Preparing For Your MRI Appointment

Neurologist showing brain scan to young woman in clinic

Leading up to your MRI appointment, there is very little you need to do to prepare. In fact, there are no dietary restrictions for an MRI exam. And you can take your daily medications as usual unless instructed otherwise.

Leading up to your MRI appointment, there is very little you need to do to prepare. In fact, there are no dietary restrictions for an MRI exam. 

And you can take your daily medications as usual unless instructed otherwise. The only real precaution your radiologist will give is to not wear any metal jewelry, as the powerful magnets used by the MRI machine can attract metal objects in the room. 

In the rare case that there are any special requirements or precautions, they will be outlined for you when you schedule your MRI. 

Before Scheduling The MRI

While MRI exams are safe for most, some individuals may want to discuss the procedure with the radiologist or their PCP. Pregnant women should consult a trusted physician before scheduling an MRI. 

And people with medical devices such as pacemakers or cochlear implants will want to inform their diagnostic team, as the electrical function of these devices can be disrupted by the MRI machine.. 

You should inform the staff at One Step Diagnostic if you have any of the following devices, conditions or backgrounds:

  • Pacemaker
  • Cochlear implants
  • Artificial heart valves
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Neurostimulators (TENS-unit)
  • Exposure of metal fragments to your eye
  • Shrapnel or bullet wounds
  • History as a metal worker
  • Implanted drug infusion device (i.e., insulin pump)
  • Metallic implants and prosthesis
  • Any other conditions that may be relevant

If you are claustrophobic or suffer from anxiety, your doctor may prescribe medication to make your MRI appointment more comfortable. 

Day Of Your Appointment

On the day of your MRI, you can eat and take any medicine as you normally would. Leave any valuables,including jewelry, at home when preparing for an MRI because they have to be removed before entering the scan room. 

We recommend that you arrive at least 30 minutes before the exam so you can fill out the MRI screening form and give our staff any other information they request. You will also be asked to change into a hospital gown. 

During The MRI

The MRI scanner uses a strong magnetic field to generate images of organs and other structures within the body. As such, the operation of the machine can be particularly loud, so earplugs may be provided. 

During the MRI, you will be asked to lie down on a table that slides into the magnet. The entire scan usually takes 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity. You must lie still for the entire imaging process and respond to any inquiries the technicians may have. 

Radiologists and technicians are present during the entire process to oversee the scan and provide assistance if needed. 

After Your MRI & Results

You can resume your daily activities and go back to work unless you were given medication for anxiety. However, if you experience symptoms such as rash, hives, or shortness of breath, you should immediately notify the radiologist before leaving the imaging facility. 

Otherwise, call the facility or your primary care physician as soon as possible. 

Once your results are analyzed by a radiologist, they will be reported to your doctor who will discuss important findings and any next steps with you. 

Schedule Your MRI At One Step Diagnostic

MRI is a safe, non-invasive procedure that will help your doctor diagnose whatever ailments they initially scheduled you for. Schedule your procedure online at One Step Diagnostic today and get one step closer to recovery. We are located in seven locations throughout the greater Houston area.


One Step Diagnostic has been Texas’s leading American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited radiology center since 2006. We employ board-certified radiologists to offer advanced imaging tests, including digital X-rays, MRI, CT, DEXA scans, ultrasounds, mammograms, and pain management services.


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