Your healthcare provider can learn more about your condition through a painless test called an MRI. MRI stands for "magnetic resonance imaging."
An MRI uses strong magnets, radio waves, and a computer to produce detailed images of the structures inside your body, such as your organs and other tissues.
To help the images show up better, a special dye will likely be injected into your bloodstream with a needle. A small amount of people have a reaction to the dye, so be sure to tell your provider if you have allergies to iodine or shellfish.
When it's time for the scan, you'll be asked to lie down on a table, which will then move into the MRI scanner. Because this is a narrow tube, some people feel claustrophobic while they're inside. So let your provider know if you have a fear of being in small places -- he or she may be able to give you medicine to help you relax.
You won't feel the magnetic fields or radio waves while you're in the scanner, but you will notice that the machine makes loud humming and thumping noises. Because several sets of images are usually required, the MRI can take up to an hour or more.
The MRI images can help your healthcare provider know more about how your liver is working, its size, and whether or not it looks normal.