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How to prepare for an MRI

Preparing for an MRI scan is simple. You can take all your normal medications unless your physician gives you special instructions. Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing without zippers, snaps or anything else metallic, as metal interferes with the imaging. If your clothing contains metal, we will provide scrubs for you to wear during the exam. You cannot wear watches, jewelry, or anything else containing metal into the scanner room. You can remove these items and leave them in the secure changing suite prior to the exam. All body piercings must be removed prior to the MRI exam. Also, no keys, coins, dentures with metal components, hearing aids, medical alert devices, or cell phones are allowed in the scanner room. Credit cards cannot be brought into the scanner room since the magnetic codes can be affected by the magnet. You should also remove eye makeup, as some cosmetics contain metallic substances. Click here for more precautions.

How to help your child prepare for an MRI scan

Please follow all same instructions listed above. Children under the age of 6 often need a sedative because they cannot remain still long enough for a successful scan. You can help your child have a positive experience by explaining the procedure to them in child-friendly language. Explain that the doctor needs to take some pictures, and that the child needs to stay very still. Some parents find it helpful to engage their children in creative play, such as imagining that the scanner is a spaceship or a secret chamber where the child has to be very, very still. If you engage your child in a story before the appointment, he or she can replay the story in his or her imagination during the scan. We encourage you to stay in the exam room with your child during the scan.

Eating and drinking before an MRI scan

Usually there are no dietary restrictions before a MRI exam. However, if your physician has requested the use of a contrast agent for your MRI then it would be best not to eat two hours prior to your exam to minimize the already unlikely event of nausea. An empty GI tract helps produce better images. If you are diabetic and concerned about your blood sugars, please talk to us about your concerns. We are here to help.