Preparing for Your MRI Exam

Preparing for your MRI Exam

Patients are requested to wear loose comfortable clothing for MRI. Patients may also be asked to wear a gown for the examination. Metallic objects such as jewelry, glasses, hearing aids, piercings, dental devices and metal containing bras may affect the quality of MRI and may pose a safety concern for patients. Patients will be asked to remove these items prior to imaging.

For certain MRI examinations, patients may be asked to discontinue eating and drinking for a time period prior to the exam. Radiology personnel will provide instructions for patients in this regard.

Patients should also inform technologists of any medications they are taking, any allergies to radiology contrast material and of any significant medical condition such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease, as these conditions may predispose patients to adverse reactions to contrast.

Women should also inform the technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.

In General:

  • Please plan on showing up 30 minutes prior to scheduled exam unless you need to have sedation or if you have special medical hardware such as stimulators, then plan on showing up 1 hour prior to the exam time
  • Expect the scan to take approximately 1 hour
  • Results will be given to the ordering physicians office within 24 hrs

Specific examples of common preparations are as follows:

  • Most scans do not require fasting
  • Fasting (NPO – nothing by mouth) after midnight or NPO for 8 hrs if scan is later in afternoon
    • MRCP – looks at biliary system
    • Enterography – looks at small bowel
  • Sedation
    • Have a driver other than yourself
    • NPO for 4 hours prior to exam if sedation is to be given – this is for adults and children
      • Only NPO for 3 hrs if Xanax is the sedation medication
  • Please let your physician know if you are claustrophobic (feeling uncomfortable in closed in / tight spaces)

Download a PDF of this information.