MRI Pelvis or MRI Bladder Information and Instructions

Your doctor has recommended you for an MRI of the pelvis or an MRI of the bladder. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create detailed image slices (cross sections) of the body. This allows the doctor to evaluate different types of body tissue in the area, as well as distinguish normal, healthy tissue from diseased tissue. Our team of expert doctors, nurses and technologists is headed by Rola Saouaf, MD, chief, Body MRI.

Before Arriving for Your Exam

  • If you are having an MRI of the bladder, please drink one to two glasses of water and do not use the restroom. This exam requires you to maintain a half-full bladder.
  • If you are having an MRI of the pelvis, then there are no preparations you need to do before your scan.
  • You can print and fill out the MRI Questionnaire and the MRI and Pregnancy form, if applicable, from the Pre-Registration Questionnaire page before arriving to speed up the registration process.
  • If you are claustrophobic (fearful of small, enclosed areas) or experience pain when lying on your back for more than 30 minutes, your referring doctor may prescribe a relaxant or pain medication to help you through the exam. The imaging doctor at Cedars-Sinai will not prescribe these medications for you.
  • If you plan to take relaxation medication before your exam, it is our policy that you come with someone who can drive you home. Please note, ride-share services (e.g., Uber, Lyft), taxi or bus use are not acceptable ways home unless you have someone with you.
  • For studies that involve IV contrast: If you have veins that are small or hard to find, or have a port, please arrive 60 minutes before your scheduled arrival time.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • You may also bring a CD to listen to during the procedure.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home and wear comfortable clothing.

After Arriving

  • You must tell the imaging technologist or radiology nurse of any allergies you may have.
  • You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire which will determine if an MRI is safe for you. People with various implants (usually metallic) or with metal in their bodies may have difficulty with an MRI, which utilizes a strong magnetic field.

MRIs of the pelvis (female).

During Your Exam

  • You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove any metallic objects.
  • You will lie on the scanning table headfirst with arms at your side.
  • Coils (special devices to improve image quality) will be placed in or around the area of your body under study. Also, a special probe may be inserted into your rectum for detailed visualization.
  • The scanning table will slide your whole body into the magnet.
  • During the scan you will hear intermittent humming, thumping, clicking and knocking sounds. Earplugs will be provided to help mask the noise and allow you to listen to music.
  • In some cases, certain exams require a contrast agent (dye) to obtain key images. The dye is injected into a vein in the arm, and may cause a cooling sensation.
  • As pictures are taken, you must hold very still, and in some cases, hold your breath.
  • The technologist is always able to see and hear you during the exam.
  • The exam will take approximately 45-60 minutes, and you should expect to be at the Imaging Center for about two hours.

After Your Exam

  • There are no restrictions placed upon you. You may eat or drive as normal, although if you took relaxation medication, you will need someone to drive you home. Please note, ride-share services (e.g., Uber, Lyft), taxi or bus use are not acceptable ways home unless you have someone with you.
  • Your films will be examined by an imaging doctor and a report sent to your doctor. Your doctor will review the results with you.
  • To request a copy of your images or your report, visit our Report & Image Copy Requests page.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.