If you have had an MRI you know it can be a stressful experience, especially for those who feel uncomfortable in tight spaces.  That experience can be compounded by tension and uncertainty related to a medical diagnosis.  The good news is that a new process is available right here in Rockwall helping make MRI procedures more comfortable. Today, MRI under general anesthesia is available!

MRIs can be a challenge.  On occasion they may even require the patient to remain completely still for a lengthy period of time, sometimes as long as 4-5 hours.  Therefore, the addition of anesthesia is particularly beneficial for those whose conditions and situations might prohibit them from otherwise having the procedure.

In expressing the significance of offering this added service, Marc Brown, MD, an anesthesiologist on staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall said, "During the first few weeks offering this service, several patients already have undergone anesthesia for their MRI scans, and were grateful because fear, pain, or inability to stay still had prevented them from having the scans in Rockwall previously.”

Who might benefit from MRI with anesthesia:

  • Those who are claustrophobic.
  • Those for whom being very still is difficult (movement disorders, mental illness, etc.).
  • Those with elevated pain levels. Pain often makes staying in one position very uncomfortable.

As challenging as they can be, MRI provides great medical benefits in regards to diagnosis.  Therefore, the option of having anesthesia is an important one.

"MRI scans are often the best way to evaluate patients with spine problems, such as disc disease or bony abnormalities,” stated Dr. Brown. “Those conditions cause so much pain that undergoing the scan itself can be difficult because of the need to lay flat. Now these patients can have the options of safely being sedated or undergoing general anesthesia, by a physician anesthesiologist, for the several hours that an MRI of the spine may require.”

When performing this procedure the same MRI device is used, however, the method for delivering anesthesia is different. The unique, specialized anesthesia equipment and monitors contain no metal parts, and do not interfere with the quality of the scans. For the patients’ safety additional staff is on hand during the entire procedure, which always includes a Registered Nurse and a board-certified physician anesthesiologist.

Texas Health Rockwall and its anesthesia colleagues are pleased to offer this specialized service to patients in and around Rockwall, preventing them from having to travel longer distances for the care they require.


*MRI under general anesthesia is covered by insurance although individual plans should be consulted to confirm coverage.