is being scanned. 

Keep in mind, if you move during the scan, the quality of the images will suffer and your technologist will have to scan that part again until she gets a high-quality image. This can increase the time of the scan. 

To make your scanning experience seamless and easy, the Ezra care team offers you music, earplugs, and even pajamas. Plus, an Ezra Scan is faster and usually takes approximately 60 minutes.

Reporting time.

While the images are ready within an hour, an expert radiologist trained in interpreting MRI images will review them. They then create a detailed report and send it to the referring healthcare practitioner. 

The time taken to generate scan results depends on the situation. It also depends on the time of day, the day of the week, and where the scan was done.

For instance, let’s say the scan is done on a patient who is facing a medical emergency. The test results may determine what kind of intervention is required. In such a scenario, the results usually reach the surgeon faster than results from a routine MRI, the results may take longer to reach your physician.    

So while the actual interpretation of the images and report generation may only take an hour, you may sometimes receive the report a few hours or a few days later. 

This is because the radiologist may have a backlog, and their queue may have more urgent conditions. 

How long does it take Ezra to get MRI results?

It takes most people an average of 5 business days to get their Ezra Report. You can connect with your Ezra Medical Provider to discuss your results.

The Ezra Full Body and the advanced Ezra Full Body Plus are whole-body MRI scans that scan up to 14 organs for signs of cancer and other abnormalities. The scan is completed within an hour and includes a 45-minute follow up consultation with your Ezra Medical Provider. 

Why do you need an MRI?

How long does it take to get MRI results: doctor discussing with a patient

An MRI test is a painless and non-invasive way to look at your body’s interior. It uses a combination of radio waves and a strong magnetic field to scan the inside of your body. The generated signals are then sent to a computer program that creates clear, detailed images that can find abnormalities in soft tissues, organs, and bones and joints.

The scan images can show abnormalities. Thus, an MRI scan can be an imaging tool to diagnose a disease or an injury.

From an aneurysm (bulging of a blood vessel) to a tumor, an MRI test may help a medical team see a range of subtle changes within the body. Armed with this information, your healthcare team can help you create a treatment regimen if needed.  

At Ezra, we believe in proactive healthcare. As a health-conscious individual, you should make powerful diagnostic imaging techniques like the Ezra Scan a part of your annual health check-ups. 

Whether your MRI scans show any abnormalities or not, know that you are one step ahead of your medical issues. With proper planning of your treatment regimen, you give yourself a great chance of a positive prognosis.  

What to expect during your MRI test.

Woman entering an MRI machine

An MRI test can be an outpatient procedure unless it is done in an emergency situation in a hospital. If you are getting an elective screening test, like an Ezra Scan, you usually arrive at the imaging center at the appointed time.

You’ll change into loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. You’ll have to remove all metal objects from your person – watches, dentures, jewelry, hearing aids, and beyond. You’ll have to inform your care team if you have tattoos on your body or have a medical metal implant like a pacemaker. Once that is taken care of, you enter the scanning suite that houses the MRI machine.

Inside the suite, you are guided by a technologist as you lie down on the scanner table. The radiology technologist is in an adjoining room and can see you through a window. They will give you any instructions through an intercom placed inside the scanner room. 

If you and your medical provider thinks that a contrast MRI would be beneficial, someone from the imaging center team will inject a contrast agent inside your body through an IV injection. This contrast agent is a compound of gadolinium and helps create even better images.

MRIs and anxiety.

The MRI machine makes loud tapping and clicking noises. While the noise is perfectly normal, many people find it intimidating and may cause anxiety. At Ezra, you will be given earplugs to block the noise. 

Plus, at select Ezra partner facilities, you can choose your favorite Spotify® playlist and enjoy the music during your scan.

Many MRI scanners are tube-like and your body will slowly slide inside the tube during the scan. If you feel claustrophobic or are anxious, your attending physician may give you a mild sedative to help you relax. Newer, advanced open MRI machines solve this problem.

Once the scanning is done, you can usually change back into your clothes and resume your daily activities. 

Are there any side effects of an MRI?

An MRI test is generally a very safe procedure. Because the procedure does not use any ionizing radiation, like a CT scan or an X-ray examination, there is no radiation risk. However, some people may show a mild allergic reaction to contrast dye. 

Remember, not all MRIs will involve contrast dye. If you have kidney problems, tell your medical provider. You may be given a blood test before the scan to see how well your kidneys are functioning and if it is safe to give you the contrast dye or not.

If you are given a sedative, you may experience certain side effects. Generally, a very low dose of the sedative is given and most people do not experience any side effects.    

Why an MRI test should be part of your annual healthcare routine.

Two happy elderly people sitting on a couch

So, how long does it take to get MRI results? It depends on a number of factors like time of day, day of the week, and where the procedure was done. 

Keep in mind, the Ezra Full Body takes approximately one hour to complete.

Early detection of a medical issue can significantly improve a person’s survival rate. 

An annual Ezra Scan can offer peace of mind or, if needed, help you catch potential cancer earlier, making it easier to beat.