Are you getting an MRI soon? Learn how to prepare for an MRI so you’re ready for your appointment.
What is an MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to capture images of the inside of the body. MRI images are extremely detailed and can be used to image nearly any part of the body including bones, organs, ligaments, joints, and other soft tissues.
How to Prepare for an MRI
Preparing for an MRI is typically very easy. MRI is safe and requires very little preparation.
- Because of the strong magnetic field, metal is not permitted in the MRI suite. Please leave all jewelry and metal accessories at home. Keys, credit cards, cell phones, underwire bras, and medical devices and implants that contain metal must also be left outside the MRI suite. However, the advanced technology at Raleigh Radiology makes it possible for patients with certain implanted medical devices to get an MRI. Learn more about MRI compatible devices.
- Most MRI exams have no dietary restrictions. If you are scheduled for an MRI of the abdomen or pelvis, please do not eat or drink for 4 hours before your exam—an empty GI tract helps produce better images. If you are scheduled for an MRI with contrast, nausea can be a side effect of the contrast, so you may choose to limit food intake for 2 hours prior to the exam.
How to Prepare for an MRI with Contrast
Gadolinium contrast, also called contrast or dye, is used to enhance MRI images and make certain structures more clear. Contrast is typically given orally or through an IV in the arm or hand before MRI images are taken. Side effects and allergic reactions to contrast are rare but can occur. Your doctor will take a complete medical history and please be sure to inform your doctor of any known allergies, current medications, recent illnesses or surgeries, or a history of kidney disease.
Your MRI at Raleigh Radiology
All MRI scanners at Raleigh Radiology offer an open bore option. This new technology provides a much more comfortable experience compared to the older, closed MRI machines. IV sedation is available for patients over age 18 who may feel nervous or claustrophobic during the MRI procedure. To learn more about MRI at Raleigh Radiology, download our MRI brochure, or contact the Raleigh Radiology office in your area.