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MRI Patient Information and Preparation



The MRI scanner uses a strong magnetic field that may move or affect objects made of iron or steel. You will be asked to complete an information screening sheet before you are permitted to enter the magnetic field area.

It is recommended that you not enter the magnetic field if you have any of the following:

Pacemaker/defibrillators

Aneurysm clips

Cochlear implants

An implanted drug infusion device

Careful considerations also involve:

Metallic heart valve

Stent placements less than six weeks of insertion

Metal implants

Steel surgical staples or clips

If you have any kind of implant and/or surgical clips, you will be requested to bring the product information card you were given by your medical team when the devices were placed.

  • During the exam, you cannot have any metal on your clothing, so you will be supplied with a gown at the time of the procedure. No jewelry, watches, keys, dentures, hearing aids, wallets or any personal items are permitted in the magnet room. A locked dressing area will be provided.
  • If you are a claustrophobic or overweight individual, request our Espree unit located at the Hamburg location. The Siemens Magnetom Espree is an Open Bore MRI with CT-like comfort and true 1.5 high-field power. With its 70 cm (over two feet) inner diameter, and only 125 cm in length the 1.5 high-field magnet is unparalleled in the industry for capability. The weight limit is 440 lbs. On this unit 60% of all exams can be done with the patients head outside of the Open Bore.
  • Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant. If you cannot assure that you are not pregnant, please contact your physician to order a pregnancy test before the date of your MRI exam.

  • Along with a powerful magnet, radio-frequency waves are also used during MRI exams. This creates various "knocking" sounds during the exam. Because of the various sounds, ear plugs are provided and placed in the outer ear canals during the MRI exam. Some procedures allow the use of music through headphones.

  • If your procedure is ordered with contrast, the technologist will inform you about the contrast used, and an IV will be placed in one of your arms.
  • The technologist will tell you approximately how long the exam will take and will make every effort to make you comfortable during the exam. You can talk with the technologist at all times, and will be observed throughout the procedure. You may be requested to hold your breath at various points during some exams.

  • Please arrive at least one hour before your appointment time to allow ample time to complete the history and screening process.

If you are a claustrophobic or overweight individual, request our Espree unit located at the Hamburg location. The Siemens Magnetom Espree is an Open Bore MRI with CT-like comfort and true 1.5 high-field power. With its 70 cm (over two feet) inner diameter, and only 125 cm in length the 1.5 high-field magnet is unparalleled in the industry for capability. The weight limit is 440 lbs. On this unit 60% of all exams can be done with the patients head outside of the Open Bore.


Specific MRI/MRA exam preparations and information:

Brain/Head - no eye makeup

Abdomen/Gall Bladder/MRCP - Do not eat or dring anything four hours before your appointment time. The technologist may request that you drink a cup of blueberry juice immediately before your exam.

MRA (Renal, Aorta, Extremity) - no prep; may eat and drink

Heart/Cardiac - EKG electrodes will be placed on your chest so your heart rhythm is detected by the MRI scanner and applied to some images as they are acquired; scan usually takes 60-90 minutes.

Breast (if the exam is ordered as a pre-surgical case, the following may not apply) - No hormone replacement medication for one month before the MRI exam. If the patient is pre-menopausal, the exam should be performed in mid-cycle. A recent mammogram (within the last two months) is required prior to the MRI breast exam.