MRI is usually considered by most medical practitioners as the best means to know soft tissue issues among patients. In Edelman and Warach’s (1993) article on the New England Journal of Medicine, they defined MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging as “a widely used procedure for assisting in the diagnosis of joint injuries, bone marrow disorders, soft tissue tumors, and other musculoskeletal abnormalities.”

As such, many would most likely experience an MRI scan as recommended by doctors on a patient with health issues or simply when doing annual physical exams. But how exactly do you prepare for it?

Preparing Beforehand

Some doctors might recommend that you skip drinks and meals before the exam, but it actually depends on certain circumstances. Abdominal MRI’s may have food and drink restrictions along with the doctor’s prescribed medications.

Metallic objects are not allowed during an MRI examination. Therefore, it is best to avoid wearing jewelry, metallic accessories, watches, and metallic cosmetics. Also, you need to refrain from wearing makeup too.

Also, if you have any medical conditions, you need to inform your doctor in advance. Certain conditions such as diabetes, kidney-related issues, and iodine allergy should be disclosed so you can know if they will pose health risks or not.

If you suffer from claustrophobia, you should inform your doctor regarding such condition. During an MRI examination, you will be encased in a tube-like machine for several minutes, even an hour. You might feel anxious while inside and may require sedatives before undergoing the procedure.

During the Examination

Upon entering the MRI room, you will be asked to leave all valuables and clothing. You will receive a pair of scrubs to wear during the procedure. These include your bag and pocket items, the aforementioned items, clothing with metallic zippers and linings, belts, shoes, pens, coins, hairpins, body piercings, hearing aids, glasses, and smartphones.

Aside from that, you will need to fill a screening form. An interview will also be provided by the MRI technologist to ensure that you have really understood what is on the form. He will still conduct the interview even if you have already undergone it someplace else.

For example, you have been given the procedure in a Meridian MRI branch and you went to a branch in Boise, you will still undergo the same interview and screening form procedure before the imaging process. The reason is due to the items that may cause a health hazard or potential problems during the process.

These items include:

  • Aneurysm clip
  • Dentures/teeth with magnetic keepers
  • Foreign metal objects like those found in or near the eye
  • ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator)
  • Drug infusion devices (implanted)
  • Medication patch containing metal foils such as a transdermal patch
  • Metal implants
  • Neurostimulator
  • Other implants involving magnets
  • Pacemaker
  • Permanent cosmetics or tattoos
  • Wounds from shrapnel and bullets

Final Thoughts

This isn’t really much to prepare, but it is very important to know these details before you undergo an MRI exam procedure. It pays to know better and know these things in advance. When the time comes you might need to see the MRI technologist for an exam, you’ll already know what to do beforehand.