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How to Prepare for Your MRI Scan

 How to Prepare for Your MRI Scan

If you have unexplained pain or other symptoms that need further exploration, your doctor may give you a referral for an MRI. Your health care provider needs the information that an MRI and perhaps other tests provide to determine the cause of your symptoms. 

Our expert radiologists with REDI Diagnostics Corp in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, perform MRI scans on patients every day. We know you’re anxious to receive your MRI results, so after your scan is complete, we write a report and send the information to your doctor promptly. 

Following are tips on how to prepare for your MRI. 

Eating and drinking

You can eat and drink normally before most MRIs. But if you’re having an MRI of your abdomen or pelvis, you shouldn’t eat or drink for four hours prior to your scan. Having an empty stomach yields more accurate images on this test. 

If your doctor has ordered an MRI with contrast, that means our staff injects a special dye into your arm through an IV before your procedure. It’s best not to eat within two hours of your MRI because occasionally the dye can cause a bit of nausea. 

Our office communicates with you before your exam and explains what, if anything, you need to do to prepare for your MRI. 

Clothing and jewelry

Wear comfortable clothing to our office. You’ll change into a hospital gown for your scan. We store your belongings, including your keys, watch, cell phone, and other valuables in a secure locker. Leave jewelry and other decorative items containing metal at home. You shouldn’t be wearing anything containing metal once you change into the hospital gown. 


The MRI produces a magnetic field. You shouldn’t wear deodorant before your procedure, as many of these products contain aluminum. Likewise, shower with regular soap, but avoid perfume, hair sprays, and gels, because they can also interfere with MRI results. 

Fear of enclosed spaces

Traditional MRI machines have patients move in and out of a long tube that’s open on the ends. Patients with claustrophobia sometimes have difficulty with this type of MRI because some of the time your body is inside the tube. 

We have short-bore MRI machines available, in which only the part of your body being examined is inside the tube. This type of MRI machine can ease your anxiety if you have a fear of enclosed spaces. 

Your doctor can also provide you with an oral medication that relaxes you an hour before your procedure. In this case, you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your scan. 

Implanted devices 

Let us know ahead of time if you have an implanted device like a pacemaker, an IUD, a nerve stimulator, or any other device containing metal, along with details such as the type and model. 

Likewise, if you have a metal plate, staples, or metal screws from a previous operation, or if any debris from metal has ever entered your eye, we need to know so we can determine if you’re able to go forward with your MRI. 

Call REDI Diagnostics Corp or book an appointment online today to schedule your MRI. The sooner you get your scan, the sooner your doctor can prescribe the right treatment to help you feel better.

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