MRI FAQ

Who can have an MRI?
Almost anyone can have an MRI exam. The magnetic field and radio waves have no known harmful effects; however, the magnets used in this equipment do not mix well with some metals. You must let the MRI staff know as soon as you arrive if you have any implants or conditions that may prevent you from having an MRI.

Such implants and conditions may include:

  • Cardiac pacemaker
  • Cochlear (ear) implant
  • Electronic or metal devices
  • Aneurysm or metallic clips
  • History as a metal worker
  • Foreign body in or around the eye
  • Embedded shrapnel or bullets
  • Pregnancy

The MRI staff will talk with you and determine if it is safe to proceed with your exam.

What happens during an MRI?
The MRI exam itself is quite simple. No special preparations are needed unless requested by your doctor.

Eat and take medications as you normally would.

Wear comfortable clothing without metal buttons, zippers or metal designs.

Arrive early for your appointment. The receptionist will give you some papers to review and answer any questions you may have about the MRI exam. An educational video is available upon request.

You will be shown to a dressing room and asked to remove all metal objects. Secured storage is available for your valuables.

In the exam room, you will be positioned on a padded table. You will be asked to remain as still as possible during the exam. The technologist will tell you how many scans will be done and how long each will take. You will hear a drum-like beating noise. Headphones or earplugs will be provided. If you become uncomfortable at any time, please let the technologist know.

Once the exam is complete, you may return to the dressing room and collect your valuables.

The imaging department is committed to prompt turn-around on all reports, with all significant findings being phoned to the referring physician when the procedure is interpreted.