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During Your MRI

Food and medications prior to the exam

For many exams you may eat and drink normally, engage in your regular activities, and take your usual prescribed medications, unless you have been instructed otherwise by our staff or your physician. Some exams require you to fast beforehand.

You will arrive before your scheduled appointment time to complete an interview with a technical staff member. During this interview we will ask you about your medical history.

Security of personal items

After the interview you will be asked to change into a gown and pants. Your clothes, jewelry, glasses, hearing aides, dentures, hairpins, credit cards, coins, keys and other metal objects will need to be removed and placed in one of our secure lockers. Please do not wear cosmetics to your scan as many brands contain metal. All valuables should be left at home.

Children under the age of 12 cannot be left unattended in radiology waiting areas. If a child needs to accompany you, please make arrangements with another adult to supervise the child during the MRI exam. If this is not possible, we would be happy to reschedule your appointment.

While the scan is taking place

Once inside the MRI scan room, you will be positioned on a padded examination table and will be given earplugs and headphones that play a variety of satellite radio channels. A special apparatus will be placed on or around the part of the body being scanned to better focus the images.

If a physician or radiologist has determined that an IV will enhance the MRI scan results, an IV will be placed in your arm or hand prior to the test by one of our technologists.

Once the MRI begins, the table will slowly move into the opening of a large cylinder-shaped tube that houses the MRI magnet. The MRI magnet is open at both ends. There will be a continual knocking noise while the machine takes pictures. This is the sound of the magnetic field being adjusted to generate information about the area being scanned.

It is important to lie completely still while the images are being taken. Any motion or movement will affect the sharpness. The technologist will talk to you via a two-way intercom throughout the scan and will keep you informed of what can be expected. If there is a need or a question, there is a call button and the technologist will respond immediately.


MRI scans are individualized and tailored to each patient's needs. Total scan times range from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the number and type of images the physician requested. You are welcome to have a family member accompany you during the exam provided he/she meets our MRI safety criteria.

After your MRI

When your MRI is finished you may go about your normal activities. If you have taken medication for anxiety or claustrophobia, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home.

Once your MRI is completed, the images are reviewed by a board-certified radiologist who sends a detailed report to the physician that ordered the test. Please contact your physician for your results.

MRI information line

If you have questions about the MRI or how to prepare for your test, please call our MRI information line at 877.700.4674.