FEMALE PELVIC MRI / DYNAMIC PELVIC FLOOR MRI
A Female Pelvic MRI is a specialized type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that creates detailed, cross-sectional images of the pelvic floor, a network of muscles that stretches between the pubic bone, the spine and the abdominal organs it supports. Our team of sub-specialized radiologists utilizes Pelvic MRI to:
- Screen for and or determine staging of cervical and endometrial cancer
- Provide your referring physician with valuable information for surgical and treatment planning
Dynamic pelvic floor MRI provides detailed pictures of the pelvic floor, a network of muscles that stretches between the pubic bone and spine, and the abdominal organs it supports, including three distinct areas or compartments:
- the anterior (front) compartment, including the bladder and urethra
- the middle compartment, including the vagina, cervix and uterus
- the posterior (rear) compartment which includes the rectum.
- During dynamic pelvic floor MRI, images are obtained while the patient is contracting or squeezing the pelvic muscles and while the pelvic muscles are relaxed.
This exam does not use radiation but does involve:
- A soft gel that acts as a contrast agent and will be injected into the vagina
- An IV that will be used to inject Dotarem, an MRI contrast agent that will improve the quality of your images. (If health professionals commonly encounter difficulty finding your veins when drawing blood, please let us know so that extra time can be added to your appointment.)
BEFORE ARRIVING FOR YOUR EXAM
To help speed up check-in and registration, we encourage you to take advantage of our online system, where you will complete the MRI Screening Questionnaire and the MRI and Pregnancy form (if applicable).
If you are claustrophobic (fearful of small, enclosed areas) or experience pain when lying on your back for more than 30 minutes, your referring physician may prescribe a relaxant or pain medication to help you through the exam. When scheduling your appointment, please make the IMI Team aware of any concerns or issues you might have, so we can ensure that you have everything you need to comfortably, successfully complete your MRI exam.
While we don’t anticipate a long wait, we do want to make any waiting time as pleasant as possible. Please consider bringing a magazine, book or music with headphones to help you pass the time.
Please do not eat or drink anything for four hours before your arrival.
Unless you are told otherwise, you may take your medications as usual.
Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home.
Please inform the technologist, radiology nurse and or radiologist of any allergies you may have, or if you are pregnant or nursing.
If you have not already done so online, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire to determine if an MRI is safe for you. Because an MRI utilizes a strong magnetic field, patients with various implants (usually metallic), body piercings or other metal in their bodies (including some tattoos) may encounter difficulty with an MRI. It is critical that your imaging physician is made aware of any such potential issues before your examination. For more important safety information regarding metals and MRI, please visit our How to Prepare for Your MRI section.
You will be asked questions to verify that the soft gel that acts as a contrast agent is safe for you.
You will be asked to wear scrubs during the exam.
DURING YOUR EXAM
This exam requires the use of an IV contrast agent, Dotarem, to improve the quality of your images. When the agent is injected into the arm, it may cause a cooling sensation.
An MRI machine consists of a large, cylinder-shaped tube with a moveable scanning table that slides into the center of the machine. For this exam, you will be asked to lie head-first on the table with your arms at your sides.
Once you are placed on the MRI table, ultrasound gel will be placed into the vagina to improve the diagnostic information obtained from your exam.
Coils (special devices to help improve image quality) will be placed on or around your pelvis.
The scanning table will slide your whole body into the magnet. During the scan, you will not feel anything but will hear intermittent humming, thumping, clicking and knocking sounds. Headphones will be provided to help mask the noise and allow you to listen to music. As your images are taken, you must hold very still and at times may be asked to hold your breath.
The technologist will able to see and hear you at all times during the exam.
The MRI exam will take approximately 90 minutes, depending on the specifics that your referring physician has ordered.
AFTER YOUR EXAM
Once your exam is complete, there will be no restrictions placed upon you. You may eat, drive and resume your activities as usual. Your images will be examined by a radiologist and their report sent to your healthcare provider within 24-48 hours of your examination. Your healthcare provider will review the results with you.
To request a copy of your images or report, please call us at 208-954-8130.
For more information on Female Pelvic MRI, visit www.radiologyinfo.org.