Magnetic Resonance Imaging Care

Learn what care is required for the Magnetic Resonance Imaging procedure. Find out what you need to do prior to the procedure, how long it will take, if you will be required to stay in the hospital and what the postoperative care is.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Details


Alternate Names for Magnetic Resonance Imaging:
Imaging, magnetic resonance
MRI
MRI scan

What to Expect Prior to Test

If your doctor prescribes a sedative:

  • Arrange for a ride home.
  • Do not eat or drink for at least four hours before the exam.
  • Take the sedative 1-2 hours before the exam, or as directed.

At the MRI center:

  • You will be asked about the following:
    • Medical and surgical history
    • Pregnancy
    • Allergies
    • Other conditions that you may have-If your MRI involves contrast material, your doctor will ask about the health of your kidneys. There is a risk of complications in people who have kidney disease and receive contrast material.
  • You will be asked if you have something in your body that would interfere with the MRI, such as:
    • Pacemaker or implantable defibrillator
    • Neurostimulator
    • Ear implant
    • Metal fragments in your eyes or in any other part of your body (Tell your doctor if your work involves metal filings or particles.)
    • Implanted port device, such as an insulin pump
    • Metal plate, pins, screws, or surgical staples
    • Metal clips from aneurysm repair
    • Retained bullets
    • Any other large metal objects in your body (Tooth fillings and braces are usually fine.)
  • You will be asked to remove any metal objects (eg, jewelry, hearing aids, glasses).
  • You will also be asked to remove all medicine skin patches (eg, Duragesic patch). They may contain metal elements and cause skin burns.
  • An x-ray may be taken to check for any metal objects in your body.

You may be:

  • Given ear plugs or headphones (The MRI machine makes a loud banging noise.)
  • Given an injection of a contrast dye into your vein
  • Allowed to have a family member or friend with you during the test

Description of Test

You will lie very still on a sliding table. Depending on your condition, you may have monitors to track your pulse, heart rate, and breathing. The table will slide into a narrow, enclosed cylinder. In some machines, the sides are open, so you can look out into the room.

If a contrast dye is used, a small IV needle is inserted into your hand or arm before you slide into the machine. First, a saline solution is dripped into your vein to prevent clotting. Then, the dye is injected. You might have an allergic reaction to the dye, but this is rare.

The technician will leave the room. Through the intercom, the technician will give you directions, such as to hold your breath. You can talk to the technician through this intercom as well. The technician will take the pictures. When the exam is done, you will slide out of the machine. If you have an IV needle, it will be removed.

If you are claustrophobic or unable to lie on a flat table, there are open MRI machines available. They allow you to have the test done without being put in a narrow cylinder. There are also MRI machines that allow a patient to be in a sitting position. This may be important for patients with concerns, like a painful back.

After Test

You will be asked to wait at the facility while the images are examined. The technician may need more images.

If you took a sedative, do not drive, operate machinery, or make important decisions until it wears off completely.

If you are breastfeeding and receive a contrast dye, you and your doctor should discuss when you should restart breastfeeding. Information available has not found any ill effects to the baby of a breastfeeding mother who has had contrast dye.

How Long Will It Take?

40-90 minutes

Will It Hurt?

The exam is painless. If you have dye injected, there may be stinging when the IV needle is inserted. You may also feel a slight cooling sensation as the dye is injected.

If you have a fear of enclosed spaces, the exam may be very hard for you. Your doctor may have you take a sedative. You can also ask your doctor about an open MRI, which is larger and has openings on all sides.


Learn

Learn what Magnetic Resonance Imaging is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Complications
Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Results
Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO