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Hospital Visitor Policy

Preparing for Your MRI Scan

Southeast Colorado Hospital District offers mobile MRI service on Mondays starting at 4:00 p.m.

Certain conditions may prevent you from having a MRI procedure because of the strong magnetic field used during the exam. When scheduling your appointment and prior to your exam, please alert our staff to the following conditions that may apply to you. The radiology staff will let then let you know whether you can have the MRI exam and whether the exam needs to be modified for your particular condition.

Cardiac Defibrillator
Neurostimulators (TENS-unit)
Aneurysm clips
Prior heart surgery
Artificial Heart Value
Vascular stent
Coils or filters
Surgical clips, staples, or mesh
Penile Implant
History of kidney problems
Skin tattoos
Implanted drug infusion device (i.e., insulin pump)
Prior metal in eyes
History as a metal worker
Shrapnel or bullet wounds
Cochlear implants
Metallic implants and prosthesis
Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Dorsal column stimulators
Allergy to iodine, or gadolinium
History of diabetes
Other conditions you believe to be relevant

If you have claustrophobia, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication for you to take with you for your MRI appointment. Make sure to mention this to your provider prior to your MRI so an appropriate medication can be prescribed before your test.

What can I expect before my MRI exam?

There is little preparation for an MRI exam. Take your daily medications as you normally would, unless instructed otherwise. There are few dietary restrictions for an MRI. For those exams, you will be notified of the requirements:

Bring a list of your current medications

Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your exam and complete the MRI screening form.

If your clothes have any metal fasteners or metallic design, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown. If you don't want to change into hospital attire, please wear cotton clothing without any metal zippers, hooks, or buttons

Please leave valuables such as jewelry, watches, and other items at home as you will be asked to remove them during the MRI exam

A technologist will verify your identification and the requested exam. Your screening form will be reviewed by the technologist in consultation with the radiologist if indicated. If MRI contrast is indicated for the exam, an IV catheter will be inserted in your arm by the MRI technologist.

What can I expect during my MRI Scan

The duration of the procedure varies, however the average is 45 minutes to one hour per body part.

You will be required to lie still during the actual MR scanning. Depending on the body part that is being examined, you may be instructed to hold your breath for up to 30 seconds.

The magnet is permanently open on both ends. There is a two way intercom system for communication between patient and technologist. The part of the body being scanned will be placed in the middle of the magnet.

During the actual imaging, you will hear a loud intermittent banging noise. You will be provided with earplugs or head phones to minimize the noise during the procedure.

Some MRI exams require an injection of intravenous MRI contrast. Inform the technologist if you experience any discomfort during the injection.

What can I expect after my MRI scan?

If a dye injection is used, the IV is removed from the arm before you go home.

Allergic reaction from gadolinium dye is extremely rare. However, if you experience symptoms such as rash, hives, or shortness of breath, you should notify the technologist immediately if you are still at the hospital, or go directly to the emergency room.

You may need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the test, if you are given a medicine (sedative) to help you relax.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please call Southeast Colorado Hospital Radiology Department
at (719)523-2136