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Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?
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Author:  j-dub [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

I'm getting an MRI in a couple weeks and have been told I have to remove all jewelry. Taking out piercings kind of freaks me out (even my nose) because I'm really crappy at putting them back in and I seem to grow over freakishly quickly. Any advice? I've got a nostril which I can take out and put back in but I also have a barbell in my nipple that I'm concerned about--I've had it for almost two years but it's been a little inflamed and pus-y lately and the idea of taking it out and putting it back in by myself freaks me out.

Author:  solipsistnation [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

If you don't take them out, they will be ripped out painfully by the massive ring of extremely powerful magnets into which you are about to be inserted. It's not really an option.

If the one is inflamed, you probably need to take care of that anyway, and leaving it in I'm guessing isn't helping any, although I am not an expert on piercings.

Author:  sisterlegume [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

Can you switch them out with plastic jewelry? I don't know what's allowed in those machines. Maybe it's an option.

Author:  8ball [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

Don't keep any metal piercing jewelry in during the scan. If your nipple piercing is irritated how about doing some salt water soaks to get it settled down in the couple of weeks before the MRI then replace it with a temporary plastic piece of jewelry for the day of the scan.

Author:  supercarrot [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

i got some glass retainers from bodyartforms for mine for when i get my mammos. (looks like they're not there anymore. i got them on clearance. my only option was 10g, but they aren't uncomfortably big. i think they were meant to be tongue retainers, but the end is rounded, not flat.)

before i got them though, i got some custom made bioplast sections and o-rings. (the piercer was super nice and gave them to me for free even though he wasn't "my piercer")

also, you definitely don't want to leave the jewelry out while it's infected. you don't want to seal the infection in.

Author:  j-dub [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

supercarrot wrote:
i got some glass retainers from bodyartforms for mine for when i get my mammos. (looks like they're not there anymore. i got them on clearance. my only option was 10g, but they aren't uncomfortably big. i think they were meant to be tongue retainers, but the end is rounded, not flat.)

before i got them though, i got some custom made bioplast sections and o-rings. (the piercer was super nice and gave them to me for free even though he wasn't "my piercer")

also, you definitely don't want to leave the jewelry out while it's infected. you don't want to seal the infection in.

Yeah, that's my concern. I guess I'll go to a piercer today and see if they have any retainers that would fit.

And I've been doing salt water soaks but could be more consistent. Mostly I think it's just that I'm incredibly run down and my body is letting me know that in no uncertain terms.

Author:  fupapack [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

you know, i've heard that an mri will rip out piercings but i don't buy it. why? because i have left mine in. also if that were true what would they do about cemented in retainers for teeth or surgical screws?

Author:  supercarrot [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

some metal isn't susceptible to magnetism.

Author:  acr [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

supercarrot wrote:
some metal isn't susceptible to magnetism.


this is true. and some metal interferes with the magnetic field enough to distort the image, but not enough to create a risk of physical harm to the patient. they recommend that you remove everything partly for your safety and partly to keep the quality of the scan from being diminished.

Author:  Tea [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

The image distortion part is true, though I can't comment on how significant of an impact a piercing would have. I used to work in an MRI lab during my undergrad doing solid state physics, so not at all related to medical MRIs beyond the instrument I got to play with.. I was playing with acoustic cavitation, which meant I needed a speaker attached to the whole setup to output ultrasound, and if I wasn't really careful with where all of the metal cables were sitting it tended to make my images crepe.

I don't know about the piercings being torn out bit, either. Unless they're made out of something non-magnetic (like aluminum. Do they make jewelry out of aluminum? This is a topic I know nothing about), at the very least I'd expect it to be very very uncomfortable. I'd often not bother to take my keys out of my pocket and they'd get pulled pretty strongly sometimes, but they were securely in my pocket so I didn't really care. But if they were jammed through my nipples it would probably hurt. I think medical MRIs might be somewhat stronger magnets than the ones I used.

Author:  fupapack [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

my nipples are pierced, it didn't feel weird nor did it distort the image. they didn't warn me to take them out prior to the appointment and i didn't have means to do so in the changing room so i said ef it.

Author:  LisaPunk [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

fupapack wrote:
you know, i've heard that an mri will rip out piercings but i don't buy it. why? because i have left mine in. also if that were true what would they do about cemented in retainers for teeth or surgical screws?


some metals do not have any magnetic resonance.

i have titanium in my face and jaw from jaw surgery and i was worried i would have to get a medical card to go through the airport but the surgeon said the metal detectors wouldnt pick up the titanium and he was right.

Author:  supercarrot [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

Tea wrote:
I don't know about the piercings being torn out bit, either. Unless they're made out of something non-magnetic (like aluminum. Do they make jewelry out of aluminum? This is a topic I know nothing about)

neither titanium nor surgical steel are susceptible to magnetism. those are the big 2 materials for piercings. niobium is however attracted to magnets, and can easily conduct magnetism.

Author:  paperweight [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

I had an MRI of my head with my tragus jewelry in and had no problem. (The technician said it would leave a mark on the image, but no one cared.) I also had an MRI of my knee with a wrist dermal and chest surface bar in. The surface bar heated up very slightly, but not enough to cause an injury or discomfort. (I don't remember what they were made out of unhelpfully. At the time I did check and other people had successfully had MRIs with the same type of jewelry.) Still, I removed both of them before having another MRI of my head.

I think if you can find a way to remove the jewelry, I would, mostly because the places I've had the tests done it took a fair bit of persuading to convince them to do the tests with the jewelry. The facility that did my knee MRI said that they would have refused to to do an MRI of my head with my jewelry (even though I would have been willing to). I would hate for you to have to reschedule the test.

Good luck with the piercings and with the MRI.

Author:  fupapack [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

oh if i had a way to get them out i would, and i'm not saying anyone ought to keep them in because i did. just figured i'd thrown in my experience to let people know it's possible to keep them in and not have a wound otherwise.

Author:  Vantine [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

J-Dub, can you visit a piercer and get some advice on what to do? Maybe they can help you with the pus (ew) and find you a nice non-metal thingy to put in it. They might even be able to help you put your jewelry back in post-MRI.

Author:  mattomic [ Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

I would definitely seek a professional piercer's opinion - they would have done this before, and know what to recommend. Obviously, definitely no metal in your body during MRI.

And don't let the infection close over. Gross, but I did once - with an earring. Years later, it would burst every so often, because the infection was stuck inside.

Author:  jogirl [ Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

Vantine wrote:
J-Dub, can you visit a piercer and get some advice on what to do? Maybe they can help you with the pus (ew) and find you a nice non-metal thingy to put in it. They might even be able to help you put your jewelry back in post-MRI.

Yes, some years ago when I had several piercings and had to take them out for a medical procedure my piercer was quite happy to put them back in for me afterwards (and didn't charge me).

Author:  Vantine [ Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

mattomic wrote:
I would definitely seek a professional piercer's opinion - they would have done this before, and know what to recommend. Obviously, definitely no metal in your body during MRI.

And don't let the infection close over. Gross, but I did once - with an earring. Years later, it would burst every so often, because the infection was stuck inside.

Sweet heaven...

Author:  fupapack [ Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

jogirl wrote:
Vantine wrote:
J-Dub, can you visit a piercer and get some advice on what to do? Maybe they can help you with the pus (ew) and find you a nice non-metal thingy to put in it. They might even be able to help you put your jewelry back in post-MRI.

Yes, some years ago when I had several piercings and had to take them out for a medical procedure my piercer was quite happy to put them back in for me afterwards (and didn't charge me).

though you should tip them in this case!

Author:  Vantine [ Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

I think tipping anyone helping you put metal through your nipples should be tipped. That sounds prudent to me.

Author:  fupapack [ Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

yup.

Author:  j-dub [ Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

mattomic wrote:
I would definitely seek a professional piercer's opinion - they would have done this before, and know what to recommend. Obviously, definitely no metal in your body during MRI.

And don't let the infection close over. Gross, but I did once - with an earring. Years later, it would burst every so often, because the infection was stuck inside.

Yikes. Shouldn't have read this while eating...

Thanks, everyone! I will head to the piercer on the weekend.

Author:  jogirl [ Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting an MRI--what do I do about piercings?

fupapack wrote:
jogirl wrote:
Vantine wrote:
J-Dub, can you visit a piercer and get some advice on what to do? Maybe they can help you with the pus (ew) and find you a nice non-metal thingy to put in it. They might even be able to help you put your jewelry back in post-MRI.

Yes, some years ago when I had several piercings and had to take them out for a medical procedure my piercer was quite happy to put them back in for me afterwards (and didn't charge me).

though you should tip them in this case!

Ha, yes! And I did.

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