MemberFebruary 13, 2015 at 8:26 pm
MRI with valsava for imaging & diagnosing hernia?
For anyone out there wondering what the actual test process of MRI with valsava is like, it is non-eventful. There is no prep. You lay down very still for about an hour and a half while wearing ear plugs, and the MRI itself sounds like exceptionally bad music. It feels a bit warm, but a fan is blowing on you. Towards the end of the MRI they instruct you when to do valsava, I did three sustained valsava sequences (take big breath, bear down) for about 10-15 seconds each, with a few minutes between them to relax. Doing a valsava while laying down is kind of challenging, but it works.
The particular imaging center I went to said mine was the first MRI with valsava they had done, but they had experience doing CT with valsava before. It sounds to me like this is a relatively new technique for diagnostics, which I think it is clearly beneficial to patients, and I think for people with pelvic and/or groin pain with no obvious cause it could be quite helpful. I specifically mentioned the Imaging Occult Hernias JAMA study and research by Dr Towfigh to my doctor when discussing the MRI, and he was more than willing to give it a try. Here is the link to that JAMA research for those interested: http://archsurg.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1893806