The more your doctor knows, the better your experience will be
While MRI exams are safe, non-invasive and have no known side effects, it is still important for your doctor to know specifics about your health prior to a scan. The high quality images from your MRI will give your doctor insight into your body without surgery or radiation and can help him or her make better decisions regarding your overall healthcare. So be sure to let your doctor know:
If you’re claustrophobic
It is not uncommon to be apprehensive about your first MRI, but if you suffer from claustrophobia, certainly discuss this with your doctor. He or she may prescribe an oral medication to help reduce your fears as you anticipate the procedure and more importantly, reduce your anxiety during the actual procedure. In this case, however, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home following your MRI.
If you’re pregnant
It’s all about ensuring both your baby’s health and your own. Since MRI uses radio waves and a powerful magnet to acquire images instead of x-rays, there is no clear risk in having an MRI while pregnant. It is still advisable to discuss your pregnancy with your doctor before you do so.
What surgeries you’ve had
Since an MRI uses a powerful magnet to create images, it is imperative that you inform your doctor of any metallic or magnetic items you may have under your skin. While most metallic items used for heart surgery, such as sternal wires and clips, do not pose a threat, there are certain situations in which it is not advisable to have an MRI.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Ear implants
- Pacemaker or defibrillator
- Brain aneurysm clip
- Nerve stimulators
- Implanted pacemaker or defibrillator
- Implanted insulin or narcotic pump
- Heart valve implant (metallic ball/cage type)
- Metal in the eye socket
Any medications you may be taking
While the MRI procedure is safe and non-invasive, your doctor and the MRI staff may have to make specific preparations if you are diabetic, have kidney issues, are taking beta-blockers or are allergic to any medications. For your own safety, discuss all medications (including over-the-counter and herbal supplements) with your doctor ahead of time.
Should you have questions regarding MRI or any other diagnostic procedure, the experts at POM MRI & Imaging Centers are ready to go the extra mile to ensure you are informed, confident and comfortable as you take care of your most important asset: your health.