Why don't magnets get ripped off during MRIs?

I’ve read many reports of people saying they did an MRI with a subdermal magnet implant, and it seems to range from “no reaction at all” to “pretty painful but not harmful”. But merely having metal on you is supposed to be deadly dangerous when close to an MRI, so why doesn’t it work the same on magnets ?

the bottom line is that you hear about metal going crazy and people being harmed by taking metal into an MRI room… but those are the cases worth talking about. there are plenty of cases where nearly nothing happens. Survivorship bias works the other way too.


the question is - do you want to risk the potential for massive heat and kinetic energy ripping through your body because you brought an undeclared magnetic implant into an MRI procedure? probably not.

the shape of the fields in an MRI machine can be like a massive twisted up double pretzel, and the field strength can go from zero to extremely high in a fraction of a millimeter’s distance. Try holding a magnet away from another magnet when they are 1cm apart its fine, but put them 1mm apart and try it.

the point is, don’t listen to the dummies taking undeclared magnets into an MRI machine. they got lucky.


Spicy, but good advice


Haha was in a caliente mood :wink:

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lol where did you see those?

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Well, seems like a reasonnable point x)
How could I approach the subject, if I need to take an MRI ? Are there ways to shield my hand from this ?

There isn’t any way to shield your hand from the magnetic field. Shielding often means protecting the MRI machine from metal bits in you that might damage the machine or operators if they got loose.

If you have a magnet implant and need an MRI the best course of action is to remove it first.

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You can ask if there’s another way besides MRI. The doc said I needed an MRI for my knee, but had me do a CT scan with contrast dye instead.


Definitely seen multiple too over the years. I can’t list them or tell how truthful they were though.

I’m not sure if that’s what you mean but I’ve heard of thick metal shields to protect medical implants during an MRI. I think they are pretty common. I can’t imagine someone removing their pacemaker for an MRI.

What I always recommend is to talk with the MRI technicians in person before you take any decisions.
Maybe they have the appropriate shield maybe they don’t.
Maybe they think it won’t matter maybe they do.
Maybe they will recommend some other scan or ask you to get it removed.
They are the one who know the specs of their machine and they’ve seen many medical implants before.

On the same topic, a tip I feel is not mentioned enough:
Have a medical card in your wallet and your phone mentioning your implants. If you’re brought in unconscious how the h* are they supposed to know?


From medical professionals I’ve heard from in the US, they won’t do an MRI on an unconscious patient without a patient history since they don’t know if you have medical implants.
Found this for how to deal with unresponsive patients who need an MRI. It goes over visual inspection for scars indicative of surgery, and using CT scans to rule out metal objects before the patient receives an MRI.


Interesting read, thanks!
Sounds like they will avoid it yeah but it seems like they would do it if strictly necessary.
Also having the card can be relevant for other procedures too. Better safe than sorry :crossed_fingers:

They state that only the chest and head is scaned for metallic objects. I assume it’s the same for the physical examination :thinking:


Yes plain films for head and chest, but the search for scars is full body. I assume they would CT an area that has scars or deformation to rule out implants if they found something along the extremities before signing off on the MRI.

Do you think a well-healed titan would be noticeable? I have my flexNext making it very obvious that there’s stuff in there but if I only had my finger magnets I’m pretty sure they would go unnoticed :sweat_smile:

Moral of the story, you should get a big flex along with your magnets :joy: for medical reasons of course


I’m the not dummy here, even if I ended up cutting it out myself, lol (xG3 in the back of the hand, don’t do this with a finger magnet - too much risk of nerve damage).

I strongly advise taking it out too, as Amal and many others have advised here and before. If it’s not a fingertip magnet, you really shouldn’t see an issue just removing it.

Not necessary. An MRI would almost never be needed for an unconscious person, and is contraindicated per Dr. Rohin (Medlife Crisis). I asked him if it was a concern and he not only confirmed it isn’t a worry, but he took an interest in it, too.


I mean yeah, you also almost never would be unconscious in the first place. It’s more a just in case kind of thing. Some day someone’s gonna benefit from it, and it’s one less bad headline inthe news :sweat_smile:. It doesn’t cost anything to include them in your smartphone med record :man_shrugging: