HOW TO Undergo a Successful MRI

By Copper Williams

In the world of standard medical procedures, a trip into an MRI machine is one of the safest and most comfortable processes around, requiring little to no effort on the patient’s part.

This simple routine, often performed in less than 40 minutes, provides a world of information your doctor can use in determining the best care for you! The staff at Valley MRI & Radiology, Inc. offer their insight to ensure that your procedure is quick, comfortable, and easy!

Prepping For Your MRI
After confirming that you need an MRI, it’s important to divulge medical information to the facility that will be handling your scan. “Patients who are pregnant, or patients who have aneurysm clips, or stents need special clearance,” says Dr. Charles Stillman, CEO of Valley MRI. “Patients who have screws, or metal implants such as knee, shoulder, or hip replacements can all have MRIs as long as the surgery is 6-8 weeks old.  It helps to indulge as much health history [as possible], even if the patient doesn’t find it pertinent.” Refrain from eating four hours before the scan if you will undergo a contrast injection during your MRI procedure.

What Not To Wear
When choosing your attire for your MRI scan, you’re free to indulge in whatever comfortable outfit you’d like—so long as it doesn’t have metal. MRI scans rely on magnetic fields to obtain their imaging. Metal will not only interrupt the scanning process and cause issues with the image, but can pose a hazard when interacting with the magnetic field.

“Make up, earrings, necklaces, watches, bracelets, and piercings can all have metal properties, and should be removed,” says Dr. Charles Stillman. “[Wear] any comfortable clothing without metal, such as gym clothes, leggings, sweats, jump suits, velour suits, basketball shorts, and t-shirts. Clothing such as jeans, bras, camisoles, and cargo shorts all have zippers, metal hooks, or eye rings.”

Remaining Still
One of the most crucial aspects for the MRI to obtain a proper image is for the patient to remain perfectly still. An average exam can take from 20-30 minutes. Exams with contrast can take 25-40 minutes depending on the body part. Patients may bring their own blanket, and family members who are first screened can remain present in the scanning room to help make the process more comfortable.

It’s common for patients to experience a certain level of unease during the scanning process due to the loud clicking and the closeness of the walls. Fortunately, the professionals at Valley MRI offer a variety of items to help patients remain calm. Special glasses allow patients to see out of the machine, fans operate at all times to provide fresh air, and lights are located inside the machine to keep patients illuminated.

For More Information:
Valley MRI

546 E. Pine St., Stockton
(209) 467-1000