What if I have metal in my body? Can I have an MRI?
Any surgically implanted metal in the body is generally non-magnetic. As you remember from science thereMR are two types of metal: ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic. If non-magnetic metal is in your body and the scan is in that area a large black hole or “bloom” will appear in the image distorting the body part. Currently the metal implanted is usually no too significant in producing a “blooming” artifact. Always let the technologist if you have any metal or electronic devices implanted in your body.
Ferromagnetic metal can be a problem and needs to be investigated by the technologist. Shrapnel, welding shavings. Metal shavings, bb’s bulletts, or especially metal shaving in the eye can be very dangerious. Most of the time the body encases this metal with connective tissue and insulates it from the magnetic waves. Unfortunately the eye does not produce connective tissue and the magnet can pull metal out of the eye causing blindness. Patients with this condition have to be evaluated for remaining shavings and sent to an opthomologist for treatment prior to scanning.
Ladies with bobby pins have to remove them as the magnet will pull them out of their hair. They can get under the covers of the magnet and service will have be called to come remove them beore a scan can be performed. If you just had your hair done bue sure to schedule your appointment right before your next hair appointment so you can take out all of your bobby pins before you come in for your MRI scan.
Any implanted electrical devices such as pain pumps, insuln pumps, pacemakers, bone stinulators and neurostimulators are frequently unsafe in an MRI scanner. You will be asked for the manufacturer and model number of the device so it can be dtermined if it is safe in a magnetic environment. If you were not given a card at the time of the surgery when the device was implanted call the office of the physician who performed the surgery and ask them for the manufacturer and model number. Ocassionally you will have to sign for a transcript of the surgery from the facility where the procedure was performed.