Feed the dog? Check. Do the laundry? Check. Get an MRI? Uhhh. An MRI isn’t something we necessarily look forward to getting done but knowing what to expect can help.

Why do I need one?

An MRI is a painless, non-invasive scan that produces high-resolution images of the inside of the body to assist in a medical diagnosis.

MRI technology utilizes a strong magnetic field combined with radio waves to create detailed, cross-sectional images of internal organs and structures. MRI does not use ionizing radiation and is safe, painless and accurate.

Now, we are going to cover the basics of how to prepare and what to expect for an MRI exam.

Before:

Typically, there isn’t much you need to do specifically to prepare for your exam other than provide some information to your doctor. You’ll most likely be asked about health conditions, pregnancy, metal implants, surgeries and any other questions your doctor may have to ensure your most comfortable and safe experience possible. Other instructions could include refraining from eating or drinking fluids several hours before the exam depending on the area being scanned.

During:

You’ll be asked to change out of your clothes into scrubs (or a gown, depending on the area being scanned) and then proceed to lay on a table. This table will enter the area that contains the magnetic field. It will be essential that you lay as still as possible to get the best images. If you are nervous or claustrophobic you can ask your doctor about a prescription for anti-anxiety medication such as Ativan to help you relax You’ll have a device where you can communicate with the technologist at any time. MRIs can take 20 to 60 minutes depending on the region that is being scanned. 

After:

Post examination, you should be able to simply get back into your everyday life. If you have taken any anxiety medication prior to the exam, you may need to arrange a ride.

So keep calm and MRI on!