Today’s medical digital imaging technology has come a long way. Procedures are generally quick and painless, and results are available for your doctor almost immediately. However, it is important to properly prepare for your imaging appointment. The following are some helpful preparation tips for CT scans and open MRIs.
CT Scan Tips
Preparation for a CT scan is generally very simple. You may be asked not to eat or drink for a period of time before the exam and depending on what medications you take, you may be asked to temporarily stop taking them.
Metal objects can affect the image so you should avoid wearing any clothing with metal zippers, snaps or accessories, as well as any metal jewelry or hair accessories. If you have removable metal dental work, you may have to remove that as well.
If your scan requires IV contrast and you are allergic to iodine or contrast, you will need to be medicated 24 hours before the scan and you will need someone to drive you home. Scans only take a few seconds at most.
Open MRI Tips
MRIs involve strong magnetic fields. Because of this, there is a long list of conditions and situations such as having a pacemaker, a history of diabetes, tattoos, having been a metal worker or having any metallic implants that can possibly make having an MRI out of the question.
Your radiologist will go over a questionnaire with you to determine your eligibility for MRI. If you are able to have the imaging, you must avoid wearing any metal clothing or jewelry whatsoever. It’s also a good idea to leave any valuables at home since you will be asked to leave them outside the scan room. MRIs generally take 45 minutes to an hour per body part being scanned.
Of course, when having any sort of imaging done, be sure to let your tech know if you are or think you might be pregnant. Being prepared and knowing what to expect will go a long way toward helping you feel comfortable on the day of your scan.