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Home > UVA Imaging > Exams & Procedures > Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) > MRI Preparation Instructions

MRI Preparation Instructions

A Patient's Guide to MRI (PDF)

Confirmation Call

A UVA Imaging Patient Liaison will contact you to provide preparation instructions for your exam, including any liquid or food restrictions.  If you have questions about your exam preparation, please call (434) 982-6600 Monday-Friday.  Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your exam.


To ensure your safety, you will be asked to complete an MRI Patient Screening Form at the time of registration or to bring the completed form with you to your appointment.


You may continue to take any routine medications prescribed by your physician and there are no dietary restrictions* unless you are scheduled to receive medication for claustrophobia or pain.


If you are having an abdominal MRI, you may not eat or drink for 4 hours prior to your exam.


You will be asked to change into a gown and scrub pants for your exam. A locker will be provided to store your clothing during your exam.


You may leave on your wedding rings but all other jewelry will need to be removed.

Hair Products & Accessories 

Any hair clips, ties, pins or weaves that are made of metal or have metal parts on them must be removed.


Because some make up is made with a metallic base, it is best not to wear make up the day of your appointment.

Dental Devices 

If you wear dentures, or partial dental plates you will be asked to remove them before the exam.

Length of Exam 

The average MRI exam on one body part lasts 30-45 minutes.  Scans of more than one body part take longer.  Your technologists can tell you how long you can expect to be in the machine.

Questions about your exam? Call us Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm at (434) 982-6600 or toll free at (855) 875-7764.

MRI Alert

Extra consideration must be given if you have any of the conditions listed below.  We will work with you to make sure that you are scheduled appropriately.


The doctor who ordered your exam will provide your results.

If there is a critical finding on your study, your doctor will be notified by our Radiologists. 

If you have not heard from your provider within a reasonable time, please call their office directly.

  • MyChart provides easy, fast Access to your Medical Records.
  • MyVue is your personal imaging portal, providing a secure view of your radiology images from the UVA Health System.