My father has a mechanical heart valve. Can he have an MRI for a shoulder problem?

My father has had a mechanical valve since 2010 and we recently found out he has what can be a tumor on his shoulder to the lower pit. Can he get an MRI done?

Submitted by Alma from Fresno, California on 02/23/2014

by Denton A. Cooley, MD

Our MRI specialists tell us that mechanical heart valves currently available commercially are MRI-compatible. The facility where the MRI is to be done may want to contact your father’s surgeon to get details about the specific valve prosthesis which was implanted.