• Has anyone had an MRI with contrast dye?

    Asked by ArizonaCarolyn on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

    Has anyone had an MRI with contrast dye?

    i was referred to a pain specialist for an MRI which showed a soft tissue mass in my lumbar area. My pain Dr and primary care physician are concerned because of my cancer history. My oncologist's office has not returned my many messages that I have left (called every day for 2 weeks and left a message on their answering machine. Finally an employee answered and my oncologist's PA is going to talk to me sometime today. i have been the oncologists patient for 2 years. I do like and respect him. Only problem is that he is accepting too many new patients because word has gotten around about how wonderful he is. He has a great sense of humor, and really cares about his patients! Hoping that his physician's assistant will call me today! Thanks and best wishes to everyone.

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I think....I have. Truth is. I've had so many scans i can't remember if one or more of the MRI 's had contrast. More recently. I've had 6 CT scans with contrast. What are you wondering about them?

      about 1 month ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      I think....I have. Truth is. I've had so many scans i can't remember if one or more of the MRI 's had contrast. More recently. I've had 6 CT scans with contrast. What are you wondering about them?

      Oh,, wait a minute!!! Greg already said this. :-0 Anyway, not many MRIs - but not to worry as they do not involve radiation. Contrast. It's a good laxative is what I have come to know.

      Based on your history, I would think that something more diagnostic, like a CT or PET would be of greater value. The PET in particular, as it would reveal if the mass is hyper-metabolic or not. The sooner you know (either way), the better.

      As to doctor, well, NEVER hesitate to fire a doctor if he or she is not responding in a timely manner. We're not talking about the sniffles here! A great sense of humor is good. Caring likewise. But - I would much ather have a jerk who cured me than a friendly doctor who would gladly cancel morning appointments to attend my funeral!

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      I have an annual breast MRI with contrast. As a matter of fact, it was an MRI that revealed the cancer, not a mammogram. What would you like to know?

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      I have also had a few other MRIs - all with contrast.

      about 1 month ago
    • andreacha's Avatar
      andreacha

      For 7 years every 3 months I had to have a chest CT with contrast (more commonly referred to as dye) and MRIs of both my abdomen and pelvis with another type of contrast. I had had a full right nephrectomy and a partial left because of kidney cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma). After 7 years I became allergic to the CT dye so all further ones done were without contrast. At that time my Oncologist thought it was time to stop the MRIs using contrast as the contrast after a while can have an effect on one's kidneys. So that's the way it's been for the last 6 1/2years. If there is any doubt at all get the contrast. You won't feel it. If I remember correctly it's administered by IV. You'll probably be sitting in a recliner when getting it. I believe I had to wait 30-45 minutes to give it time to flow through your body. So while you are "glowing" you'll be put into the MRI machine. Have you ever been in a MRI machine before? I had my scans done just this last Thursday and the radiologist reading the MRI of the abdomen, while comparing it to my last 2 MRIs saw something that she couldn't quite identify. It could be nothing or could be something. I've already told my Oncologist to go ahead and schedule another with the contrast. They've done wonders reading all of mine these years so if a red flag goes up I'm all in for the contrast. What you said about your Oncologist I'm sure rankled most of our members of the community as it did me. There is only one way I can say to you - GET ANOTHER ONCOLOGIST. Two weeks of waiting for return calls tells me that all he cares about you for is the money. My last Oncologist became so greedy that when you had an appointment it was like a cattle call. Always short staffed. When they work with NPs and PAs medical protocol states that he must see you personally once every 4 appointments. 3 months went by and he never came into an exam room with me. Yes your Oncologist's business has boomed because he's fooling all of you with his humor and charm. I would not feel safe in his care. And, yes, I found myself another Oncologist, a great one. And I should have done it 6 months before I did. Please give it some serious thought. I went for a second opinion and happened to like him so much I immediately enlisted as a patient. Prior to meeting him I had done an extensive medical back round check on him and personal as well. I hope I've been of some help to you. If you have any other questions about the MRI itself, just ask. Best of luck to you.

      about 1 month ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      I've had contrast with my pelvic and rectal MRI's. It's common to use the contrast in an MRI. The MRI is good for "seeing" soft tissue - aka soft tissue masses and the contrast helps clarify the picture.

      It is inexcusable that your oncologist or PA didn't call you to help sort out the results of your MRI. But it may be difficult to change oncologists in the midst of a pandemic.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      My MRI experiences have not been like yours at all, andreacha. A catheter is inserted in my arm. Then I go into the room where the MRI machine is located and lay down on the machine's table and the exam begins. Images are taken for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Then the contrast is inject and more images are taken. Then I'm done.

      about 1 month ago
    • ArizonaCarolyn's Avatar
      ArizonaCarolyn

      Thank you all who told me about your experiences about having an MRI with contrast dye. I should have told in my question what it is about the contrast dye that makes me nervous. I have looked up facts about the dye. It is a different dye than a CT or PET uses. It is somewhat risky for some people with kidney disease. I have stage 3 kidney disease but have decided to have the MRI with contrast dye anyway. I have been told that since stage 3 Kidney disease is right in the middle of 5 stages it should be no problem, If someone is undergoing dialysis - now that might be a big problem. My oncologist's assistant did call me yesterday and said it is important for me to get this done. I agree with you that it could be time for a new oncologist. He is TOO BUSY. He referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. He would be hard to leave after all that has happened. Has all my test results, etc. Only problem is his accepting too many new patients. Leaves us who are established patients feeling like second class. Greg, thank you for the words of wisdom. I admire your great attitude and know you have been through so much, Prayers for you and Buckeye Shelby. Prayers for All of us in this support group!!

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug (Best Answer!)

      I have to have a blood test prior to the MRI exam that looks at my creatine level. The creatine level indicates kidney function. The level needs to be within a certain range in order for the test to be approved.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I’ve had many breast MRIs, all with contrast. My experience is similar to Bug’s, except that in my very recent MRI the contrast seemed to have been put in right away (at least, there was no division of time before and after infusing the contrast). I have no kidney problems. Perhaps you can speak with someone in Radiology prior to your MRI and have her or him talk with your oncologist. I realize your oncologist isn’t being responsive to even your phone calls, so he may not want to confer with the radiologist. But he should and one of them should then get back to you re safety of dye. Wishing you all the best.

      about 1 month ago
    • TerriL's Avatar
      TerriL

      I have an MRI w/contrast alternating with my mammo every six months. My experience is that they do the normal MRI, then put in the contrast dye and do another. I have not had any bad reactions to it, my only problem is the nurse trying to get the IV started. I hope that by this time you have received a return call!

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I have. I can't remember what we were scanning. I remember it primarily because I cannot "do" contrast with the CT scans- I have grown highly allergic to it. They told me I would be fine to have the contrast with the MRI - different kind of contrast. I was a little nervous but consented. They were right - it was different and I had no bad side effects from it.

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      I have no answers about the contrast for the MRI, but I understand about the "too busy oncologist." Mine is hard to get in touch with as well. Also very laid back, good sense of humor and the "go to guy" for our area.
      I understand Po's point of view about preferring a jerk who cures you rather than a funny doctor who would attend a funeral. We have a jerk doctor here in town too. He apparently really knows his stuff, but he's apparently really harsh and also quite cocky. I have had friends with more advanced cancer who have said they would rather just suffer through the cancer than see this other doctor. Apparently he is scarier than cancer. Now that's pretty bad.
      Some of them can't get in with other treatment programs or don't have transportation to go elsewhere or whatever problems. It's sad. We have a new practice group in our area now, so the choices are going to open up a bit. I am glad for that. I think people need to have as many options as possible when going through cancer. It's bad enough just to have cancer, but to be more fearful of your doctor than your disease is terrible.

      about 1 month ago

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