5 ways to prepare for an MRI scan
It’s completely normal to feel anxious, uneasy, or uncomfortable in the moments before an MRI scan. Most people who underwent MRI examinations say they felt this way, too.
But I want you to know you need not dread MRI scans.
I know you’ve heard plenty of horror stories about MRI examinations being a dreadful experience. But guess what? Many of them are mere exaggerations.
There’s nothing scary or dreadful about an MRI examination.
You just need to prepare your mind before the D-day so that nothing will catch you by surprise.
Luckily for you, we’ve created this article to help you prepare.
But before that, I’ll like to mention a few things you should expect from an MRI scan because one can only adequately prepare for something after you’ve gotten yourself acquainted with that thing.
What to expect during an MRI exam
- Loud noises: You’ll hear loud thumping, tapping, and knocking coming from within the machine. These are signs that the machine has started working on you.
- A beautiful music session: To distract your mind away from the loud noises emanating from the equipment, your physician will provide you with headphones playing your favorite songs.
- Staying still and holding your breath: At all times, you’ll be asked to lie on your back and stay still throughout the session. In addition, you may be asked to hold your breaths at intervals, depending on the area that needs examination.
- An emergency call bell: You’ll be given an emergency call bell you can use to call for help in case you start feeling uncomfortable.
- Wouldn’t take much of your time: MRI scans don’t take more than 15 to 30 minutes to reach completion.
- Application of sedative: If you’re claustrophobic (scared of tight spaces), and you inform your physician you are, you may be given a mild sedative before the commencement of the procedure. Although this might mean you’ll pay more than the normal MRI scan Singapore price.
How to prepare for an MRI examination
1. Know and understand what you’re getting into
Although most MRI scan centers, like this MRI scan Singapore, educate their patients before administering the scans, it’s still important that you acquaint yourself with all things MRI before walking into the room.
I know we’ve mentioned a couple of things you can expect, but sometimes the peculiarity of an examination might require some additions or subtractions from the list above.
This is why you need to speak with your physician or radiographer before the day. Normally, he/she will educate you adequately so that you can know what you’re getting into.
2. Ask your doctor whether you’re fit for an MRI scan
Strange as it may sound, not everyone is fit for an MRI scan. So, as part of your preparation for the day, you need to ask your physician to test you to be sure you’re ok to have such scans.
The reason for this is because MRI scanners are unfriendly to some items. Now, if you have an existing medical condition that requires you to use these items, you may be unfit for an MRI scan as a result.
Some of the common items that fall under this category include:
- Cardiac pacemaker
- Any type of metal inside the body, including metal plates, wires, screws, or rods.
- Aneurysm clips
- Neuro stimulators, heart valves, drug infusion devise/pumps, ear implants
- Body tattoos or facial tattoos.
For example, if you have an ear problem, you may be asked to use an ear implant. Now, bringing this kind of item into the MRI scanner may be dangerous because the scanner consists of electrical and magnetic components, some of which may react negatively to the presence of another complex electronic device.
3. Bring all necessary documents along
Ensure you come to the MRI center with all the necessary documents you need on the day. Depending on your state and region, some of the documents you’ll be asked to present on the day may include prescription from your doctor, referral form, insurance card, driver’s license, patient information sheet, and safety sheet.
You’ll be told the documents to bring along before coming, so make sure you don’t forget any.
The essence of these documents is to prove to the radiographer or physician that you’re fit and ready to have an MRI scan.
4. On the day, make sure you eat, drink, and take your medications as usual
Unless you’re told otherwise, you must eat, drink, and take your pills like it’s any other day. The success of the examination hugely hinges on your ability to stay -focused and sane throughout the procedure.
As you know, not eating or skipping medications may negatively impact one’s ability to maintain focus and adhere to instructions.
However, if you’re told not to eat or take anything some hours before the examination, you have to make sure you do exactly that.
5. Ask what you can and cannot wear
Normally, you can wear anything you like into an MRI scanner, as long as you’re comfortable in it, and it doesn’t carry any metal (MRI scanners are no friend to metal).
Unfortunately, that would mean you can’t wear your favorite pair of jeans, gowns, or shirts if they have a zipper or buttons.
This is why we suggest wearing only loose clothing that has no metal fasteners or zippers.
Also, you have to put your nose, ear, or face rings at home. No body piercings or other jewelry can be allowed in an MRI scanner.
Finally, if there’s any other clothing you need to keep at home, you’ll be informed beforehand.
Story by Uday Tank