- Is It Safe to Undergo Multiple MRI Exams?
- Concern Focuses on Long-Term Effects
- Did the FDA Do Its Job?
- Limited Use of Tests Recommended
- Risks of the Procedure
- 10 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About an MRI
- An X-Ray
- An MRI Scan
- A CT Scan
- What to know about head and brain MRI scans
- What to Expect When Getting an MRI
- What Are MRIs Used For?
- What Happens During An MRI
- What MRI Equipment Looks Like
- Other Things to Consider
- Schedule an MRI Appointment With Envision Imaging
- How to Prepare for an MRI
Is It Safe to Undergo Multiple MRI Exams?
The findings, at the very least, are a cause for concern.
That’s what Dr. Emanuel Kanal says about the Food and Drug Administration’s safety announcement last week on the risk of brain deposits from repeated use of certain contrast agents used during MRI tests.
The director of magnetic resonance services and professor of radiology and neuroradiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said it’s difficult to know the significance of the recent research, but he noted there are “several things are perturbing.”
First, scientists didn’t expect to find a substance called gadolinium deposited in MRI patients’ brains.
In addition, he said, this effect isn’t seen equally among the various FDA-approved gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA) used in MRIs. “That’s the elephant in the room,” Kanal told Healthline.
Concern Focuses on Long-Term Effects
MRIs help detect abnormalities in organs, blood vessels, and other tissues. GBCAs are utilized to enhance the visibility of internal images. The issue revolves around intracranial accumulation of the heavy metal gadolinium following repeated use of GBCAs in MRIs.
A study published in Radiology reported that deposits of gadolinium remained in the brains of some patients who underwent four or more contrast MRI scans. These deposits usually appeared long after the final MRI.
This issue affects only GBCAs. It doesn’t apply to other types of scanning agents used for other imaging procedures like iodine-based or radioisotope agents.
Read More: Could MRIs Improve Quality of Life for COPD Patients? “
Did the FDA Do Its Job?
As of now, FDA officials indicated the agency, including its National Center for Toxicological Research, will study this possible risk further.
Did the FDA drop the ball in approving these MRI agents?
“No. That’s such an extreme comment,” said Kanal. “The FDA can’t possibly anticipate every single possible safety concern for every possible drug or device. Safety can’t be proved. It can only be disproved.”
Had the brain deposits been known prior to FDA approval, it’s reasonable to expect the federal agency would have required more documentation from the manufacturers of those agents, Kanal noted.
The intent would’ve been to show the accumulation doesn’t present a safety issue, he said.
Nevertheless, Kanal called out the FDA’s announcement for failing, as he sees it, “to even minimally scratch the surface” in terms of advising radiologists of the differences among agents.
“It’s a significant oversight,” Kanal said.
He believes it does a disservice to the radiology community and should be “rapidly corrected,” a message he’s relayed to federal officials.
Meanwhile, Kanal said, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is “exceptionally on top of this issue — probably more so than just about any institution in the country. We’re reviewing the available data daily for new information that might help guide us as to how to best proceed from here.”
For now, based on the need for additional information, the FDA is not requiring manufacturers to make changes to the labels of GBCA products.
“Without data to document the presence of a clear safety issue, I understand why they haven’t yet made labeling changes to the individual GBCA at this point,” Kanal said.
Read More: Monitoring Multiple Sclerosis with MRI Exams “
Limited Use of Tests Recommended
With all this, one may wonder if undergoing an MRI is worth the risk.
“Each doctor, and potentially, each patient, is going to have to ask that question themselves,” Kanal said.
In the meantime, the FDA has advised healthcare professionals to limit GBCA use to clinical circumstances where the additional information provided by the contrast is necessary.
At this stage, radiologists must step up and carefully review and approve every single request for a contrast enhanced MRI, said Kanal.
“They’re the ones who have the patient’s back,” he said.
They’re educated specifically in the safety of these agents, the differences among them, when they should and shouldn’t be used and at what dosage they should be administered, he noted.
Risks of the Procedure
Because radiation is not used, there is no risk of exposure to radiation during an MRI procedure. However, due to the use of the strong magnet, MRI cannot be performed on patients with:
- Implanted pacemakers
- Intracranial aneurysm clips
- Cochlear implants
- Certain prosthetic devices
- Implanted drug infusion pumps
- Bone-growth stimulators
- Certain intrauterine contraceptive devices; or
- Any other type of iron-based metal implants.
MRI is also contraindicated in the presence of internal metallic objects such as bullets or shrapnel, as well as surgical clips, pins, plates, screws, metal sutures, or wire mesh.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, you should notify your physician. Due to the potential for a harmful increase in the temperature of the amniotic fluid, MRI is not advised for pregnant patients.
MRI generally is not advised for patients with epilepsy.
If contrast dye is used, there is a risk for allergic reaction to the dye. Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications, contrast dye, iodine, or shellfish should notify the radiologist or technologist. MRI contrast may also have an effect on other conditions such as allergies, asthma, anemia, hypotension (low blood pressure), and sickle cell disease.
There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.
10 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About an MRI
You’re scheduled for an MRI. You prepare by taking off your jewelry, belts and clothing with zippers. But here’s what you need to know that your doc may not mention:
1. An MRI is incredibly loud. Expect clanking and banging that sounds like a jackhammer during the MRI, and can range from 82 to 118 decibels. Bring your own foam or silicone earplugs, or ask for them before you go into the MRI tube. Children — and some adults — who could be frightened by the sound may need sedation in order to lie still during the test.
2. You may be in for way longer than you expected. In some cases a simple 15-minute procedure can turn into a seemingly endless hour. So prepare by having a snack beforehand, and be sure to go to the bathroom first. If you haven’t had a moment to yourself in a while, you might enjoy the solitude.
3. Anxiety can set in. You may experience fear, or if you suffer from anxiety, you may feel claustrophobic inside the MRI machine. It helps to close your eyes before going in and keep them closed. Try to think of amusing things — or about people or pets you love. Some people benefit from taking anti-anxiety medication prior to MRI.
4. Ditch ALL the jewelry. Loose metal objects can injure you during an MRI when they’re pulled toward the very powerful MRI magnet. This means all jewelry has to come off, not only what you can see, and this includes belly-button or toe rings.
RELATED: How MRIs Can Predict Heart Attacks and Stroke
5. Don’t wear makeup. Some cosmetics contain metals that can interact with MRI magnets, so on the day of the MRI don’t wear makeup or nail polish. Also, minimize hair products and forgo antiperspirants and sunscreens, which contain metals, just to be safe.
6. Let the doctor know about hidden tattoos. During MRI, skin or eye irritation — even first degree burns — can result when dyes in tattoos, even from tattooed eyeliner, heat up. Covering them isn’t likely to help, and if skin irritation or burning happens, the MRI must be stopped at once to avoid a burn.
7. Chill out. Because of MRI radio waves, some people report feeling a little warm during the procedure. Your temperature may go up by a degree, but don’t worry — it’s not dangerous.
8. You may have to do it twice. If you move during the MRI, the images will have to be taken again and the process begun again.
9. It’s not a CAT scan. An MRI uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves; it’s not a CT, or CAT, scan, which uses X-rays.
10. Don’t worry about radiation. Getting an MRI does not expose you to radiation like an X-ray, CT or CAT scan would.
Every patient is different as well as every injury. The way people injure themselves, the condition of the affected area prior to the injury, as well as the patient’s response to injury, are all factors in assessing the damage as well as creating a plan for the restoration of the area. If you have obtained an injury you feel you can’t care for on your own, you should speak to your doctor about scheduling a procedure that will be best able to determine the extent of the damage and after you and your physician can discuss plans to heal and avoid further injury. Here is a list of common medical procedures that your doctor may schedule for you in order to determine the degree of injury.
An X-Ray is usually the first procedure a doctor will schedule for an injury, particularly sports-related injuries. X-rays are some of the oldest and most used forms of medical imaging. X-rays are common procedures for joint and bone fractures and breaks. X-rays are also used for examining arthritic joints and determining the location and condition of cancer cells in the bones. X-ray procedures are totally painless and just require the patient to lay very still for the length of the imaging as the slightest involuntary movement can distort the image and the procedure will have to be restarted. Getting an X-ray will be the fastest way to determine if there has been a bone break, dislocation or fracture.
An MRI Scan
Your doctor may also order an MRI scan if the injury cannot be properly determined from an X-ray or if your injury pertains to any of the joint, muscular or skeletal systems of the body. An MRI scan would be particularly helpful if your injury has caused any type of vascular problem such as internal bleeding or clotting or if there is soft tissue damage. MRI scans are useful in determining any overall damage from an injury beyond what an X-ray can relate. MRI scans contain a minute amount of pain from an intravenous injection of contrast material but nothing further. Contrast material will not have a reaction in the body excluding a slightly cool sensation unless the patient has an allergy to iodine.
A CT Scan
Your doctor may also order a CT scan for an injury. Do not be confused if your doctor orders a few tests for you. It does not necessarily indicate an extreme amount of physical damage. Your doctor could just be trying to get the best angles and images in order to make the most thorough diagnosis and by extension the best medical plan for mending your injury. Your doctor may order you a CT scan if he is particularly worried about tissue damage. CT scans using contrast material are able to create cross-sectional images of organs and tissues as well as highlighting which are healthy and which are not. CT scans are relatively painless as well, excluding the pinprick of the IV needle, but in some cases, the contrast material is swallowed to outline the digestive system.
Make the Choice
If you have an injury that cannot be helped by over the counter medications and naturalistic healing methods, you should speak to your doctor about ordering some of these procedures because a serious injury left unattended can become a much more harmful problem. Without proper medical attention and testing, a slight injury can morph into a complex affliction. Even with injuries that feel minimal in pain should be examined by a doctor in order to avoid further complications and injury to the area. The advances in medical technology have provided us with the tools and resources to make better choices concerning patient experience and healing.
Making a decision today? Just click here to schedule your medical imaging appointment in New Orleans.
Getting an MRI scan probably doesn’t top your list of ways to spend your free time, unless you like lying in tubes that make loud and mystifying noises. Can’t relate!
Unfortunately, sometimes getting an MRI (which stands for magnetic resonance imaging) is just a medically necessary evil. In that case, you’ll have to schlep over to your local radiology clinic or hospital to spend some quality time inside a machine that lets doctors see what’s up inside your body. If the thought sends shivers down your spine, there’s some good news: MRIs often aren’t as scary as they seem.
In case you’re not familiar with the test, an MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to make detailed pictures of your insides.
When you’re inside an MRI machine, its magnetic field temporarily realigns hydrogen atoms in your body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Radio waves make these atoms create very faint signals—and those are used to make cross-sectional images. Those images are layered on top of each other to give doctors a really good view of the inside of your body that they can see from different angles.
Doctors will often turn to an MRI when they suspect you have an injury or illness that an X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound won’t pick up, Mina Makary, M.D., chief diagnostic radiology resident at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. “It provides excellent anatomical detail of the soft tissues, which is helpful for the evaluation of specific conditions,” he explains.
There is a huge range of issues an MRI can spot, including disk abnormalities in your spine, joint problems, tumors in various organs like your kidneys and ovaries, structural problems in your heart, and brain injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic.
You don’t usually have to do a ton of preparation before you get an MRI.
In most cases, you’ll make an appointment to have your scan done and just show up with zero prep work, Kerry L. Thomas, M.D., a radiologist at Moffitt Cancer Center, tells SELF. But if you’re undergoing a pelvic or abdominal MRI, your doctor may ask you to avoid eating or drinking for a few hours beforehand. Skipping food and beverages for a bit will improve the image quality by causing less movement in your gastrointestinal tract, Bachir Taouli, M.D., a professor of radiology and director of body MRI at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, tells SELF.
There are a few things that can mess with your test, which is why it’s so important to be upfront and honest about your health history.
If you have tattoos, the Mayo Clinic advises asking your doctor whether they might impact your test results, since some darker inks can contain metal. “The most important part of having an MRI is that you do not have any metal on for your scan,” Dr. Thomas says. “The machine is very a strong magnet, and metals can cause problems.”
It’s also important to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Medical experts don’t understand the effects of magnetic fields on fetuses, and your doctor may recommend using an alternative test or postponing the MRI until after you give birth, the Mayo Clinic says.
Once you arrive at the appointment, you’ll need to remove all metal you might be wearing, like rings, earrings, or glasses and fill out a checklist to make sure you don’t have metal inside your body, like an artificial heart valve, pacemaker, or cochlear implants. Your doctor may also ask if you have a copper IUD (sold under the brand name ParaGard), since copper is a metal. While it’s safe to get an MRI when you have a copper IUD, the prescribing information recommends doing it at what’s known as 1.5 Tesla (the unit used to measure MRI strength), which isn’t as powerful as the 3.0 Tesla often used for MRIs, Dr. Taouli says. This is to avoid the (very minimal) chance of the magnet affecting the metal in the IUD.
Depending on why you’re having your MRI, you may need an injection of a contrasting agent beforehand.
In some cases, your doctor will want to perform an MRI with contrast, which means you’ll be injected with a contrasting agent like gadolinium right before your MRI. Gadolinium lights up when you get a scan and can help doctors get a better look at your brain, heart, and blood vessels. This can aid them in making a diagnosis of things like cancer or an inflammatory condition like multiple sclerosis, Suresh Mukherji, M.D., chairman of the department of radiology at Michigan State University, tells SELF. The American College of Radiology notes that the use of contrast agents is “not completely devoid of risk,” pointing out that some people may have side effects ranging from minor discomfort to “rare severe life-threatening situations.” According to the ACR, the adverse event rate for gadolinium-based contrast media (GBCM) ranges from 0.07 percent to 2.4 percent, which includes mild reactions (like coldness or warmth, headache, nausea) to more severe allergic-like reactions.
What to know about head and brain MRI scans
A head MRI is noninvasive. When a person arrives at the clinic, a doctor or technician will talk them through the process and tell them what to expect.
First, a healthcare professional will ask a series of questions about a person’s medical history.
Radiographers also need to know if a woman is pregnant. Doctors tend not to recommend MRI scans during pregnancy, because it is unclear whether the magnetic force can affect fetal development.
They will also ask if a person has any metallic objects, such as piercings, metal plates, watches, or jewelry. These can interfere with the scan, and a person must remove them before entering the scanner.
Other metallic objects that can interfere with a scan include:
- brain aneurysm clips
- cochlear implants
- dental fillings and bridges
- eye implants
- metallic fragments in the eyes or blood vessels
- metal plates, wires, screws, or rods
- surgical clips or staples
A healthcare team member will usually ask a person to put on a hospital gown. They will store a person’s clothes and any jewelry in a safe locker until the scan is finished.
During the scan
The technician will bring the person into the room that contains the MRI scanner. The person will lie on a sliding trolley, and the technician may cover them with a sheet.
The technician will then position the trolley so that the person’s head and neck are inside the MRI scanner. They will leave the room and speak to the person through a radio.
People should be aware of the following:
- Pillows or foam blocks on the trolley will keep the head in the right position.
- MRI machines make a lot of noise, so expect to hear loud hums, knocking sounds, and general electronic noise. Technicians will usually provide headphones or earplugs.
- People must stay very still inside the scanner to ensure clear, accurate images. If a person moves, they may have to repeat the scan. If someone, such as a person with Parkinson’s, has trouble lying still, a technician may offer restraints to help.
- Every MRI machine has a call button. If a person feels anxious or wants to stop the procedure, they can press the call button and talk to the medical staff.
- Most tattoos are safe in an MRI. However, some inks contain traces of metal, which can cause heat or discomfort during a scan. If a person feels any discomfort, they should tell the radiographer.
The medical team may offer anesthetics or sedatives to people who have extreme claustrophobia.
If a person has taken a sedative, they should avoid driving themselves home. Also, a person needs time to recover from an anesthetic at the medical center. In the event of an allergic reaction, the healthcare team will keep the person under observation.
What to Expect When Getting an MRI
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam is a popular diagnostic imaging method in the U.S. and throughout the world. An MRI is normally an noninvasive, painless high-quality diagnostic imaging services performed at Envision Imaging. An MRI scan uses radio waves, magnets and a computer to generate high-resolution, detailed images of the inside of your body.
What Are MRIs Used For?
Doctors use MRIs to gather essential information about your body’s internal organs and skeletal system, including your joints, spine and brain. They use the images to see if there are injuries to, or abnormalities associated with, your ligaments, nerves, bones, muscles and other tissues.
An MRI can detect a wide range of issues, including:
- Joint Problems: Doctors can often diagnose arthritis using an MRI.
- Spinal Disc Abnormalities: MRI is a useful method for detecting spinal metastases, spinal infections, disc abnormalities and nerve root disorders.
- Structural Problems: These may be brain injuries or problems in your heart.
- Tumors: Tumors can develop in various organs, such as your ovaries and kidneys.
Doctors often use an MRI when they suspect an illness or injury that a CT scan, X-ray or ultrasound won’t provide enough detail about.
Schedule an MRI with Envision Imaging
Although getting a magnetic resonance imaging scan is not a fun thing to do, sometimes it’s a medical necessity. Most individuals want to know what they can expect before they get their first MRI, as it can be unnerving when you don’t know what’s going to happen.
While it’s normal and common to have anxiety before an MRI, you won’t be as anxious when you know what to expect and how to prepare.
What Happens During An MRI
An MRI machine has a magnetic field that realigns your body’s hydrogen atoms temporarily. Radio waves cause the atoms to create extremely faint signals, which help to make cross-sectional images. The images get layered on top of one another, giving your doctor a good view of your body’s insides from various angles. During your MRI, you’ll hear noises, and your radiologic technologist will provide you with instructions. If your physician orders your MRI with contrast, you’ll be fitted with an IV line to administer the dye.
1. Sounds: You’ll hear some loud thumping, knocking and tapping sounds coming from the machine. These noises are completely normal. You will be provided with headphones that play music during your scan.
2. Remaining still and holding your breath: When you go in for your MRI scan, you’ll lie down on the table and will need to stay still. The machine moves as you’re positioned to obtain the clearest images. The technologist may instruct you to hold your breath at specified intervals for a few seconds, depending on what area of the body they’re scanning. They’ll let you know when you can breathe again, and you shouldn’t need to hold your breath for more than a few seconds.
3. Contrast dye: If the doctor wants to perform a contrast MRI, they’ll inject you with a material, like gadolinium, immediately before your MRI through an IV in your arm. Gadolinium-based contrast agents, which are rare earth metals, change the contrast of the MR image. During the scan, this material lights up, helping doctors get a better look at your heart, brain and blood vessels. It can help them with diagnosing issues like inflammatory conditions like multiple sclerosis or cancer.
If your procedure requires contrast dye, you might feel some effects when they inject the dye into your IV line, such as:
- A feeling of coldness or flushing sensation
- A metallic or salty taste in your mouth
- A brief headache
- Some itching
- Nausea and vomiting
Typically, these effects last for only a few moments.
According to the American College of Radiology (ACR), use of contrast materials isn’t “completely devoid of risk,” and some individuals could have side effects that range from minor discomfort to severe life-threatening, though rare, situations. The ACR says there’s a 0.07 to 2.4 percent adverse event rate for gadolinium-based contrast material.
ACR also notes millions of MRIs are performed using contrast each year with no problems. It’s uncommon to experience allergic reactions or severe, life-threatening reactions, but they can occur in less than one percent of cases.
What MRI Equipment Looks Like
A standard MRI machine is a large tube with openings at both ends. A magnet surrounds the tube, and the table you lie on slides all the way into and out of the tube.
Although the inside of a newer MRI machine isn’t exactly luxurious, they’re less restrictive than they used to be. Also, depending on the area of your body the doctor wants to evaluate, you might not even have to put your head or entire body in the machine at all.
Older machines had ceilings very close to the patient’s head and face, making it much more likely for them to feel claustrophobic during their scan. The newer MRI machines’ tunnels are bigger, and although you could still experience claustrophobia, you’ll have more space than what you would have before.
You’re not completely inside the MRI machine in a short-bore system — the only part of your body inside the machine is the one being scanned, and the rest of your body remains outside the machine.
All sides are open on an open MRI. The type of machine might work best if you’re claustrophobic or extremely overweight. Image quality with some open MRI machines isn’t as good as the quality with closed MRIs.
Envision Imaging offers several options for your MRI procedure, including open MRI, MRI short bore, MRI open bore, MRCP and MRI spectroscopy.
Other Things to Consider
If you’re anxious about your first MRI, you can ask your doctor if sedation, anti-anxiety medication or anesthesia is a possibility beforehand. You might have access to a “panic button” you can press if you’d like to halt the exam. But knowing what to expect when getting an MRI, such as the sounds you’ll be hearing and the open tube you’ll lie in, can be helpful in relieving the anxiety some MRI patients experience.
1. Typical Duration of an MRI
How long does an MRI take altogether? The entire scan might take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity of the scan. Relax and close your eyes while the machine does what it’s supposed to, as you need to be still as the machine takes the images.
The Envision Imaging technologist oversees the whole process and can talk with you through the speaker if you have questions or need to stop for some reason. They’ll do their best to make you feel comforted and at ease during the whole scan.
2. How to Prepare for Your MRI
There isn’t much preparation required for an MRI scan. Unless instructed otherwise, you take your daily medicines as you usually would. There could be some dietary restrictions for an MRI, but your healthcare provider will notify you of these requirements before your exam. Guidelines about drinking and eating before the MRI exam vary based on the exam itself.
Most MRI scan preparation suggestions will include:
- Getting to your appointment at least 30 minutes before your exam to check in and fill out the MRI screening form
- Putting on medical scrubs (top and pants) or a hospital gown — you’ll receive a locker where you can secure your belongings during your exam
- Getting an IV line placed, if applicable — if the exam requires MRI contrast, the technologist or nurse will insert an IV catheter
You might need special MRI preparations or considerations if you have certain medical conditions or items within or on your body.
3. Let the Technologist Know of Medical Conditions
Because the MRI uses a strong magnetic field during the exam, certain conditions might prevent you from being able to have the MRI. When you schedule your appointment, let the technologist and staff know if you have any of the following conditions:
- History of kidney problems: If you have a history of kidney failure, kidney disease, liver disease, kidney transplant or you’re on dialysis, you’ll need to let the technologist or radiologist before you receive the contrast. Contrast agents containing gadolinium might increase your risk of a serious but rare disease known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis if you have severe kidney failure.
- Pregnancy: Gadolinium MRI, no matter what trimester of pregnancy, is linked with an increased risk of a broad group of inflammatory, rheumatological or infiltrative skin conditions, as well as neonatal death or stillbirth.
- Claustrophobia: Let your doctor know if you’re scared of an MRI due to claustrophobia. They might give you a sedative so you can relax.
The radiology staff will then let you know whether you can have the exam done and if they need to modify it for your particular condition.
You may also require special preparations for certain conditions, such as preparation for MRI of the spine, MRI preparation for brain and others. Some common conditions you may need special preparation for are:
- Spinal Cord and Brain Conditions: Examples would be a stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), brain aneurysms, brain injuries, tumors
- Abnormalities or Tumors in Organs: Examples are spleen, liver, reproductive organs, pancreas, bile ducts, kidneys, heart, bowel, bladder and adrenal glands
- Blood Vessel and Heart Structure Problems: Examples are damage from heart disease or a heart attack, abnormal size of aortic chambers, congenital heart disease, inflammation, aneurysms, blockages and other heart problems
- Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Examples are ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Bone and Joint Irregularities: Examples are abnormalities, tumors and infections
You will be asked to change into medical scrubs (top and pants) or a gown to prevent injury from clothing. Leave jewelry and accessories home if possible or remove them before your MRI scan.
4. Inform the Technologist About Items That Can Interfere With an MRI
Some personal items can pose a risk during an MRI. These include:
- Pacemaker: A small device the surgeon places in your abdomen or chest to control abnormal heart rhythms. Older pacemakers, until now, were thought to be susceptible to disruption when exposed to the radio waves and magnetic fields that allow MRI to view into the body.
- Skin Tattoos: Tattoo pigments contain ferromagnetic metallic compounds, particularly iron oxide, and could generate an electric current that could lead to an increase in local skin temperature serious enough to cause a cutaneous burn.
- Makeup: Metals in some cosmetics that may interact with MRI magnets. Therefore, you’ll want to forgo the makeup or nail polish on the day of your MRI. You should also refrain from using sunscreens and antiperspirants and minimize hair products — all of which could contain metals.
- Implanted Drug Infusion Devices (Like an Insulin Pump): The FDA has received reports of severe adverse episodes, including death, linked with using implantable infusion pumps in a magnetic resonance space.
- Cochlear Implants: Some individuals with cochlear implants feel discomfort and pain and experience issues with the internal magnet of the implants when they undergo an MRI.
- Metallic Prosthesis and Implants: Metallic fragments in your body can cause a possible risk of changing position and potentially causing an injury. Also, a metallic implant or another object could distort the MR images or cause signal loss.
Other conditions and objects may interfere with an MRI or pose a risk. It’s essential you let your technologist and doctor know if you have a condition or object that is questionable. Since there are some neurostimulation systems, cardiac pacemakers and medicine pumps that are acceptable for MRI, your technologist must know the exact type, so they can implement special procedures and measures to ensure your safety.
5. Recovery From an MRI
Once your scan is complete, the table you’re lying on will slide out of the MRI scanner, and the technologist will assist you off the table. When getting up from the table, be sure you move slowly to avoid any lightheadedness or dizziness from lying flat during the exam, especially if it took a while.
The technologist will remove the IV line they inserted for any contrast administration — if there was any. If you notice any redness, pain or swelling at the site of the IV when you return home after your scan, let your doctor know, as this could be an indication of an infection or reaction.
If you took a sedative for the scan, they might require you to rest there until it wears off. You will also need to have someone else drive you home. Otherwise, no special recovery care is required after an MRI scan. You can resume your normal activities and diet unless your doctor advises you differently. Your doctor may provide you with specific instructions following your scan, depending on your particular situation.
Schedule an MRI Appointment With Envision Imaging
To set up your appointment for an MRI, contact Envision Imaging. Our providers are genuinely committed to enhancing your well-being and health through our hospitality and expertise. We ensure all of our patients have a special, memorable experience and are treated with the utmost respect.
We make the timing and scheduling of your appointment as convenient as possible and provide our services in light-filled, elegant and comfortable offices. We also provide and maintain the most advanced and latest imaging technology, ensuring your MRI scan results are reliable and accurate. Contact our friendly and helpful staff today to schedule your appointment.
You will be asked whether you have any metal in your body before your MR exam. Having metal in your body does not automatically disqualify you from having an MR exam. All patients are evaluated individually. In some cases, people with pacemakers, defibrillators or other electronic devices cannot have an MR scan.
Why choose the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center for an MRI?
You can print and fill out the MRI and MRI and Pregnancy forms, if applicable, on our Pre-Registration Questionnaire page before arriving to speed the registration process.
If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
An MRI scan at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center. The MRI gantry is the gray circular machine to the right. The patient has on an audio head set to listen to music, as well as a pillow and a pillow under the knees for lumbar support and comfort. The MRI technologist is always able to see and hear the patient, and the patient will have a communication ball in their hand. If they squeeze the ball, the technologist will immediately end the session.
Most MR procedures do not require advance preparation, but some do, including:
(Visit time is your estimated time at the imaging center. Your study will last significantly less time.)
If you plan to take relaxation medication before your exam, it is our policy that you come with someone who can drive you home.
For studies that involve IV contrast: If you have veins that are small or hard to find, or have a port, please arrive 60 minutes before your scheduled arrival time.
MRI abdomen and/or pelvis (approximate visit time: two hours)
- Do not eat or drink for three hours before your exam.
MR angiography (MRA)
Dynamic pelvic MRI (approximate scan time: 30 minutes)
- You must empty your bladder two hours before the exam and not void again until the exam is complete.
MR enterography (approximate visit time: three hours)
- Do not eat or drink eight hours before exam.
MRI of prostate (same prep as MRI spectroscopy of prostate) (approximate visit time: 90 minutes)
- Use Fleet enema No. 1 two hours before your exam.
MR cholangiogram (approximate visit time: 90 minutes)
- Do not eat or drink for eight hours before your exam.
MR abdomen and cholangiogram (approximate visit time: two hours)
- Do not eat or drink for eight hours before your exam.
Cardiac MRI (Rest only) (cardiomyopathy/myocarditis, left ventricular function and viability, specific Q and congenital) (approximate visit time: 2.5 hours)
- No preparations required
Cardiac MR stress test (with adenosine; stress profusion, vasodilator, pharmacologic) (approximate visit time: 3.5 hours)
- Consult your physician about going off beta blockers for 48 hours and calcium channel blockers for 24 hours before the test.
- Consult your physician about stopping calcium channel blockers 24 hours before your exam.
- Do not eat or drink caffeine products (such as: chocolate, sodas, teas, coffee or Anacin®/Excedrin®) for 24 hours before exam. Note: Decaffeinated products still contain small amounts of caffeine and should be avoided.
- Remain on all other non-cardiac medications
- Consult your physician before discontinuing ANY medication (especially if you are diabetic).
- Do not eat or drink three hours before your exam. Water is OK.
- For SPECT exams, please wear a comfortable two-piece outfit and walking shoes.
- Please bring all of your medications with you or a list of all medications with doses.
If you are having anesthesia, please read MRI and Anesthesia.
MRI scan room at S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.
How to Prepare for an MRI
Are you getting an MRI soon? Learn how to prepare for an MRI so you’re ready for your appointment.
What is an MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to capture images of the inside of the body. MRI images are extremely detailed and can be used to image nearly any part of the body including bones, organs, ligaments, joints, and other soft tissues.
How to Prepare for an MRI
Preparing for an MRI is typically very easy. MRI is safe and requires very little preparation.
- Because of the strong magnetic field, metal is not permitted in the MRI suite. Please leave all jewelry and metal accessories at home. Keys, credit cards, cell phones, underwire bras, and medical devices and implants that contain metal must also be left outside the MRI suite. However, the advanced technology at Raleigh Radiology makes it possible for patients with certain implanted medical devices to get an MRI. Learn more about MRI compatible devices.
- Most MRI exams have no dietary restrictions. If you are scheduled for an MRI of the abdomen or pelvis, please do not eat or drink for 4 hours before your exam—an empty GI tract helps produce better images. If you are scheduled for an MRI with contrast, nausea can be a side effect of the contrast, so you may choose to limit food intake for 2 hours prior to the exam.
How to Prepare for an MRI with Contrast
Gadolinium contrast, also called contrast or dye, is used to enhance MRI images and make certain structures more clear. Contrast is typically given orally or hand before MRI images are taken. Side effects and allergic reactions to contrast are rare but can occur. Your doctor will take a complete medical history and please be sure to inform your doctor of any known allergies, current medications, recent illnesses or surgeries, or a history of kidney disease.
Your MRI at Raleigh Radiology
All MRI scanners at Raleigh Radiology offer an open bore option. This new technology provides a much more comfortable experience compared to the older, closed MRI machines. To learn more about MRI at Raleigh Radiology, download our MRI brochure, or contact the Raleigh Radiology office in your area.