How To Prepare For An MRI Scan: 4 Things to Do


Attending a medical appointment can be nerve-racking, especially if it involves treatment or service that we’re unfamiliar with, like an MRI scan. Getting an MRI scan for the first time can seem intimidating, regardless of whether you’re due to undertake a whole-body MRI or if the scan is just for a specific body part, and your head might be flooding with worries about how to prepare yourself for the process.

From dwelling on what to wear to fretting about how the procedure is carried out, it’s completely normal to have anxieties surrounding a foreign medical practice and is proven to affect just 3% of the population. Now that you’ve gotten the most complicated part out of the way and booked your MRI scan or been referred by your local GP, we’ve created this list of things to do to help you prepare for your MRI scan to stop your imagination running wild and quell your fear of the unknown.

Know If You’re Suitable For An MRI

First and foremost, it’s crucial that you ensure that you’re suitable for getting an MRI scan, as this is imperative before going any further. The process of magnetic resonance imaging is very straightforward. Many people can have the procedure without any complications; however, for some individuals, an MRI scanner can be extremely dangerous and could even be life-threatening in worst-case scenarios. Before booking or being referred for an MRI scan, you should consult with a medical professional if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any metal in your body.

If you have metal fragments within your body, such as metal plates, wires, rods, screws, or a metal implant like a pacemaker or a cochlear implant, it doesn’t automatically mean that you are exempt from having an MRI scan. Even tattoos can pose a risk during the MRI procedure, as in some cases, tattoo ink can contain traces of metal.

Some metals are acceptable, whereas others are not, which is why it’s vital to converse with your chosen health professional if any of the above applies to you so that all risks associated with them are minimized and so that they can determine your suitability for the procedure. If you’re still confused, you can use this internet guide for further information on how to stay safe while getting an MRI, which will outline all exceptions.

Understand How An MRI Works

It’s crucial that you understand how an MRI scan works before preparing yourself for the procedure to know what to expect and any worries are soothed. Magnetic resonance imaging, more commonly known as MRI, is an imaging technique used by medical professionals to produce detailed 2D and 3D images of the inside of the body using strong magnetic fields and radio waves. Typically, the procedure is carried out while the individual receiving the treatment is lying down, but it can also be performed standing or sitting.

As a result, MRI scans are used as a preventative measure to identify life-threatening diseases during their most treatable stage. Suppose that you’d like to know more; in this case, you could consider looking at the helpful guides and blog posts over on to gain a better understanding. As well as having lots of resources, Ezra also carries out whole-body MRI services, amongst others, for first timers and individuals looking to take control of their health – peruse their website to see how they could help you today.

Make Sure To Eat And Take Any Medications Beforehand

MRI scans have no food, drink, or medicine restrictions, unlike other medical procedures. Unless otherwise stated by your doctor, ensure that you eat, drink and take any medications as you would on an average day. Make sure that you check with your doctor beforehand, though, as in some cases, you may be asked not to eat for four hours before the scan or to drink a large amount of water beforehand.

Dress In Comfortable Clothing With No Metal Decorations

Another way to prepare yourself for an MRI scan is by deciding what to wear. As we touched upon in one of our previous points, metal isn’t allowed within proximity of the scanner, and you’ll have to be mindful of this when choosing your clothing. We suggest opting for casual, comfortable clothing.

Depending on what kind of scan you’ll be having, you could be in the chamber for up to ninety minutes, and the experience needs to be as enjoyable as possible. Consider opting for leggings, yoga pants, or tracksuit bottoms since jeans and skirts with zippers or decorative metal elements will not be permitted. You will also need to remember to remove any jewelry and body piercings so that these do not interfere with the procedure; any guests attending the appointment with you will also have to adhere to these rules.