Just like any other diagnostic testing, there are some things that you will need to do to prepare for an MRI. The good news is that in most cases, MRIs require very minimal preparation.
Unless your doctor tells you not to, you should be able to eat and drink normally on the day of the MRI. You should also be able to take your medications as normal.
With 40 million annual MRI scans in the U.S., prep instructions can vary.
Maybe Not Eat or Drink
In some cases, you may be asked not to eat or drink before having the MRI scan done. According to the NHS, you may have to abstain from eating and drinking for as long as four hours before the test. However, this is not always necessary, and it will depend on what part of your body is being tested and what your doctor is looking for.
Maybe Limit Your Bathroom Trips
Another factor that can vary is that you may have to drink a large quantity of water before your MRI. In this case, you may also have to limit your trips to the bathroom so that the water is still present before testing.
Always Listen to Your Preparation Instructions
Most importantly, remember that your instructions will vary slightly depending on the test location and goals. As such, you should always follow the specific instructions that you receive. The previous points may or may not be included in your instructions.
Regardless of your situation, it would be best if you always kept the following preparations in mind:
Do NOT Keep Metal on Your Body
As you get ready for your MRI, you will need to remove all of the metal on or in your body. This includes removing any piercings that you have, no matter where they are located or how far they are from the part of your body to be scanned.
In addition to earrings (including clip-ons), you need to remove watches, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and any other jewelry. You will also need to take out dentures, hearing aids, and wigs. Surprisingly, some wigs can contain small amounts of metal.
Before an MRI, you should expect to be asked to change into a hospital gown. This minimizes the risk that you will accidentally wear metal during the test. Alternatively, you may be asked not to dress in clothing with underwire, buckles, belts, zippers, or buttons.
This step of removing metal is very important because MRI scanners generate strong magnetic fields. This can lead to injuries or distorted images if a metal is present.
Do NOT Tell the Technicians About Pre-Existing Conditions
The absolute most important thing not to do before an MRI is to lie or leave out information when talking to your doctor or the MRI technicians. MRIs are not safe for certain people.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be asked to delay the MRI, if possible. According to the NHS, MRIs are considered safe during pregnancy after three months. Even so, there is not enough long-term research on the effects on the baby.
You also should let your doctor know about any metal in your body, such as fragments or implants. This is why your medical history is so important since the following devices are not always MRI-safe:
- Metal joint prostheses
- Implantable heart defibrillators
- Artificial heart valves
- Cochlear implants
- Metal clips
- Implanted nerve stimulators
- Implanted drug infusion pumps
- Intrauterine devices
- Surgical staples, stents, plates, screws, or pins
Some of those devices may be MRI-safe and your doctor will determine whether you are at risk. Given that nearly three million people globally have pacemakers, expect your doctor to ask if you have one.
The bottom line — be completely honest with your doctor before your MRI, whether it is to check for injuries following a car accident or something else.
If you are looking for the best Open MRI in Brooklyn NY, call (718) 769-2521 today to schedule your appointment! We are conveniently located at 3506 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11229. We accept most insurance plans including no-fault and workers’ compensation. Same-day appointments may be available.