December 2018
MRI Safety
Physician, Nurse, Other Licensed Professionals, Patient, Relative, Visitor, Caregiver
No

​How Should I Prepare for my MRI?

It is important for your doctor to know if you have any metal in your body before you have an MRI. An MRI uses a strong magnet to take pictures of the inside of your body. (Please see our safety tip "What is an MRI?") This magnet can attract any metal object and could hurt you. When you arrive for your MRI, you will need to fill out a form asking about any metal objects you may have in your body.

What Does the MRI Staff Need to Know?

You will be asked to take off your clothing and put on a patient gown that has no metal such as snaps, zippers or other metal fasteners that could be attracted to the magnet in the scanner room. The MRI staff needs to know if you have any metal objects in your body that may hurt you.

Tell the staff if you have ever had:

  • Pacemaker, electrical stimulator, stents, clips, or medication pump

  • Joint replacement such as a knee or hip

  • Bullet fragments

  • A tattoo (some contain metal)

You will need to take off any metal objects that you might be wearing, like:

  • Metal jewelry or watches

  • Cellphones or other electronic device

  • Hearing aids

  • Makeup or nail polish (some have metal and could give you a rash from the MRI)

When is it Safe to Have My MRI?

Once everyone confirms that you have no metal objects inside your body, you will be taken into the room for your MRI. The safety tip "What is an MRI?" can tell you more about what to expect during the MRI.

©2019 Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority