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Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Abdomen and Pelvis


A magnetic resonance imaging scan is also called an MRI. It uses magnetic fields and radio waves to take pictures of the inside of your body. An MRI is done to see blood vessels, tissue, and bones in your abdomen and pelvis. It will also show organs, such as your pancreas, kidneys, or bladder.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • The contrast dye may cause a rash, itching, or trouble breathing. If you have diabetes, your risk for kidney damage may increase if contrast dye is used. Metal in or on your body may cause a burn or other injury. A metal device may move out of place during the MRI. An MRI can make medical devices work incorrectly or stop working. You may have short-term hearing loss after an MRI.
  • Without an MRI scan, your caregiver may not learn about your condition or know if treatments are working. Your condition may get worse.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • The magnets may cause harm if you have metal in or on your body. Tell the caregiver if you have an implant, such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, stent, insulin pump, or cochlear implant. Tattoos, permanent eye liner, and some intrauterine devices (IUDs) may also contain metal. You will also be asked to remove items such as jewelry, a belt, or a hair clip. If you use a medicine patch, remove it before the test. You can put it back on after the MRI.
  • An enema may be given to help empty your bowel. An enema is liquid medicine put in your rectum.
  • Contrast dye may be given to help caregivers see blood vessels or tissue more clearly. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Medicines may be given to help decrease anxiety and keep you calm during the procedure.

During your procedure:

  • You will lie on a narrow table. You may be given earplugs or headphones to decrease the noise of the MRI. The table will be moved into the hole in the middle of the machine.
  • You will hear loud banging or tapping noises as the machine takes pictures. The noise is caused by the magnets in the machine. You will need to lie still during the MRI scan. Caregivers may tell you to hold your breath or avoid swallowing for a few seconds during the scan. When the scan is done, the table will be moved out of the machine.

After your procedure:

Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

Learn more about Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Abdomen and Pelvis (Inpatient Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.