Safety Basics of MRI Scans

Whether you are getting a traditional MRI or are fortunate enough that your doctor has access to an open MRI machine, your safety precautions will be the same. The biggest concern is metals, but not everyone knows what that could include. Often, your doctor will question you thoroughly about your medical history to make sure you aren’t being placed in danger when undergoing an MRI scan. You could have a risk factor and not even know it.

Metals and Magnets

Most folks already know they need to take off all metals before their MRI. Even wearing makeup is not a good idea, and much of it can contain trace metals that interfere with the scan’s clarity. However, what about the lesser-known dangers that could be inside your body? Namely, these are artificial implants that contain possibly magnetically responsive materials. Nowadays, some implants can be made of materials that are safe in the MRI machine, but that is a recent update to old practices. Pacemakers, skull plates, cochlear implants, insulin pumps, and even your dental fillings could make your MRI a no-go. The list is exhaustive because your doctor does not want to harm you while trying to help you. Make sure to go over your medical history with your doctor completely when preparing for an MRI.

Pregnancy

Surprisingly, pregnant people have little to worry about with MRI scans. While you will likely be asked whether you are pregnant before an MRI, research shows no indication that a non-contrast MRI is harmful to a developing fetus. The jury still seems to be out on contrast MRI risks.

As always, make sure you have an in-depth talk with your doctor before your MRI. Make sure you understand all the risks, requirements, and benefits associated with the test. Ask the experts, and become more informed about your health.