MRI is a unique environment. Safety is paramount. Powerful magnetic tic fields are used to create pictures of the inside of the body. The MRI is a giant magnet 5 times the strength of those used to pick up cars in a junk yard. The magnet is always on. Special shielding is put in place around the MRI machine for everyone’s’ protection.

A technologist will perform the examination. The technologist has been trained to provide a safe environment. Prior to proceeding with the examination you will be asked several safety questions as it relates to the MRI environment. Questions will be asked related to prior surgery, injuries and medications. If you have certain implantable medical devices and medications you will not be allowed to enter the MRI environment. You may have received a card from your physician identifying the device that has been implanted. Please check the card before you come for your appointment and call if you have a question. It is important to bring the card with you on the day of the examination.

You may be asked to get a routine x-ray prior to entering the MRI environment if there is a question of a foreign body that may be ferromagnetic especially if it is near your eyes (i.e. sheet metal worker or history of shrapnel).

Once the technologist has deemed it is safe for you to enter the MRI environment you will be asked to remove your wallet and probably your watch. The MRI magnet will erase the magnetic strip on credit cards and will stop the battery in you watch.

If you have any questions about whether the MRI will be safe for you, call and ask to speak with the MRI technologist or a Radiologist, a physician who will be reading the examination.