I know MRIs are safe, but I need help convincing my hospital

edited November 2016 in Magnets
Hello, everyone. I have a magnetic implant in my left ring finger. I also have some really bad pain issues (they started years before I got the magnet and are unrelated). Lucky me, I finally have health insurance but now I'm having trouble getting a diagnosis because they refuse to let me have an MRI. You can imagine what the radiologist said when I argued that people on the internet say it's safe, and that I saw a picture of a person who claims to have a magnet implant standing in front of an MRI machine.

I have already had a CT scan, but it shows nothing. A few doctors have suggested an MRI instead, but I keep getting refused. I've offered to sign a waiver, told them about the sports tape ... They just keep insisting that it will cook the magnet. Having the magnet removed is something I would like to avoid because the magnet is my wedding ring. 

Does anybody have any experience dealing with reluctant technicians? I suppose another issue could be that the hospital uses T3 MRI machines. Are those just too powerful?

Thanks for any feedback!


  • It could easily be a matter of a more powerful machine. While there are plenty of examples of being able to keep a magnet implanted around a functioning MRI machine, the sheer variety in strengths I feel like implies that not all machines will be as safe. I've heard there are still some in the field that require an absolutely metal free room, including any metallic embellishments on clothing. And forget about dental fillings. Even if the tech itself has improved and they just don't make them as reactive to metals anymore, old models will still be in use. 

    Especially powerful machines could be damaged by a small, loose (once it gets pulled out, of course) piece of metal flinging around inside it. Less about you being able to tolerate the pain, more about keeping their equipment from getting wrecked. Even if you could just out of pocket pay the thousands (if not Millions) of dollars to replace it, having it be destroyed in the process would greatly impact all the other patients in line for the machine after you. 

    One option would be to remove but preserve the magnet, either for display or for re-sterilization to have it re-implanted after the MRI situation blows over? 

    Hope you're feeling less pain-riddled soon!
  • As far as I know there was an article ( can't find it anymore sorry ) that said they had used an MRI while having a magnet. The operator said they could cover the hand with the magnet to isolate it. But the grinder decided to go natural and wrote of the experience : " it wasn't extremely painful ". I presume it happened in Berlin.

    But legally speaking there are bigger concern for them that just you because if the magnet goes your hand can be fixed and you don't have the right to sue them. Problem is if you damage an MRI you would have to pay the damage and I don't you have the money or the credit , and they would have to explain to the hospital lawyer  that they put a magnet near a very expensive macchine.

    Keep in mind that is not just the power itself the problem but the duration of the procedure.

    I'm afraid that they will not put a half million dollar machine at risk for you. 
  • That may have been cassox
  • Cassox is our resident mri guinea pig. @cassox
  • I've placed my hand in the MRI machine. Hurts but no prob. I know an rt who's magnet was nearly torn out while on a code in the MRI room. I ended up having to remove it for her after this. Removing a magnet isn't that big of a deal.
  • "I've placed my hand in the MRI machine."

    Was it on at the time? Do you know the strength of it?
  • An mri is always on. No I don't know the model.
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