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What to expect

The day of your exam...

please be sure to follow any instructions about eating, drinking or taking medications. If you are having a scan of your abdomen or pelvis, it is helpful not to eat or drink approximately four hours prior. It is encouraged that you make a trip to the washroom right before your scan (so you will not have to go during it). You generally can stay on any medication you normally take. Wear comfortable clothes.

  • You can have someone come with you to the MR Center and wait for you during the scan. In most cases, parents may stay in the scan room with their children during the exam.
  • Don't forget to bring any previous MR exams or other pertinent imaging studies with you.
  • Don't forget to bring your medical insurance information.

Once you get to DeKalb MRI and Imaging Institute...

  • We will thoroughly explain the procedure and answer any questions you might have.
  • We'll ask you several questions about your medical history and ask you to sign some forms.
  • You will be asked to remove all metallic objects such as glasses, jewelry and dental appliances. You will be assigned a locker to keep your valuable items while the exam is underway. It's always best to leave these items at home if you don't absolutely need them. And, yes, your credit cards will be ruined if they are exposed to the magnetic field.
  • Depending on the type of scan you are having, we may ask you to change into a gown.
  • If you are very nervous about the test, one of our physicians may prescribe a mild sedative for you. You will be required, however, to have someone drive you home.

During the exam...

  • A technologist will help position you on the scanning table and explain how the machine works.
  • Sometimes, a contrast agent is needed to improve the quality of certain kinds of images. If that is the case with your scan, you will be given an injection.
  • The table on the scanner will slide slowly into the interior of the magnet, which is sometimes referred to as the "tunnel". If this makes you anxious, you will be able to talk to the technologist via an intercom which is built-in to the machine.
  • The technologist will explain to you that it is very important to stay as still as possible during the scan.
    Some people are surprised at the thumping and clanking noises that are made by the scanner. While these seem startling at first, they are quite normal and should be no cause for concern. Some scanners are noisier than others. Ask the technologist for earphones, if you'd like to drown out the noise with some music.
  • Before you leave the scanner, we will check the images for quality. If more pictures are needed, we will usually try to take them right away so you won't have to make a return visit.



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