Anesthesia & Sedation

Sedation is a means of lowering the anxiety level and somewhat depressing the state of consciousness of a nervous or claustrophobic patient so that an examination can be completed without difficulty.

Because our radiologists are always on site, they are able to provide oral and intravenous sedation when necessary. In addition, for children under the age of 5 and for extremely claustrophobic patients, NSI offers conscious sedation under the care of an anesthesiologist.

Claustrophobic patients are often anxious about the MRI experience, usually triggered by the thought of lying in a long, narrow tube. However, modern MRIs have much shorter and wider cylinders than in years past, making the experience much more comfortable for claustrophobic patients. Sometimes, the patient’s head doesn’t even need to be inside the gantry, depending on the body part being imaged. Many claustrophobic patients find the MRI experience at our facilities pleasant and non-anxiety provoking, even without medication.

If sedation is requested by a patient, they will need to notify NSI while scheduling their exam and we will make the appropriate arrangements. The patient will need to make sure someone is there to drive them home after their examination.

  • Oral Sedation – For patients who have a mild to moderate degree of claustrophobia, we will administer a low-dose oral medication 30 minutes prior to your exam start time.
  • Intravenous Sedation – For patients who have a severe degree of claustrophobia, an intravenous agent is sometimes necessary. This will be administered onsite with the prior permission of and arrangement with the referring physician and will be performed under the care and supervision of an anesthesiologist.

Patients undergoing sedation treatment must arrive 30 minutes prior to the exam. Children under 50 pounds will need to arrive 1 hour early. It is necessary that all patients be driven home after their appointment.

Sedation Preparation

Oral Sedation

  • If you require an oral sedative prior to your MRI, our facility can provide this. We ask that you fast for 3 hours prior to your appointment time and you MUST have a driver with you.
  • There is a $5.00 fee for the medication.

Anesthesia & IV Sedation

  • If you require anesthesia or IV sedation in order to have an MRI, NSI offers conscious sedation under the care of an anesthesiologist.
  • You will be required to fast for 6–8 hours and have a driver here with you.
  • You may be asked to withhold from some of your medications until after the exam is completed. The scheduling department will inform you if this is necessary for your exam.