Prior to receiving diagnostic imaging, gaining an understanding of what to expect from an MRI scan can be calming. This non-invasive technique lets medical professionals examine the inside of your body.
Knowing what happens before, during and after an MRI can make the process more comfortable since you are more familiar with the procedure.
How to Prepare for an MRI Procedure
Before your MRI, you can continue your normal routine and take your medication unless your doctor gives you special instructions. For example, you might need to fast for two hours before undergoing an examination with a contrast agent. Inform your physician and radiology staff about your medical history. They may need to modify the examination process based on a condition you have, such as allergies, claustrophobia or pregnancy.
MRI examination preparation involves taking off items that could interfere with the magnets in the MRI machine. As you get into a medical gown, you’ll receive instructions to remove:
- Jewelry and hair accessories
- Underwire bras
- Hearing aids
You should also tell your doctor if you have any metal or electronic devices in your body, like an implant.
What to Expect During Your MRI Scan
The average MRI procedure lasts from 40 to 60 minutes. You’ll lie in the center of a large, tube-shaped MRI machine that will take pictures of your bones, organs, and tissues. As the machine scans your body, it will make knocking noises, but it will not touch you or flash. During the MRI examination, your doctor will ask you to stay as still as possible. Moving during the scan can make the resulting images look blurry. If you have difficulty staying still or feel anxious during the examination, your doctor may recommend a light sedative.
Many radiologists offer a variety of resources to help you feel relaxed during your MRI. An MRI technician will oversee the procedure and talk to you as you receive the scan. Wearing a sleeping mask can help you stay still and calm throughout the scan.
After Your Appointment
You can go back to your everyday activities after your examination unless you receive a sedative. If you have sedation during the procedure, your radiologist will let you know when you can get back to work or school. Once your doctor receives the scan results, they’ll contact you about the next steps.
MRIs at Adams Diagnostic Imaging
When you get an MRI at Adams Diagnostic Imaging, you get expert care from Gettysburg’s top radiologists. To learn more about our radiology services, contact our team online or call 717-337-5991.