The Modern Modification Lifestyle: Piercings and X-rays or MRIs

getting CTs or MRIs with body jewelry

As the modified generations get older, the likelihood of needing medical imaging increases. Just like with everyone who isn’t pierced, breaking a bone, taking a knock to the skull, headaches, or a number of other symptoms could all cause the need for a range of imaging tests. So what do you do about your body jewelry? Well first, there are some things you’ll want to know.

If you need an x-ray:

Although in the past you would’ve been required to remove body jewelry for x-rays, many imaging centers and hospitals will actually allow you to leave it in now. Even metal jewelry will rarely interfere with the imaging, and it usually comes out on your films as a solid white mass in the basic shape of the item. Some medical offices still require special precautions though, so be prepared.

what piercing look like on x-ray film

If you need a CT scan:

For this type of imaging, conductive or reflective materials such as stainless steel, titanium, or glass can actually interfere with the process, since this type of visual is produced using radiation. Your best bet is to wear an acrylic or bioplast retainer, but don’t be surprised if you’re still asked to remove it.

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non-metallic body piercing retainers

If you need an MRI:

MRI imaging is created using electromagnetic energy. Simply put, the magnets in the machine are strong enough to make wearing metal jewelry of any kind not only a hazard to the integrity of the final product, but also extremely uncomfortable. In this case a retainer made of non-metallic material is again a good choice.

Different physicians, technicians, and establishments are well within their rights to institute a set of rules when it comes to wearing (or not wearing) body jewelry during imaging, and some will be far more strict than others. The best way to always make sure you’re prepared is to call ahead and ask for your imaging center’s specific regulations. In the event of a zero jewelry policy, the best way to prevent your piercing from closing is to take your jewelry out as close to the testing time as possible. Bringing retainers, paper products, and premixed spray or wash allows you to safely replace jewelry in a restroom once the procedure is over. If your piercing does start to close up or swell, your piercer may still be able to help the situation, so don’t give up until you’ve asked a professional. To watch a belly button being re-pierced after the initial piercing has closed, check out our video on YouTube.

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