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How can I prepare for my MRI?

Before the scan

On the day of your MRI , you should be able to eat, drink and take any medication, unless you're advised otherwise. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for up to 4 hours before the scan. When you arrive at your healthcare facility, you'll usually be asked to fill in a questionnaire about your health and medical history.


As the MRI scanner produces strong magnetic fields, it's important to remove any metal objects from your body, this includes jewelry. Some MRI scans involve having an injection of contrast dye. This makes certain tissues and blood vessels show up more clearly and in greater detail. Sometimes the contrast dye can cause side effects, such as feeling ill or weak.

An MRI scanner is a short cylinder that's open at both ends. You'll lie on a motorized bed that's moved inside the scanner. You'll enter the scanner either head first or feet first, depending on the part of your body being scanned. In some cases, a frame may be placed over the body part being scanned, such as the head or chest.This frame contains receivers that pick up the signals sent out by your body during the scan and it can help to create a better-quality image.

After the scan, you can resume normal activities immediately. But if you have had a sedative, a friend or relative will need to take you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours.

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