What is MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a form of imaging that utilizes magnetized fields to look inside the human body. In certain instances, a contrast injection may be administered to enhance the study. There are no extra precautions if your physician requires this type of study.

A typical procedure averages 60 minutes or longer depending on the type of scan being performed. You will be required to remain still during the MRI examination. Breathe normally and relax. Once the exam has begun, you will hear a knocking sound that represents changes in the magnetic field. This is a normal part of the process. During your MRI examination, a technologist will be able to see you at all times. An intercom system allows communication between the patient and the technologist.

How should I prepare?

No special preparation is required prior to the MRI exam. You may eat normally and go about your daily routine. Continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed.

Prior to your exam, you will be asked to leave items that are not compatible with a magnetic field in a safe place outside the scan room. A list of some of these items may include:

  • Coins
  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Glasses
  • Credit cards
  • Hearing aides
  • Keys
  • Hair pins
  • Other metal objects

You will be asked about the presence of implants and similar items during your interview prior to your exam. Some of these may include the following:

  • Pacemaker
  • Neuro-stimulated (Tens-unit)
  • Metal implants
  • Intrauterine devise (IUD), etc.
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Surgical staples
  • Implanted drug infusion device
  • Foreign metal objects in the eye
  • Shrapnel or bullet wounds
  • Permanent eyeliner


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