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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone on the board ever had an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan to investigate what might be going on with their symptoms? I presume this has the same name in the US? It's like a CT scan but in 3D, I think.I'm giving consideration to surgery for intussusception prolapse repair. By the way I strongly suggust that some of the IBS-C people ask their doctors about "rectal intussusception" - one surgeon even went so far as to say that intussusception was potentially responsible for up to 90% of cases of "obstruced defecation" - which must cover a lot of IBS-C people - and this surgeon claims that his intussusception repair surgery can help or even cure most of these people. Although this new type of surgery is meant to be more effective, historically, prolapse repair surgery has a lot of potentially negative side effects, and it still seems to me after doing a large amount of research that they do not understand to any adequate degree how things fit together in there. Some papers I have read suggest an MRI scan is useful in deciding exactly what is wrong.
 

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For me the MRI was crucial because it revealed what had been causing my symptoms from the very beginning which was a tethered spinal cord. Getting an MRI can help rule out any serious medical problem that might be causing your symptoms. If you can get one, get one I highly recommend it.
 

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MRI scans are not standard diagnostic methods for gastrointestinal problems here in the UK. They are expensive and there is usually a very long waiting list for an MRI scan on the NHS. Even privately in the UK it may be difficult to get one as most private hospitals will not have one.I think they are more commonly used in the US as it's a good way of getting more money out of the health insurance companies.......vast majority are probably completely unneccessary and unethical .
 

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I think they are more commonly used in the US as it's a good way of getting more money out of the health insurance companies.......vast majority are probably completely unneccessary and unethical .
Wow.. Riddick... I do not agree. And I do not think you really know how it works over here. I think MRI's are excellent diagnostic tools. And for your information... almost EVERY insurance carrier requires pre-approval before allowing payment for one. So the insurance companies approve the ones they think are necessary and do not approve the ones they think are not necessary. And trust me.. they are stingy! (AND so are the places that DO the MRI's! They will not perform one without approval from someone's insurance company.) So your statement is actually very incorrect.That said; it is not a standard diagnostic test to rule out other GI diseases to come to an IBS diagnosis. But Naomi brings up a good point that for some people they might be an good test to rule out some of the more rare problems. And they might be great for those that may not fit IBS criteria exactly and have other things going on maybe.
 

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If I still had health insurance I would try to get one of these myself. I have had pretty much every other test in the book including some rare type of scan called a mecal scan which im sure wasn't cheap and maybe one of the reason my insurance co. dropped me. Being self imployed and trying to get insurance with IBS is basically impossible here in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, that was interesting. I could actually well believe what Riddick says - that more US hospitals have them than in the UK cos they make money for them - even though I am sure BQ is also dead right when he says it is hard to get the actual insurance company to pay for them. I also suspected that it would be the case that it would be nearly impossible to get the UK's NHS to pay for one, and I am prepared for that reason to go private. I believe the cost for an MRI scan varies according to what they are looking at, but I have not been able to get a figure for a gastro MRI.Just on a digressionary note, some of the things you Americans say about health insurance make my blood run cold. You CAN'T get health insurance because you have IBS? That is barbaric. And yet...perhaps the average IBS person fares even worse in the UK, I'm not sure. For anyone who does not know we in the UK are covered by the tax funded NHS. The NHS spends billions upon billions on obesity related illness, etc., but when it comes to bowel problems, well...I attended a hospital bowel clinic and when I told a new GP this, he told me that bowel clinics were usually actually kept secret from GPs and other doctors, because they would otherwise be so wildly oversubscribed. Well, set up some more then! Ludicrious. At a guess I'd say I'm at the very severe end of the "IBS" spectrum - can't sleep properly, constant physical misery without a second of relief for 8 years, can't have sex.....and I articulate all this quite assertively to any doctor I see. And yet every diagnostic test I've ever had I had to insist that I be given! A private surgeon I saw lately was quite appalled that I had never been offered a transit test or a colonoscopy despite the severity of my problems. I rather think this is because I am young and doctors assume I am exaggerating about my symptoms. However, I could also well believe it is just because the NHS is SO #### at helping people with quality of life rather than length of life problems - if you are not going to die, they just do NOT care. I'd be interested to hear what people in the US think - were you offered a colonoscopy, barium meal etc. after you became ill, or did you have to insist you be given them?And if ANYONE else at all has managed to wangle an MRI please tell us about it. To my mind this would be a gold standard if any anatomial abnormalities are suspected - which I now believe from all I've read is highly common in those with constipation type IBS, at least.
 
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