Many people at the moment with an implanted cardiac electronic device may need at some point in their lifetime an MRI. Other scan be used like a CT scan but MRI’s are the standard for diagnosing certain conditions of the brain and spinal cord.
Numerous devices implanted such as cardiac devices (pacemakers and defibrillators) can be harmed by an MRI scan. The strong magnets can cause changes in a pacemaker’s settings which can put the patient in several risks especially those who depend on their pacemaker.
As you may notice, a lot of MRI-safe pacemakers have been accepted by the FDA in the last several years. Although MRI-safe models exists, it does not make sense to change your old pacemakers as the procedure to exchange it can create some risks. If you still need an MRI, there may be other protocols which doctors may use to reduce the risks. These include of setting the pacemaker to safe mode before you get your scan taken, observing you closely during the scan, and reprogramming the pacemaker after the MRI scan. You will need to talk it over with your physician to consider all the possible risks and benefits of every single one of your options.