McLaren Port Huron MRI Services

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MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Frequently Asked Questions

What is an MRI?

An MRI is an imaging technique that produces detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. The images are created through the use of magnetic fields and radio waves. For some procedures a contrast agent (Gadolinium) is used to increase the detail of the images.

Can anyone have an MRI scan? Are there any risks involved with having an MRI?

Almost anyone can have an MRI. Although MRI is a non-invasive procedure that does not use any X-Ray radiation, it does require the use of a high strength magnetic field. People with pacemakers cannot undergo a MRI scan, also other metallic implants, aneurysm clips, bullet fragments and all prosthetics will need to be checked before a person with these would be scanned. Some tattoos and permanent eyeliner may be heated during a scan. Our staff will go over any of these issues with you before your test. There is no weight limit.

Can someone who is pregnant undergo an MRI scan?

MRI is generally avoided in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. If after this time all physicians involved in your care and our radiologist determine it is absolutely medically necessary and is beneficial, then you may have an MRI.

How can I prepare for an MRI procedure?

It is best to wear loose comfortable clothing with no metal. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for some procedures. It is best to wear no jewelry, as you will need to remove it for the test. Please keep makeup to a minimum, some products contain metallic flakes that could cause a patients skin to heat up and also cause artifacts that will degrade the images.

Can I eat before my exam?

Yes. The only MRI procedure that has a restriction is a MRCP exam. This is a special exam of your abdomen that requires you to not eat or drink for 6 hours before your test.

How long does an MRI take?

Depending on the test you are having done, anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

What will happen during the test?

MRI is a very noisy test. Normally ear protection is given to help block some of the noise. You may feel the table vibrate and move occasionally during the test. It is very important to hold extremely still for the entire test. If you are claustrophobic or in severe pain you may want to ask your referring physician about medication to help get you through the test.