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What should I expect after magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)?

This is generally what happens after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -- a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body:
  • You should move slowly when getting up from the scanner table to avoid any dizziness or lightheadedness from lying flat for the length of the procedure.
  • If any sedatives were taken for the procedure, you may be required to rest until the sedatives have worn off. You will also need to avoid driving.
  • If contrast dye is used during your procedure, you may be monitored for a period of time for any side effects or reactions to the contrast dye, such as itching, swelling, rash, or difficulty breathing.
  • If you notice any pain, redness, and/or swelling at the intravenous (IV) site after you return home following your procedure, you should notify your physician as this could indicate an infection or other type of reaction.
  • Otherwise, there is no special type of care required after an MRI scan of the heart. You may resume your usual diet and activities, unless your physician advises you differently.
  • Your physician may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.