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How to Prepare for an MRI

Stand-Up MRI exam preparation

MRI SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

  1. Have a Pacemaker?

    Sorry, but if you have a pacemaker we will not be able to accommodate you.

  2. Have a metal particle(s) in your eye(s), or ever had a metal particle(s) removed from your eye(s)?

    Be sure to Inform the staff at the MRI center in advance of your appointment.

  3. Pregnant or might be pregnant?

    An MRI exam may be inadvisable. First consult with your doctor. If your doctor clears you for an MRI exam, an authorization form must be completed by your referring physician(s), including your OBGYN, in advance of your appointment. The interpreting radiologist will then review the case and consult with your physician(s), if necessary.

  4. Had heart surgery or surgery of the heart’s valves?

    An MRI exam may be inadvisable. First consult with your heart surgeon. If your doctor clears you for an MRI, you must inform the staff at the MRI center in advance of your appointment.

  5. Had brain surgery?

    You might not be able to have an MRI exam. Be sure to Inform the staff at the MRI center in advance of your appointment.

  6. Have or think you might have a metal object inside your body?

    You might not be able to have an MRI exam. Be sure to Inform the staff at the MRI center in advance of your appointment.

  7. Wear a medication patch?

    Be sure to Inform the staff at the MRI center in advance of your appointment.

OTHER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Tell the Medical Staff if any of these applies to you:

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN MRI

Preparing for an MRI exam is easy. You may take your medications as usual (if any) unless your doctor tells you otherwise. There are no food or drink restrictions.

MRI STUDIES “WITH CONTRAST”

In some cases the referring physician will order a contrast agent injected into the patient’s bloodstream immediately prior to the MRI exam. The contrast agent, known as gadolinium, stands out in the MRI pictures, thereby assisting the radiologist in detecting the patient’s problem.

If your doctor prescribes an MRI exam "with contrast," blood work will be required if you fall into any one of these categories:

Blood work must be done no earlier than six (6) weeks prior to your scheduled MRI exam, and the results sent to the MRI facility in advance of your appointment.

As with any injection of a contrast-enhancing medium in the field of radiology, there is a slight chance of an adverse reaction. Reactions are typically in the form of headaches and/or nausea. Less common reactions include anaphylactic shock. The contrast agent will leave the bloodstream within 6 to 24 hours. If you are a nursing mother, it is suggested that you do not breast feed during the 24-hour period following the injection and that you should pump and dispose of the breast milk during that period.

For your safety, you will be asked the following questions prior to the injection of the contrast agent:

If you have an MRI study with contrast, do not have another MRI study with contrast at any time during the following 72 hours.

WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU

HOW TO DRESS FOR AN MRI EXAM

When it comes to how to dress for an MRI exam, the main thing to realize is that metal can degrade or ruin MRI pictures. Therefore, you should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing (no dresses or skirts for modesty reasons), but keep in mind that metal must be avoided in or near the region where you are going to be scanned. Here are some examples:

But don't worry. If you don't have suitable clothing, we will give you a gown.

WARNING: DO NOT BRING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS INTO THE MRI EXAM ROOM

Why? Because an MRI scanner’s powerful magnetic field….