The infographic below, MRI Preparation: What to Expect, explains what happens before, during and after the test. From your point of view as a patient, there’s nothing in the infographic that will scare you, but there are several things you’ll learn that are very important.
You’ll be told by your doctor in advance not to wear any metal during the test — metal and MRI tests do not mix. Depending on what part of your body is being scanned, you may find yourself almost completely inside the MRI tube for a test that can last from 15 minutes to over an hour. If you are claustrophobic, make sure your doctor is well aware of it in advance of the test.
Although an MRI produces images almost immediately, it can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks for radiologists to review them and doctors to report back. This is why, as the infographic states, it is a good idea to ask how long that report will take before you leave. For all the MRI details, please continue reading.