What To Expect During An MRI

Your exam will be performed by a registered radiologic technologist. When you check in, you will be escorted to a changing room. When ready, you will be brought to the MRI scanner. The technologist will review the screening questionnaire and the procedure with you, and answer any questions you may have.

If it has been determined by your physician or the radiologist that your study requires the use of a contrast material (or dye), the technologist will perform the injection and administer the contrast. Your physician or radiologist will want to know if you have any allergies. This contrast does not contain Iodine.

The exam lasts 30 to 60 minutes. You will be asked to lie down on a cushioned table. The table is moved into position within the large doughnut shaped magnet. The area being examined is placed in the center of the magnet to optimize the images. Because the magnet is very sensitive to motion you will be asked to keep very still. At all times you are able to speak with the technologist to keep him or her informed of your comfort and needs. You will hear a series of loud thumping noises as the scan is performed. Hearing protection will be provided, either with a music headset or with earplugs. Although outside music devices (such as MP3 players) are not allowed, satellite radio is available.

After your exam, images are stored in an archiving system called Picture Archiving and Communication System or PACS. A radiologist from the X-ray Professional Association at Concord Hospital will review and interpret your MRI scan.


We will provide the necessary attire and a private locker to store your personal belongings during your MRI. Many patients, however, are more comfortable wearing their own clothing, please follow these guidelines:

  • Gold, sterling silver and platinum jewelry (such as wedding bands) may be worn unless the jewelry is near the area being imaged.
  • Watches and belts will always have to be removed.
  • For women, most exams require that the bra is removed because of the under wire and hooks. Sports bras are recommended.
  • Pants or shorts with buttons and zippers have to be removed for most (not all) exams. Sweat pants, pajama bottoms or other fabric only bottoms (without metallic eyelets from drawstrings) are recommended.


Because the MRI is a very powerful magnet, there are some things that cannot be brought to the exam. Although a private locker will be provided, it is best to leave these items at home or with someone during your MRI.

  • Cell phones, pagers, iPods, MP3 players, or any other electronic device
  • Credit cards, drivers license and any other card with a magnetic strip
  • Loose change
  • Bobby pins, safety pins or any other item with metallic pieces
  • Any loose metallic items on clothing or body
  • Any medicinal, nicotine or pain patches MUST be removed for the MRI study
  • Glasses, hearing aids and items such as TENS Units will not be able to go into the exam room, but can be worn until just before entering the MRI room


  • There are no restrictions in your use of medications or your diet prior to the MRI.
  • If a sedative (such as Valium) has been prescribed for your exam, you MUST bring a driver with you. If you choose not to have one, please expect to stay at Concord Orthopaedics for at least 2 hours following your exam.
  • For your safety it is important that you have informed us of any surgical procedure or injury to your eyes that involved metal. If this is the case, please call 603.724.2318 prior to your exam. Otherwise, your MRI may be delayed.

If you have any questions or concerns prior to your MRI, please call our office, Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM, at 603.224.3368 and ask to speak with a member of our diagnostic scheduling team.