Many patients prefer to put upcoming medical procedures out of mind, but pursuing well-reasoned preparation can not only calm jittery nerves but also encourage informed health care decision-making. Although no replacement for the advice of a medical care professional, here are a few simple steps to help you prepare for your upcoming MRI.

Know your options

Not all MRIs are created equal. While traditional machines scan the patient within a tube, modern, upright options can frequently accommodate larger patients who may be wary of the restricting diameter of older models. Open MRIs also allow patients to undergo the scan without equipment directly in front of their faces, which may help those with claustrophobia.

Review your medical history

Although MRI technicians will ask a variety of screening questions, it is crucial to do your homework and mention pregnancy, pre-existing medical conditions, and other factors that may interfere with your MRI. Additionally, some tests may require that patients be administered contrast in a vein to help highlight specific regions. In anticipation of this procedure, the U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends notifying a medical professional of kidney problems, as the dye may be detrimental for those requiring dialysis.

Take inventory

Because MRI scans use strong magnets, it is crucial to be aware of metal clothing, accessories, and medical devices that may interact dangerously during the procedure. A few of the less obvious triggers mentioned by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine include safety pins, hearing aids, hairpins, metal buttons, hooks, and credit cards.

For help making an informed MRI decision, or to learn more about in-room entertainment and vertical and open MRIs, visit the knowledgeable staff at Vertical MRI Plus of Hazel Crest or call (708) 799-4940.