How to Prepare for an MRI Exam

Magnetic resolution imaging otherwise abbreviated as MRI is a diagnostic technique that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to generate a detailed image of the bones and soft tissues in the human body. The MRI uses a magnet that moves around the body system to excite the hydrogen atoms in order to image the spine. Once the atoms get back to their usual level of excitation, the scanner will detect the energy that they remit. So far, the MRI remains to be the best imaging for studying the spine in order to plan for backpain treatment. In most cases, medical practitioners use them for pre-surgical planning because the scan is highly sensitive to the information that concerns the health of disks and the availability of herniated disk or tumors. Therefore, MRI is one of the most important examinations in the medical field.

The MRI exam process is not only harmless but also painless. However, we have patients who don’t like the experience of having to lie still in a space that is fully enclosed. In addition, some machines are so noisy because the magnets keep on vibrating inside the tube as the operator switches them on and off. Its good to have some of this information as you prepare for your MRI exam. However, the preparation process does not demand so much from the side of the patient. MRI is not like the other medical procedures as you are free to take any medicines and also eat and drink anything before you go for the scan. Here are some five more ways to prepare for your MRI exam.

Remove Any Metallic Items

The primary magnet that is in the MRI scanner is very strong. Therefore, the patient should remove all metallic items like jewelry from his or her body. The machine will scan your body for any metallic implants. Therefore, you should inform the doctor if you are aware of any such thing in your body.

Put on Comfortable Clothing

Make sure you put on loose fitting attires that will enable you to lie on the table comfortably.  The process can run for twenty minutes to several hours. It all depends on the body parts that require imaging. The patient has to lie motionless throughout the scanning process so that the images are not blurry as this may call for recapturing. You may be required to put on the hospital gown if your clothes have metallic components like poppers or zippers.

Avoid Makeup

Some makeups have metallic filaments and this may interfere with the whole process and lead to poor quality images. Remove all makeups as you prepare for your MRI exam to avoid such occurrences.


The hollow tube in the MRIscanning machine is so thin and you can find it quite hard to relax in such a confined environment. The noise of the machines also adds to the great feeling of anxiety. Just try to close your eyes and take some deep breaths before you get into the scanner. You can also seek for advice from your doctor on how to relax while in the MRI scanner. Some doctors may prescribe some music to you to cancel the irritating noise from the magnets and help you relax. The volume may vary depending on the scanning machine that the doctor is using.