Don't Forget These Steps Before You Start Your MRI

If you've got an appointment for an MRI, you've got to prepare properly lest the doctor who ordered the test suddenly cancel it. Some surprising issues can delay or cancel an MRI at the last minute. If you go ahead with the test before taking care of these issues, you could end up injured.

Ensure Your Earplugs Fit

The MRI machine can be noisy, and you'll need earplugs before lying inside an MRI machine. You should receive a pair of plugs (often those soft foam ones you can get in stores) from the MRI tech, and many clinics make it standard procedure to provide them. However, Everyday Health suggests bringing a pair of your own to begin with, and UCSF notes you can use plugs "if you wish." Despite the implication they are voluntary, you should wear the earplugs while undergoing the MRI.

If you skip the earplugs, you could end up with a temporary, if not permanent, hearing loss due to noise exposure. You don't need a huge pair -- just a pack of those foam plugs you find in stores. Have the tech describe what he or she will do before starting the test; that way, you don't have to worry about missing any information because you can't hear the techs during the test.

Notify Techs and Doctors of Implants

If you have any metal in your body, from joint replacements to retainers to implants, tell the techs and your doc. The metal can interfere with the MRI image and make it look like there's something really wrong with you. Even if the implant is something like an IUD, tell the people adminstering the test so they can make a final decision on whether it's safe to proceed with the test. The location of the metal will also make a difference as an implant far away from where the MRI needs to be taken will need less protection.

Remove Fake Hair -- Really

You'd think that extensions, wigs, lace fronts, and more would be fine in an MRI, but many of these contain little bits of metal. Those little bits, even if very small, will interfere with the imaging just like a larger piece of metal would. Take off all fake hair and try not to have things like extensions added right before your MRI appointment.

Follow your other MRI preparation instructions. While these tests are easy to perform, you don't want to have to go back and reschedule the MRI because you forgot to remove something. For more information, contact companies like Hudson Valley Imaging.