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"Is it possible to have an MRI arthrogram done under general anesthesia?"


My doctor wants me to schedule an MRI arthrogram of my left hip to help diagnose a labral tear. I have a big fear of needles and can barely tolerate a blood draw or IV. My question: is it possible for an adult to have this procedure done under general anesthesia?


Thank you very much for your question. I recommend that you discuss your concerns with your physician. I can certainly understand that people can have a very real fear of needles, and it can be difficult to receive medical care.

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An MRI arthrogram involves the use of an MRI machine to get a very detailed look of a joint. An MRI is a large tube like machine that noninvasively takes special photos of your body. In this case, it sounds like your doctor would like to better evaluate your left hip. Sometimes, IV contrast is given to help better define the tissues in the hip and make it easier to diagnose subtle findings. If IV contrast is necessary, you will require an IV to be placed so that the radiology technician can deliver the appropriate contrast. It is not typical to undergo general anesthesia for the placement of an IV because general anesthesia in and of itself requires IV medications. While it is possible to receive sedation and potentially even general anesthesia for an MRI for individuals that have severe claustrophobia, both require IV medication. Furthermore, there are significant risks to sedation and especially general anesthesia. The risks may not outweigh the benefit. You should have a more detailed discussion with your physician about your fears and concerns to learn whether sedation or anesthesia would be appropriate for your prior to undergoing your MRI.

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