Most MRI exams require no preparation. However, for some types of scans, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything beginning four hours prior to your test. Your doctor's office will let you know if this is necessary. You should take any medication you would normally take as directed by your doctor. Please let your technologist know what medications you are currently taking. If you are taking medication to relax you, please have someone with you to drive you home after your MRI. You will need to arrive at the MRI Department 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time in order to fill out the necessary paperwork. You will be required to change into a hospital johnny for your MRI scan.
Oral sedation may be an option for patients who have claustrophobia or who may be too uncomfortable to tolerate the exam. Typically, Valium or Xanax are the medications used. Oral sedation must be ordered by your physician; the MRI Department cannot provide you with these medications. General anesthesia is also available for patients who can not tolerate the MRI exam even with oral sedation.
We have a high-field open MR system at Lahey Clinic Medical Center, North Shore, in Peabody, Mass., for patients who cannot tolerate general anesthesia or for those patients who weigh more than 330 pounds. This high-field open scanner provides images superior to those of lower field open scanners.