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Do I Need to Fast Before an MRI?

Do I Need to Fast Before an MRI?

If you’re scheduled for an MRI, you’re likely wondering if the procedure requires any type of preparation. 

At REDI Diagnostics Corp in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, our board-certified radiologists take care to answer all your questions about your MRI. We explain any steps you need to take before your scan. In addition, your referring physician also provides guidance. 

Why do I need an MRI? 

Your doctor has referred you to REDI Diagnostics Corp because your health care team needs more information before they reach a definitive diagnosis which will inform a treatment plan. 

MRIs are superior to other imaging procedures in cases where your organs or soft tissue are involved. An MRI is the best imaging test to detect abnormal changes in your tissue. We also use MRIs to follow up on health conditions to see if changes have occurred. 

What type of preparation is needed before an MRI? 

We send you information about your MRI before your appointment. You’ll complete a thorough screening questionnaire prior to your procedure. 

The MRI machine has large magnets that produce magnetic fields that create images of the inside of your body. You need to note on the questionnaire any metal you have inside your body such as a pacemaker or metal plate. If you have a pacemaker, you’ll need more preparation time when you come in for your appointment. 

We advise you to leave all metal jewelry and adornments at home. On the day of the appointment, you’ll be asked to remove all metals like watches from the outside of your body and put them in a safe locker at our facility. 

If you’re claustrophobic, your doctor may prescribe a sedative to take the night before and/or an hour before your appointment. Many MRIs require no other specific preparation. 

Do I need to fast before an MRI? 

Some MRIs require you to fast for several hours before your scan. We advise you if your MRI has this requirement. 

Pelvic or abdominal MRIs

If you’re getting a pelvic or abdominal MRI, you need to fast for approximately five hours prior to your procedure. These MRIs examine the following parts of your body: 

Pelvic and abdominal MRIs can detect cancers, tumors, infections, blockages, and other abnormalities in your tissues under examination. 

For some of these MRIs, you need to remove bowel waste before your procedure. We let you know if you need to use laxatives. If you’re a woman, you may need to have a full bladder for a pelvic exam. We let you know if this is necessary. 

MRIs with contrast

You may need an MRI with contrast. The contrast is a dye. It helps delineate any abnormalities in your organs, blood vessels, and soft tissue. An MRI with contrast helps to identify small tumors, showing exactly where they are and how big they are. 

Our staff injects the special dye into your arm through an IV. You need to fast anywhere from four to eight hours before your scan. We let you know the timeframe in the instructions we send you. 

Some cardiac MRIs 

Some cardiac MRIs require you to fast and rid your body of caffeine before your procedure. This means no caffeinated beverages or chocolate for one day (24 hours) before your scan. We let you know if you need to fast before your MRI. 

Call REDI Diagnostics Corp or book an appointment online today. We provide you with the information you need to have the best MRI experience possible.

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