Is It Safe To Get An MRI With A Pacemaker?

Is It Safe To Get An MRI With A Pacemaker?

Before undergoing an MRI, there are various important steps and precautions to take.  Since MRI machines are essential giant magnets, metals are prohibited in MRI machines because they interfere with the technology. Pacemakers are one of the devices people have questions about regarding MRI’s and we’re here to give you the answer.

So, is it safe to undergo an MRI with a pacemaker?

The answer is not as clear-cut as you may think. Whether an MRI is safe or not is dependent on the device.  Many people think it is unsafe to undergo an MRI with a pacemaker because most devices were originally not compatible.  Currently, most pacemakers are safe to go through an MRI scanner.  As long as your radiologists is informed that you have a pacemaker, the amount of energy used during the scan may be adjusted.

The Problem With Older Pacemakers

Some older pacemakers are not MRI conditional, meaning that they are not recommended for routine MRI scans.  The problem with pacemakers and MRI’s is that they create alternating magnetic fields, which means that they can generate energy that may cause the device to heat up. This can cause burnt heart tissue that can lead to scar tissue and future heart concerns.

The best way to know if an MRI scan is compatible for your pacemaker is to call your physician.  Make sure you MRI center perform scans on patients with pacemakers and become aware of any issues that may occur.  CT scans are safe for all pacemaker devices, but make sure this diagnostic imaging scan fits your needs first.  If you have any questions about pacemakers or MRI’s, give us a call and we’d be happy to answer them!