Forum

MRI - couldn't get my rings off - but didn't need to

I’ve got skinny fingers and big knuckles (I know - alluring) so I haven’t taken my rings off since I had my last MRI in 2011. When I tried this time, last night and again this morning, I could only get four of my six rings off. They say so much in the MRI literature about no metal in the scanner (or even in the room with the scanner in) that I really thought I would get turned away. But it was no problem at all!

Why did they want my rings off? They don’t make you take your metal fillings out, do they? I can only get two of the four rings I got off back on again. Spoiling my look.

It’s only really magnetizable metals that are a problem. I think they just say “ALL metals” because it’s simpler than asking people to work out what’s magnetic and what’s not, and risking they might (some almost certainly will!) get it wrong. Most rings are gold or a precious metal, so have no magnetic properties at all. The only problem with non magnetic metals is that they conduct heat very well, so could potentially get hot and cause a burn. But if they’re not on the part of you being scanned, that shouldn’t be an issue either - they weren’t doing your fingers, were they?

I don’t think I’ve ever had to remove my bra before, in spite of it having a metal clip, but belt was a no-no, because of the buckle. No way of knowing what it’s made of, but very likely steel, and therefore magnetic. I dunno what bra clips can be made of, but not steel, evidently. I didn’t even have the overheating problem of a small scorch mark where the clip had been, wasn’t conscious of it getting hot at all, even though I had my spine scanned. I was aware roughly which area the scanner was doing at any given point, as that part of me felt warm (and the noise moved around!), but no specific issues with the bra clip.

T.

My rings are all silver or gold. But the guy doing the scan never asked what they were made of. He did ask if I was wearing a bra (answer no). I suppose it’s easier for them to keep the message simple.

Last time I had an MRI I stayed fully clothed but think I wore a wrap around instead of a bra. Was allowed all my jewelery on but I do only have rings xx

This sounds like the post code lottery all over again.

For my first MRI (private) I had to sign a form listing all the metal in my body. OK, this is quite easy, I had a heart bypass back in 2000, and my breastbone is stitched together with stainless steel wire. I had to contact the hospital concerned, ask if the wire posed a problem for an MRI and tell the MRI people. No problem.

The next MRI (NHS), the concern was not with the wire, but with the zip in my trousers. Now this was also non-magnetic, but I had to change into a pair of pyjama trousers (just for a scan of the thoracic vertebrae). When my wife had a scan (NHS, different hospital, but by a private contractor), they were not really bothered about anything.

Geoff