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Your doctor has asked that you have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam of your pelvis. MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create the pictures. MRI is a safe and painless way for your doctor to look at the area between the hip bones. This part of the body is called the pelvic area. The pelvic area has the prostate gland, vesicles, testicles, penis, rectum and pelvic floor. MRI of the pelvis is often used to check for problems.

Before the MRI

  • Do not eat for 4 hours before your MRI.

  • Tell the MRI staff if you have any allergies to medicines or contrast.

  • If you take medicines, you may take them the day of the test.

  • If you wear any kind of medicine patch, it will need to be taken off before the test. Bring a new patch that you can put on after the test.

  • If you are afraid of small spaces, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can give you some medicine that will help you relax. If you do bring medicine to help you relax, you will need to have someone drive you home.

  • If you have had an endoscopy or a colonoscopy in the last 8 weeks, please call the MRI nurses office (608) 262-5276.

Day of Test

  • Take the Atrium elevators to the third floor Radiology Check-In desk. They will let the MRI staff know that you have arrived.

  • Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your MRI. We will need to get your health
    history. Please bring cards for any implants in your body.

  • Remove any metal items such as a watch, hairpins, bra, jewelry and coins. You may not bring anything into the room with the MRI machine. This includes your wallet, purse, cell phone and keys. Our changing areas are private and there is a secure locker for your clothes and other items.

  • Leave valuable items at home.

  • Do not wear any clothing that has metal buttons, zippers, or pockets, such as jeans. Hospital gowns are available, but you may bring your own clothes. Know that some sportswear and other causal clothing may have metallic threading or material on it. If you wear something that does have metal on it or pockets you will be asked to change into a hospital gown.

  • An intravenous line (IV) will be started. During the test we will use this IV to inject contrast medicine. This medicine is used to highlight blood vessels.

During the Test

  • MRI is a long tube-like machine that is open on both ends. Before we place you on the narrow-padded table, a small coil will be placed into your rectum. This coil helps improve the quality of the images. The coil is lubricated with a medicated gel that will decrease your discomfort as the coil is being placed. You will feel an increase in rectal pressure as the balloon of the coil is being inflated.

  • This coil will stay in place for 60 minutes while the images are being made. We will make you as comfortable as possible.

  • During the test you will hear the MRI machine make very loud knocking sounds. You will have headphones to block out some of this noise. You will also be able to listen to music and hear any instructions you are given.

  • The staff will not stay with you in the room. You will be able to hear them through the intercom. The technologist will take pictures and check on you during the test. Let us know if you are uncomfortable at any time.

  • We will place a ball in your hand to squeeze if you need something during the exam.

  • At different times during the test you will be asked to hold your breath for about 15 to 20 seconds.

  • It is important that you try not to move during the test. It is just like taking a picture with a camera. If you move while the picture is being taken, the picture will be blurry.

  • If you have any problems or concerns after your test, please call your doctor.

After the MRI

  • The staff will take out your IV and the rectal coil.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to help your system clean out the contrast medicine.

  • Your MRI will be read by a radiologist and the results will be sent to your doctor. Your doctor will share the test results with you.

Who to Call
If you have any other questions or concerns before your MRI, please call the nurses office at (608) 262-5276.
If you need to reschedule your test, please call the scheduling line at
(608) 263-9729.