How to Prepare Yourself for an MRI Scan

Posted on September 7, 2018

MRI Machine

If you've been scheduled for an MRI, you may be nervous, or even frightened. However, MRIs are simple and easy to experience, so long as you prepare yourself. 

The best diagnostic imaging centers in Suffolk County, NY, will work to make you feel comfortable throughout the process. Here are the top recommendations from diagnostic imaging experts about preparing for an MRI. 

About MRIs

First, it's helpful to understand what an MRI is so that you know what you'll be experiencing, and why you're having this advanced diagnostic imaging performed. 

An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a test that uses powerful magnetic and radio waves to get images of your internal organs, bones, and other tissue. The test is painless. If a doctor has ordered an MRI and referred you to a diagnostic imaging center, this means that they want to get clear imaging of specific tissues in your body so that they can diagnose your condition or visualize the extent of your condition.

Speak Up

It's fine if you're nervous about having an MRI. During the procedure, you will lay on a table in a large, tube-like device that may make prolonged noises while it operates. You'll be enclosed in the MRI machine for up to an hour, while the machine works to get deep images of your body tissue. 

If you're claustrophobic or have trouble staying motionless for that amount of time, feel free to speak up. 

Staff at Peconic Bay Medical Center are familiar with patients speaking up about their fears, and they will work to accommodate you. They can provide you with a sedative to relax your body. You'll wake up after the procedure is over. But it's better to speak up beforehand, preferably even before you're scheduled for the MRI so that the staff will be prepared to give you a temporary sedative. Also, you can take a sedative provided by the referring doctor once you arrive at the imaging center.

Talk about Risks

If you have metal implants or a pacemaker, or if you're pregnant or nursing, then an MRI may not be right for you. People who are allergic to iodine, have kidney problems, or have a history of diabetes may also have reactions to an MRI. Your doctor will gladly take a different approach to diagnose your condition if an MRI isn't right for you.

Patient Getting MRI

Preparing for the Day

The day of your MRI, you may want to have someone drive you to the exam. They can comfort you and can drive you home if you were given a sedative. Take your medications as directed, and don't wear any dentures or jewelry. Any metallic devices can interfere with an MRI. 

Arrive 30 minutes early to your appointment and be ready to fill out some forms. Then, a technician or doctor will walk you through the process. The best diagnostic imaging centers in Suffolk County, NY, like Peconic Bay Medical Center, will work to ensure you're comfortable with the process. Visit their website or contact their imaging centers directly for more advice about preparing for an MRI specific to your health needs.