Getting an MRI with Metal or Implants in Your Body

This video explains the importance of not bringing metal near an MRI machine and disclosing any possible metal in your body before being imaged.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field to produce detailed images of the body’s organs and tissues. However, this also means that any metal objects in or on the body can interfere with the MRI scan or cause serious harm.

Metal objects can distort the MRI images, making them less accurate or unreadable. Metal objects can heat up, move, or break during the MRI scan, potentially injuring the patient or damaging the MRI machine.

It is crucial to be aware of bringing metal into an MRI exam and to inform the ARA scheduler of any metal implants, devices, or accessories you have before your scan.

Video Transcript:

Welcome to ARA, where we focus on bringing excellence in imaging to our patients.

Many people want to know if they can have an MRI if they have metal or metal implants in their body. Your ARA scheduler will help you figure this out and prepare for a safe and successful MRI. With a few exceptions, we are able to perform MRIs on people with metal in their bodies.

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, uses a very strong magnet, so metal can affect the scan. This is why we ask you to remove all jewelry and piercings before coming to the imaging center. But what if the metal is inside your body, such as in the case of an artificial hip or pacemaker? Most orthopedic implants, such as artificial knees, hips, and other joint replacements, are not affected by MRI, but be sure to discuss this with your scheduler.

In fact, you need to tell your ARA scheduler about any device, metal, or foreign objects in your body so they will know what steps need to be taken to have a safe MRI. Also, if you have a card or information that came with your implant or device, be sure to have that on hand. The card has details that will help your scheduler know how to plan for your MRI.

Some specific medical implants contain metallic components that are not compatible with MRI scanners. Do not enter any MRI suite without notifying your technologist if you have any of the following implants:

  • Ear implants or hearing aids
  • Brain aneurysm clips
  • Neurostimulators or implanted programmable devices
  • Cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers

Tell your scheduler if you have any of these implants or anything inside your body you were not born with.

Other implants that should be brought to the scheduler’s attention are:

  • Metal coils or stents placed inside blood vessels
  • Implanted drug infusion ports or pumps
  • Artificial limbs or metallic joint prosthesis
  • Metal pins, screws, plates, stents, or surgical staples

After you have discussed this with your scheduler, they will consult with an ARA MRI technologist, and determine a plan for your MRI.

In very few cases, getting an MRI is not considered safe, and your doctor and radiologist will consult on an alternative exam for you.

If you need to schedule an MRI, visit us at or call 512-453-6100.

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