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
- 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
- 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
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 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.