Highfield OPEN MRI

Patient Preparation

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Patient Preparation

A patient sent for an MRI scan typically requires no preparation, dietary restrictions, shielding, or injections.

Simple explanations of the procedure and thorough check for contraindication are all that is required prior to the exam. Electro-mechanical implants – such as cardiac pacemakers, cochlear implants, and neurotransmitters – may be "frozen" or switched off in the presence of the magnetic field.

Ferromagnetic clips are highly dangerous because the torque induced by the magnetic field could potentially dislodge a recently implanted clip.

Similar concerns should be expressed for any patient with a history of steel working because tiny metal fragments may be imbedded in their eyes. To prevent any possibility of optic damage, these patients should be screened with an X-Ray prior to the MRI exam.


  • Shrapnel
  • Pregnancy
  • Pacemaker
  • Metal and Electronic implants
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Cochlear implant
  • Neuro, Spinal and Bone stimulators
  • Stents, Vascular coils and Filters
  • Surgery within the last 8 weeks


  • The new technology offered at High Field Open MRI features a spacious environment with 4 windows, which places anxious and claustrophobic patients at ease. This system offers the widest openings available in an MRI scanner. This allows the patient's head to remain outside the gantry for many procedures. If you are anxious or claustrophobic the following are just some ideas to work with your feelings so you may be able to complete your MRI.


The technologist will thoroughly explain the MRI procedure so you will know exactly what to expect. Patients are welcome to stop in and look at the scanner prior to their appointment.

Take someone in the room with you

A family member or friend may sit with you in the MRI room while you are being scanned, however, they will be screened for metal implants and other safety concerns. There is no radiation exposure with MRI so it’s safe for them to be in the room with you. It may be comforting just knowing someone is sitting by your side, holding your hand.

Bring your favorite CD

We have a relaxation system with “noise canceling” headphones that allows patients to listen to a CD while they are being scanned. This may keep your mind focused on something else while the region of interest is being scanned.

Talk to the technologist performing your scan

It's important that you tell the technologist what is bothering you. The technologist can offer a washcloth to cover your eyes; an emergency ball when squeezed will signal the technologist that you have concerns, or additional cushions or supports so you can be as comfortable as possible for your procedure.

Eliminate caffeine

These products will release adrenaline and can add to the anxiety feelings. Reduce your caffeine very gradually over a period of two weeks so you experience no withdrawal symptoms.

Reduce sugar-rich foods

They indirectly re-activate your adrenals. For the same reason it's recommended to eat small amounts of food frequently and ensure you don't get hungry during the procedure.

Sip water or eat small amounts of fruit to keep your mouth moist. A dry mouth sends a "fear" signal to the brain.
Use slow, relaxing breathing methods. The panic feeling is usually accompanied by mild to severe hyperventilation. The breathing method will calm you.

Keep physically active

Exercise such as swimming or brisk walking may help eliminate stress and physical tension.

Monitor self-talk to avoid too much negativity. Some negative thinking is understandable because it's an uncomfortable situation and may lead to anxiety.
Replace negative self-talk with affirmation. For example, "one scan at a time, I can do this" “just relax and enjoy the time” the technologist will work with you. Many of our Patients will take a nap during the scan. They can keep you informed of how many scans are left and how long each scan will be.


Your doctor can provide different methods of sedation. We are not your Doctor thus we are not able to prescribe sedation on site (Oral or IV). Your doctor will write a script for you to fill at a pharmacy and take as directed. You should take it by your doctor's instructions and have someone drive you to the center the day of your exam.

Some patients have asked, "Can I try the MRI without the sedation, if I can't do it, take my sedation and try again?" Unfortunately, this is not possible, in most cases it takes 20-30 minutes for the sedation to take effect and this would take us into the next appointment time.

Evaluate your pain level

  • It is necessary for you to hold still for the MRI procedure. If you are claustrophobic, any pain you may have may increase your anxiety. Tell your doctor if you feel pain medication is necessary to complete the MRI.
  • Please call us with any questions you have concerning your procedure, especially if you are anxious about the MRI exam you’re having done. It may significantly reduce anxiety to visit the High Field OPEN MRI Center before your scheduled scan.
  • Telephone: 815.636.2244 or Email us at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


To Assist with Further Analysis

  • If you have had a prior MRI of the same area, bring a CD of that scan so the Radiologist can do a comparison study with the current scan being done. This allows the Radiologist to determine if there are any changes that have occurred.
  • As an additional benefit, High Field OPEN MRI will provide you with a CD that has all the images from your scan(s). This will allow you to share them with your Doctor and may assist in a quicker diagnosis.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 April 2010 21:20 )  

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