How should I prepare for my MRI?

You will be asked to change into a gown before your examination and remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects during the exam.

If you are scheduled for a magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography study (MRCP), you will need to fast for 4 hours prior to your exam.

Take all of your normal daily medications. If you are a diabetic or have low blood sugar then juice and crackers are available.

You may receive an injection of contrast into the bloodstream. One of our technologist may ask if you have allergies of any kind, such as an allergy to iodine or x-ray contrast material, drugs, food, the environment or have asthma. The contrast material used for an MRI exam, called gadolinium, does not contain iodine and is less likely to cause side effects or an allergic reaction. You should also inform the technologist if you have any serious health problems or if you have recently had surgery. Some conditions, such as severe kidney disease may prevent you from being given contrast material for an MRI.

Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. MRI has been used for scanning patients since the 1980's with no reports of any ill effects on pregnant women or their babies. However, because the baby will be in a strong magnetic field, pregnant women should not have this exam unless the potential benefit from the MRI is assumed to outweigh the potential risks.

Peninsula Imaging employes a 1.5-T MRI machine and a 3-T. Our 3-T carries a large bore (opening) and easily accommodates patients up to 500 lbs. If you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) or anxiety, your physician may provide you with a prescription for a mild sedative. The 1.5 T is a large, short bore which enables your head to be out of the scanner.

Patients who are apprehensive about being alone in the exam room may allow one friend or family member to accompany then in the exam room, once they have been screened for safety in the magnetic environment. They will be asked to wear protective ear plugs during their time in the exam room. This is a requirement.

Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home if possible or will need to be removed prior to the MRI scan. Because they can interfere with the MRI magnetic field and/or become non-functional, metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the exam room at any time. These items include jewelry, watches, credit cards and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged. Pins, hairpins, metal zippers and similar metallic items will need to be removed as they may distort MRI images. You will also need to remove any removable dental work, pens, pocketknives, eyeglasses and any body piercings.

Cell phones are prohibited in the examination room and during your examination.

In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. Patients with the following implants cannot be scanned and should not enter the MRI scanning area unless explicitly instructed to do so by a Radiologist or Technologist who is completely aware of the presence of any of the following:

You should tell our Technologist if you have medical or electronic devices in your body as they may interfere with the exam or potentially pose a risk, depending on their nature and the strength of the MRI magnet. Examples include but are not limited to:

Generally, metal objects used in orthopedic surgery pose no risk during MRI; however, a recently placed artificial joint may require the use of another imaging procedure. If there is any question of their presence, an x-ray may be taken to detect the presence of and identify any metal objects. Please ask your doctor if you have any questions.

If you have metal object(s) in a certain part of your body, you may also require an x-ray prior to an MRI. Dyes used in tattoos and permanent make-up may contain iron and could heat up during MRI, but this is rarely a problem. Tooth fillings and braces usually are not affected by the magnetic field but they may distort images of the facial area or brain, so the Radiologist should be aware of them.

Other Helpful Information

Peninsula Imaging, LLC
Address:1655 Woodbrooke Drive, Suite 101, Salisbury Maryland, 21804
Phone: 410-749-1123 / Toll Free: 1-866-725-1061
Fax: 410-543-1063