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Demystifying the MRI Procedure: Preparation, Expectations, and Common Myths

An MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is more than just a scan. It’s a journey into the inner workings of the human body. While the technology is advanced, the procedure itself is straightforward for patients. If you're scheduled for an MRI, or just curious about the process, here's everything you need to know.

1. How to Prepare for an MRI:

Preparing for an MRI is relatively simple, but there are some essential steps:

  • Clothing: Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes without metal zippers, buttons, or underwires, as metal can interfere with the MRI machine. Most facilities will also provide a gown if needed.

  • Metallic Objects: Remove jewelry, piercings, and other metal objects. Inform your radiologist if you have any implanted devices like pacemakers, as some may not be MRI-safe.

  • Fasting: Some MRI scans may require you to fast for a certain period, while others don’t. Always check with your healthcare provider.

  • Medications: Continue your regular medications unless instructed otherwise.

  • Contrast Agent: Some scans require a contrast agent to be injected for clearer images. If so, inform the staff about any allergies or previous reactions to MRI contrasts.

2. What to Expect During and After the Procedure:

  • During the Procedure: You'll lie down on a sliding table that enters the MRI machine. You might hear loud tapping or thumping sounds, which is standard. Depending on the area being examined, the scan can take anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour. Staying still is crucial for clear images.

  • After the Procedure: Once completed, you can usually go about your day as normal. If you had a contrast agent injected, you might be advised to drink plenty of water to flush it out of your system.

3. Common Misconceptions and Fears about MRI:

  • Is it Safe?: Absolutely. MRI doesn't use ionizing radiation like X-rays, making it a safer option for many. However, the magnetic fields are strong, so it's crucial to inform staff of any implants or metallic objects.

  • Is it Claustrophobic?: Traditional MRI machines are tunnel-like, which can be concerning for claustrophobic patients. However, many facilities now offer open MRI machines for a less confining experience.

  • Does it Hurt?: No, the MRI procedure is painless. However, lying still for an extended period might cause minor discomfort.

  • Are There Side Effects from the Contrast Agent?: Side effects are rare. Some people might feel a cold sensation when it's injected, and a very small percentage might have an allergic reaction. Always inform the staff of any allergies or past reactions.


Understanding the MRI procedure can ease anxieties and ensure you're well-prepared. It’s a non-invasive, painless, and safe way to get a glimpse into the body's inner structures, aiding in accurate diagnoses and effective treatments.

Schedule your MRI at Millenium MRI Today!

Millennium MRI, with its state-of-the-art facilities situated in key locations including Largo, Florida; Tamarac, Florida; Ocala, Florida; Little Rock, Arkansas; Marion, Arkansas; and Jonesboro, Arkansas, has been at the forefront of offering advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diagnostic services. Their commitment to employing cutting-edge technology, coupled with a team of expert radiologists, ensures accurate and prompt results for patients. As one of the most trusted MRI centers in these regions, Millennium MRI prioritizes patient comfort and safety, making it the preferred choice for many seeking top-notch imaging services. Whether you're in the heart of Little Rock or the serene environs of Marion, know that Millennium MRI stands ready to serve your diagnostic needs.

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