MRI Preparation

Patient Resource Coordinator will contact you to discuss preparation instructions for your specific exam including any liquid or food intake restrictions.


  • Screening: To ensure your safety, you will be asked to complete an MRI Patient Screening Form at the time of registration or to bring the completed form with you to your appointment.
  • Clothing:  You will be asked to change into a gown and scrub pants for your exam. Wear something light weight and comfortable that is easy to take on and off.  A locker will be provided to store your clothing during your exam.
  • Medication & Diet:  You may continue to take any routine medications prescribed by your physician and there are no dietary restrictions* unless you are scheduled to receive medication for claustrophobia or pain.

*If you are having an abdominal MRI, you may not eat or drink for 4 hours prior to your exam.

  • Jewelry:  You may leave on your wedding rings but all other jewelry will need to be removed.
  • Hair products/accessories:  Any hair clips, ties, pins or weaves that are made of metal or have metal parts on them must be removed.
  • Make-up:  Because some make up is made with a metallic base, it is best not to wear make up the day of your appointment.
  • Dental devices:  If you wear dentures, or partial dental plates you will be asked to remove them before the exam.
  • Length of exam (time in the machine):  The average MRI exam on one body part lasts 30-45 minutes.  Scans of more than one body part take longer.  Your technologists can tell you how long you can expect to be in the machine.

Extra consideration must be given if you have any of the conditions listed below.  We will work with you to make sure that you are scheduled appropriately.

  • Patients who have implanted medical devices such as cochlear implants, penile implants, aneurysm clips, artificial heart valves or stints, insulin pumps and defibrillators may not be able to be scheduled for an MRI.  A proper investigation of the implant will need to be performed by the MRI staff prior to scheduling the patient's appointment.
  • Patients who have ever had an injury to their eye or face with metal or metal shavings, or have ever been shot with a gun.
  • Because we use a strong magnet in the MRI, we must carefully screen patients who have pacemakers.  If you have a pacemaker and have been scheduled to have an MRI exam, please contact us immediately.
  • If you have a known allergy to a contrast dye agent, please contact us right away.  Patients with a known contrast allergy can have their exams performed at the UVA Medical Center.

If you have any questions about how to prepare for your exam, please call us Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm at (434) 982-6600 or toll free at (855) 875-7764.

Patient Resource Coordinator

A Patient Resource Coordinator will contact you 3-4 days before your scheduled appointment to provide preparation instructions for your specifc exam.

If you have any questions about how to prepare for your exam, please call us Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm at (434) 982-6600 or toll free at (855) 875-7764.