Ten Things to do BEFORE You Get an MRI

Ten Things to do BEFORE You Get an MRI.

 When you are sitting in the doctor’s office and you’re handed an order for an MRI, many things may begin to run through your head.  Immediately, you might begin to stress yourself out about preparing for this MRI, but before you really begin to pull your hair out, we found some helpful tips that you should know about.  Hopefully these calm your nerves and realize that with is there to help, you will be just fine!

1) Does the Imaging Center perform high field or Open MRI?

Typically the centers offer one or the other, and you just have to figure out which one is best for you.  An open MRI is just that. It is more open technology and gives the patient more space and does not make them feel so claustrophobic.  Typically, the open MRI has higher weight limits and is best for obese patients or those with broad shoulders.

2) What imaging centers can I go to?  Will my insurance cover it?

Always try to check with your insurance company if they have a preference on where you go to get your MRI.  You can also go online to find affordable places that will accept your insurance.  We accept all uninsured or self-pay patients with affordable cash prices.

3) Does the staff have specialized training?

A good thing to always check for is to make sure the staff is ARRT registered, and make sure they are registered in the MRI field.  It is just like checking to make sure the doctor is board certified.  You always want to know the backgrounds of who is treating you.

4) If I have to change healthcare providers, can I take the images with me?

At many MRI facilities you can get your images on a CD, which can be viewed on your computer at home.  However, there are some cons to the CD.  It will not have the radiologist’s report on it and it is does not work on Apple computers.  You can take this CD wherever you go for future healthcare needs.

5) I tend be very anxious and claustrophobic, can they have any special accommodations for me?

The best thing you can do is try to find facilities that have an open MRI scanner, because they are open and have more space.  The closed MRI scanners can feel tight and make someone feel more claustrophobic.  If open MRI is not available to you some tricks that may help are a damp cloth over your eyes, have a friend take you to and from the appointment to try to keep you calm, or you can receive a small dose of an oral sedation to try to relax you, if you are of age.

6) I work Monday-Friday 9-5, would that make it hard for me to get an appointment?

You have to check with the center you want to go to.  Some have evening and weekend appointments available, but will vary among the different centers. Usually, if you let them know you are tight with your schedule they can be flexible.  We always work with patients to make coming in easier for them.

7) Is the equipment maintained well and certified by a board?

The MRI equipment is complicated stuff and it constantly needs maintenance to keep it running so smoothly.  The American College of Radiology specializes in accrediting imaging centers and their equipment, and in order to be accredited the center must pass on their strict criteria.  However, centers do not have to be accredited.  So, a good thing to look for would be if the center was accredited by the American College of Radiology.

8) I am very busy and try to schedule a lot of my healthcare needs together, is the center near somewhere so I can get my other appointments taken care of?

This varies on location and what center you decide to chose.  Some are near hospitals and some outpatient offices offering only MRI’s.  It can be very inconvenient, especially if you realize more scans are needed.  Be sure your care could be considered “comprehensive.”

9) I have tattoos and piercings, am I safe?

Tattoos are no problem with us! You have to check with the staff at the center about what needs to be removed piercing-wise for your scan.  Otherwise it can interfere with the image.  If it won’t affect the image though, no need to remove it!

10) I have had kidney problems, can I get an MRI?

Let your center know about your medical history and kidney issues.  Some scans may require special precautions to be taken.  It is always important to give your center your updated medical history, so they can take the best care of you possible.

For more information you can get more facts and details here.