How To Prepare continued...
For some abdominal MRI tests, you may be asked to not eat
or drink before the test.
You may need to sign a consent form that
says you understand the risks of an abdominal MRI and agree to have the test
done. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for
the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To
help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
You may need to arrange for someone to
drive you home after the test, if you are given a medicine (sedative) to help you relax.
How It Is Done
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test
is usually done by an MRI technologist. The resulting pictures are usually
interpreted by a
radiologist. But some other types of doctors can also
interpret an MRI scan.
You will need to remove all metal objects
(such as hearing aids, dentures, jewelry, watches, and hairpins) from your body
because these objects may be attracted to the powerful magnet used for the
You will need to take off all or most of your clothes,
depending on which area is examined (you may be allowed to keep on your
underwear if it is not in the way). You will be given a gown to use during the
test. If you are allowed to keep some of your clothes on, you should empty your
pockets of any coins and cards (such as credit cards or ATM cards) with scanner
strips on them because the MRI magnet may erase the information on the
During the test, you will lie on your back on a table that
is part of the MRI scanner. Your head, chest, and arms may be held with straps
to help you remain still. The table will slide into the space that contains the
magnet. A device called a coil may be placed over or wrapped around the area to
be scanned. A special belt strap may be used to sense your breathing. The belt
triggers the machine to take the scan at the right time.
people feel nervous (claustrophobic) inside the MRI magnet. If feeling nervous
keeps you from lying still, you can be given a medicine (sedative) to help you
relax. Some MRI machines (called open MRI) are made so that the magnet does not
enclose your entire body. Open MRI machines may be helpful if you are
claustrophobic. See pictures of a
standard MRI machine and an
open MRI machine .
Inside the scanner, you will hear a fan and feel
air moving. You may also hear tapping or snapping noises as the MRI scans are
taken. You may be given earplugs or headphones with music to reduce the noise.
It is very important to hold completely still while the scan is being done. You
may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time.