Pediatric MRI without general anesthesia

Some children are able to complete MRI’s without general anesthesia.  Each child is different and parents can best determine if this is a possibility.

  • A Child Life Specialist can also help you assess this option and provide information.  
  • Cinemavision movie goggles are available for some types of MRIs.  This distraction tool allows children to watch a DVD throughout the MRI. 
  • A parent or trusted adult is welcome to remain in the room to further increase a sense of security for your child (the technologist will screen the adult to be sure it is safe for them to be in the MRI room, i.e .  for pacemakers or other metal inside the body)
  • If you are interested in the movie goggles, please inform the staff when scheduling your appointment.
  • After the MRI is complete, your child can pick out a prize and enjoy the rest of the day!

Pediatric MRI with general anesthesia

If your child is completing his or her MRI with anesthesia (asleep), here are some useful guidelines:

  • A nurse will call you before your appointment with important preparation instructions
  • A Child Life Specialist is available to prepare your child and help him/her feel more comfortable in the hospital setting.  
  • Your anesthesiologist, nurse and technologist will meet with you before the exam starts to explain the process and answer questions.
  • You may be asked to accompany your child to the MRI area, and then be asked to return to the Children's Surgery Center (CSC) waiting room once the exam has started.
  • Your child will return to CSC for recovery and you will be escorted to their bedside shortly after their arrival. 
  • Your child will wake up and “recover” from the anesthesia in the Children’s Surgery Center (CSC).  You can follow your child as they push him/her by gurney from the MRI to recovery area.