If you have been told that you are going to require an MRI in the near future, than it is important for you to understand what to do before the scan. For example, you want to make sure that you have all of your questions answered before your MRI begins. This might involve the parts of the body that require an MRI, why the doctor is recommending the MRI, where the MRI scanner is located, and what you need to do before the scan begins.
At the same time, it is also important for you to understand what you should not do before the MRI. An MRI can take a long time to be completed. Therefore, you want to make sure that you do not have to repeat the scan twice unless it is absolutely necessary. There are a few common mistakes that people make prior to an MRI scan.
Do Not Keep Any Metal On, In, or Around Your Body
The biggest thing that you have to remember when it comes to an MRI scan is that you cannot keep any metal anywhere near your body. This includes metal on your person, in your person, or remotely close to your person. Remember that an MRI is a giant magnet. Therefore, if you have any metal in the room, it is immediately going to be sucked toward the magnet. Even for people who have metal tattoos, the MRI scanner might end up ripping the needles right out of someone’s body. This can lead to a severely traumatic experience.
Multiple people are going to ask you if you have any metal on you, and you, or around you. Make sure that you are honest with them. For example, if you have a hip replacement or knee replacement that is made out of metal, then you may not be able to undergo an MRI scan.
Some of the other, metallic objects that people may have in their body include:
- A cardiac pacemaker, a metal heart valve, or a defibrillator that is implanted in the chest
- Cochlear implants, nerve stimulators, or pumps that are used to infuse drugs
- A metallic IUD
- Prior surgical screws, staples, or pins
In addition, people need to remove all metal jewelry before the MRI scan starts. If you have any questions about what qualifies as metal, simply ask the doctor or the technician ahead of time.
Do Not Omit Any Information About Pre-Existing Conditions
Your doctor is going to ask you a lot of questions about pre-existing conditions before the MRI begins. Make sure that you are honest with everyone who is asking you questions. The reality is that MRIs are not for certain people. Even though you may wonder why people are asking these questions, they only have your best interests at heart. It is important to keep you safe.
For example, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, then the doctor might want to delay the MRI scan to prevent any potential damage to your unborn baby or newborn child. Be sure to speak with your OBGYN, your primary care doctor, and a radiologist if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding before the date of the MRI exam.
Do Not Eat or Drink Anything Unless Told To Do So
If you have an MRI scan coming out, then it is important for you to avoid eating or drinking unless the technician or doctor tells you to do so. The reason why people should not eat or drink before the scan is that there is a chance that some people may not be able to lay still during the MRI. First, there is no shame in being nervous before an MRI scan.
At the same time, the MRI scan is not going to be accurate unless people are able to remain still for the scan. Individuals who are not able to sit still may need to be put to sleep for the MRI scan. In this case, people cannot add anything to eat or drink recently. Therefore, try to avoid food and drink before the scan.
Consider Avoiding the Bathroom for Several Hours Prior to the Scan
If you have to go to the bathroom, then go to the bathroom. On the other hand, do not go to the bathroom unless you must. There is a chance that you may be asked to drink some contrast material before the scan. You do not want this contrast material to mistakenly leave your body because you went to the bathroom. Otherwise, you may have to drink another load of contrast material, which may not taste good.
Get Ready for Your MRI Scan
There are many doctors who love to use MRI scans to help their patients because an MRI scan does not require any radiation and it provides a greater level of detail than other radiologic modalities. At the same time, it is also important for you to make sure that you place the MRI in a position to be successful. Therefore, try to avoid making any of these mistakes before the scan. Furthermore, if you have any questions or concerns, discuss them with your physician, radiologist, or technician ahead of time.