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MRI is an imaging technology that uses a large magnet, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce 2 or 3 dimensional pictures of the body. This test is used to see normal and abnormal tissue in the body, including the brain, spine, abdomen, pelvis and extremities. It can also be used to look at vessels within the body.

What will the scan involve?

  • Your child will need to remove anything metal before entering the MRI room.
  • Your child may need to be sedated for this test. If so then a nurse will need to insert an IV into your child’s hand or arm.
  • Your child may also need to have a special dye (contrast) injected through an IV. This dye helps to have certain areas in your child’s body show up better in the pictures.
  • Your child will lay on a table that will move into the MRI machine. It is very important that your child lay very still during the test.
  • The machine makes a loud knocking noise while it is taking pictures.
  • Your child will be given noise reducing headphones to wear. They can either listen to a radio station or a CD that they bring from home with them. The MRI Tech will talk to your child through the headphones during the test and your child will be able to talk back as well.

How long will it last?

This test will last approximately 45-60 minutes and the total visit time will be approximately 1-3 hours.

Before the test

  • If your child is going to be sedated: Nothing to eat after midnight the night before the test. Your child may have clear liquids up to 2 hours before the test and then nothing to eat or drink 2 hours before the test.
  • Your child may have other instructions to follow and you will be given those when your test is scheduled.
  • Your child will need to arrive 1 ½ hours before their scheduled test time if they are being sedated. (You will be given this time).
  • If your child is having an MRI with contrast but not being sedated and would like to have numbing cream (Emla) applied to decrease the pain with the IV insertion then please arrive 30 minutes early.

After the test

  • Your child may resume his/her normal diet and activities after the test.
  • Your child’s test results will be discussed with you at your child’s next follow up appointment at GI for Kids.