I specifically had a chest x-ray done ahead of my MRI as a precaution. I had open heart surgery when I was 3 years old due to a septal defect (hole in the heart). When this was fixed, they used a mesh to help heal the hurt/fix the hole. They performed the x-ray to ensure there wasn’t anything in there that may interfere with, or be disturbed by the MRI. The chest x-ray was pretty quick and straightforward. I essentially had to lift my hands above my head while they snapped a couple of pictures. After the x-ray, I just had to wait 30 minutes or so as they needed to review the x-ray before proceding with the MRI. This gave me a touch more anxiety about the MRI (seriousy, images of something coming loose from my heart and flying up to the giant magnet of the MRI machine.), but I’m glad they added this precaution.
The MRI was, in a word, uncomfortable. They did use a contrast medium for mine, so they started an IV that they would release at halftime. Once the IV was set up, there wasn’t anything that hurt, it was just a matter of laying very still for an extended period. The machine itself is also relatively loud (lots of clunking). In my case, I was still having nerve issues in my left hand. During the MRI, my left hand fell asleep. This made me a little anxious and I wanted to move my hand around, but since I was in the machine, I kept it still. It was also the hand that held the button they provided, which I could push if I needed assistance. Once my hand was asleep, I’m not sure how long it would have taken to get a solid push out of that button if I wanted to push :). All in all, I was happy to be done with the MRI and ready to move to my next stop (PET scan, same day)