Getting an MRI

The most full-body MRI access

An MRI is a non-invasive imaging procedure used to view soft tissue to diagnose medical conditions. 

Medtronic spinal cord stimulation (SCS) systems give you the most comprehensive access to MRI scans.

When you have an implanted device, you have to be careful during MRI scans. The good news is that patients with a Medtronic neurostimulation system may have an MRI scan when proper safeguards are in place.


of patients are expected to need an MRI within 10 years post implant1

Before your MRI

If your system features Medtronic SureScan™ MRI technology, you may be able to have an MRI on any part of your body. Your pain specialist can easily determine if you can safely undergo the type of MRI scan prescribed.

  • Tell the doctor who prescribed your MRI scan that you have an implanted Medtronic neurostimulation system.
  • Contact your pain specialist to discuss your upcoming MRI scan. Your pain specialist may also provide a copy of the MRI patient eligibility form to you or your radiologist, which will help your radiologist confirm your ability to have the prescribed MRI scan.
  • When you schedule your MRI appointment, give the office staff the model number of your implanted neurostimulation system and contact information for your pain specialist. This information is listed on your Medtronic patient ID card and on the MRI patient eligibility form.

Note: Be sure to recharge your neurostimulator before your MRI appointment (if needed). This will help avoid any unnecessary delays. Bring your patient programmer/handset with you in case it is needed.

Downloadable MRI instructions

Check your MRI eligibility using your therapy programmer or controller by accessing MRI mode. Find instructions in the guides below.

Activating MRI mode

Before you enter the room with the MRI scanner, put your neurostimulation system in MRI mode. This turns off the stimulation. You will see In MRI mode on your therapy programmer screen. Show this screen to the MRI clinician.

To activate MRI mode, refer to the user guide that corresponds to your implanted neurostimulation system. These guides also provide instructions for turning stimulation back on after the MRI scan.

Downloadable user guides

MRI eligibility icons

The patient programmer will display one of the icons below, which indicate MRI eligibility based on the type of SCS system you have.

Eligibility icon Description
Icon indicating eligibility for a full-body MRI scan
Full body scan eligible

The implanted neurostimulation system allows the patient to be eligible to have MRI scans of any part of the body under specific conditions. The MRI clinician must consult the MRI guidelines for those conditions.

Icon indicating eligibility for a head-only MRI scan
Head scan eligible with transmit/receive head coil

The implanted neurostimulation system allows the patient to be eligible for MRI scans of the head only using an RF transmit/receive head coil and under other specific conditions. The MRI clinician must consult the MRI guidelines for those conditions.

Icon indicating MRI scan eligibility cannot be determined
MRI scan eligibility cannot be determined

The MRI clinician must consult the MRI guidelines to determine how to proceed or contact Medtronic Technical Support at 800-328-0810.

Icons indicating MR unsafe
MR unsafe

The implanted neurostimulation system contains a component of which safety in the MR (magnetic resonance) environment is unknown.

Your Medtronic patient ID card

Keep your ID card with you at all times and make sure the information on it is accurate.

Your ID card:

  • Identifies you as having an implanted medical device — critical information for health professionals and security personnel
  • Includes a toll-free number for contacting Medtronic
  • Helps Medtronic maintain current and accurate information for your records

Present your ID card when you have any medical or dental procedures, or when you need to go through a security screening system at an airport or elsewhere. Otherwise, your device may set off an alarm.

Front view of patient ID card.
Back view of patient ID card.

Getting an identification card

You should receive a temporary ID card when your neurostimulator is implanted. Three to four weeks later, you will automatically receive a permanent ID card from Medtronic. There is no fee for this card.

  • Contact Patient Registration at the number below if you don’t receive a permanent ID card in four to six weeks.
  • If you move or change physicians, or if any of the other information on your card changes, contact Patient Registration.
  • You may also update your card online at registration.

If your ID card is lost or stolen, Patient Registration can issue a replacement card. They can also issue an extra card for a spouse.

Patient Registration contact information

Call 800-551-5544, Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. CT.

Contact us

Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Contact info

Male physician wearing scrubs and scrub cap with a mask around his neck

Find a doctor

MR Safety Triangle Under specific conditions. Talk to your doctor and refer to product labeling for full list of conditions. Patients with non-Medtronic leads and an EMBSNV20 adaptor extension are not eligible for an MRI.


Desai MJ, Hargens LM, Breitenfeldt MD, et al. The rate of magnetic resonance imaging in patients with spinal cord stimulation. Spine. 2015;40(9):E531–537.