Preparing for your MRI at Providence

Getting ready for your appointment

For MRI on an area of the body other than the abdomen or pelvis, no special preparation is required prior to the MRI exam.  You may eat normally and go about your daily routine. If you are having an MRI of your abdomen or pelvis, eat nothing by mouth 6 hours before the exam.  Continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor, unless otherwise directed.  Wear loose, comfortable clothing (with no zipper, snaps, or metal) for your appointment.  In certain instances, a contrast agent may be administered through an IV to enhance the study.  Lab work is required for the following patients prior to their appointment:

  • History of diabetes
  • History of hypertension
  • History of severe hepatic disease
  • Over the age of 65

Lab values obtained within 6 weeks of the scheduled appointment are acceptable.  We are also able to obtain lab values at the time of appointment, if needed.  Your physician's office must notify us if this service is needed at time of scheduling.

During your appointment

Please bring the following to your appointment:

  • Valid photo identification
  • Insurance cards
  • Referral/doctors order form

Before entering the scan room, you will need to remove all metal objects (such as hearing aids, dentures, jewelry, watches, coins, glasses, credit cards, keys and hairpins) from your body, because these objects may be attracted to the powerful magnet used for the test.   Check with your physician or MRI technologist if you have had any brain, ear, or eye surgeries or have any of the following:

  • Pacemaker
  • Neurostimulator (TENS unit)
  • Metal implants
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Surgical staples.
  • Implanted drug infusion devices
  • Foreign metal objects in the eye
  • Occupational exposure to metal
  • Shrapnel or bullet wounds

If you are pregnant, please notify your physician.  You may be asked to wear a hospital gown to avoid magnetic interference from belt buckles and zippers.

Once you are situated on the table, make sure you are comfortable so that it is easy to remain still for the duration of the examination. Breathe normally. Once the examination has begun, you will hear a series of knocking sounds that represents changes in the magnetic field. This is a normal part of the imaging process. At the conclusion of the exam, the technologists will assist you out of the scan room.

Patients will receive a copy of their MRI imaging results on a CD before they leave. 

Main hospital Phone: (202) 854 7000

Providence Hospital, 1150 Varnum Street, N.E. Washington, DC 20017 2180