It must be removed prior to scanning because they have a small metal wire inside and could cause injury.
Orbital Implants - Lens implants from cataract surgery are okay. Artificial eyes may need to be taken out prior to your study if they are removable. Please inform the pre-registrar if you have an orbital implant when reviewing the screening questions.
Pacemaker - We can NEVER scan a patient with a pacemaker. The magnetic field would severely impair the function of the pacemaker. If you have a cardiac pacemaker, we will need to cancel your MR study and you should follow up with your doctor to find an alternative diagnostic study.
Penile Implants - Some penile implants may have metal components and we will need to find out the manufacturer and serial number of the implant. This can most often be obtained from the operative report.
Pins/Screws/Wires - These metals, if surgically implanted because of broken bones, are generally no problem. However, if the metal wire/pin, etc. is put in place for any other reason, these should be reviewed on an inspanidual basis. Most of these are okay to scan; however, some of them may cause problems for you so it is important to notify the pre-registration secretary of ANY metal implants.
Pregnancy/Breast-feeding - We normally do not scan pregnant women. If you think you might be pregnant, you must have a negative pregnancy test done or wait until your menstrual period before we can perform the scan. If you are breast-feeding, an unenhanced routine MRI/MRA is no problem. HOWEVER, if there is the possibility of your scan being enhanced, you should plan on bottle-feeding the baby for 48 hours after the scan until the contrast material has passed through your system. There are no known side effects; but breast-feeding is not recommended for 48 hours following enhancement.
Previous Metal in the Eyes - If you have EVER had any metal chips or fragments in your eyes from welding, grinding, or any accidents of any sort, an eye x-ray must be taken prior to the study. Even if the metal fragment was taken out, or came out on its own, or if it occurred a long time ago, an x-ray is the only way to confirm that there are no fragments remaining. This is important because if there are any small fragments in the eye, it could potentially damage the eyes. We will arrange these orbital x-rays prior to your scan. If you have done welding or grinding but never got metal in your eyes, you do not need the eye x-ray. If there is ever any question about this, the x-rays should be taken.
Rings - Rings are okay to keep on if they are difficult to get off. They will not be affected by the magnetic field and will not cause the patient any harm during the scan. One exception might be if we are scanning a hand or wrist...having metal near the area we are scanning may cause artifact or interference in the imaging. Earrings will need to be taken out, as will nose rings, lip rings, tongue studs, and other body piercings, etc. (If you do not remove them, the magnet may remove it for you!)
Rods in the Back - These may cause artifact; but will not cause you harm. Depending on how big the rods are and the area we are scanning, this may/may not affect the results of your study.
Shrapnel - Shrapnel may present a problem. It is important to review each inspanidual case with our staff. Depending on the location of the shrapnel, you may or may not be able to be scanned.
Tubal Ligation - Clips are no problem.
Tubes in the Ears - Tubes in ears (for recurrent infections) are okay.
Vasectomy - Any related clips are no problem.
Vena Cava Umbrella - We need to review an operative report regarding this implant. Some of these are not MR compatible.
Wires in the Chest from Heart Surgery - Although sternal wires are no problem whatsoever during an MRI scan, sometimes cardiac pacing wires are left in place after heart bypass surgery. It is very important for us to know if these wires are present because they can cause you injury if certain types of MRI scans are being done. Pacing wire presence can be determined by having a recent chest x-ray reviewed. When you pre-register let us know if you‘ve had heart surgery, and you will be informed if a chest x-ray review is needed.