Patient Checklist for MRI

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your exam time. This will give you time to fill out your patient registration and final MRI screening forms and then dress for your MRI. Your MRI will take about 45 minutes, so plan on being at the MRI imaging center for around one hour.

  • You'll change into a patient gown and/or shorts. Clothing with metal zippers, snaps, buckles or fasteners won't be allowed into the MRI scanner. Also, athletic clothing such as anti-perspiration/self-wicking fabrics and synthetics can't be worn, as they may contain metal fibers within the materials that can interfere with your MRI testing. You'll also need to remove certain jewelry and other personal devices such as cell phones, wallets and purses before entering the MRI scanner. (A locker will be provided to store your valuables.)

  • In most cases, you can eat and drink as normal beforehand. Some MRI exams may require a lab test prior to your testing. The MRI scheduler will let you know of any restrictions and give you instructions if a lab test is needed for your exam.

  • It's OK to take current medications (but remove patches). Pain medication should also be taken as prescribed. In fact, the exam will be much more comfortable if you continue to take your medication as scheduled. That said, medication patches — such as pain or nicotine patches — must be removed from your skin prior to the MRI testing. That's because these patches can heat up and cause skin irritation when worn during an MRI.

  • You can't have the examination if:

    • You have certain cerebral aneurysm clips (magnetic)

    • You have a pacemaker/implanted heart defibrillator

    • You're pregnant

In the case of mechanical heart valves, cochlear implants or other electronic implanted medical devices such as an insulin pump, your medical history will be checked for MRI safety and compatibility prior to your MRI test.

  • The MRI testing is done with a strong magnet and radio frequency. You'll be asked a series of questions about your surgical and medical background prior to your MRI testing and entering the magnetic field. Certain implants in your body (electronic or metal) will need to be checked and documented from your medical/surgical records to ensure your safety before undergoing an MRI. If you've had an injury to your eye(s) where metal was removed and you were treated by a physician, preliminary X-rays of your eyes may be necessary before your MRI test. An MRI staff member will contact you if any preliminary X-rays or additional medical history is needed from you prior to your testing.

  • If you think you may be claustrophobic, ask your doctor to prescribe medication prior to the exam. If you do receive medication, please bring someone with you who can drive you home in case you aren't able to drive yourself.

If you have any questions at all before or after your MRI, don't hesitate to call us at 515-440-2676.