Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe, painless and powerful diagnostic imaging test. MRI technology is very complex but essentially uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce exquisite images of many of the body’s internal structures. MRI is a very safe test because it does not use radiation to collect the images.

Does any of the following apply to you? If so please contact us as soon as possible.

  • You suspect or know that you may be pregnant
  • You have ever experienced a severe reaction to a previous injection of contrast media
  • You suffer from asthma or have kidney disease
  • You are a diabetic
  • You have a pacemaker in your body

Do you require an interpreter?
Is the patient non-english speaking? If so, we can arrange for an interpreter to be present during the appointment. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can make the relevant arrangements.

  • If you experience symptoms of claustrophobia or are unable to lie flat comfortably, then it is advisable to contact us prior to your appointment. Your doctor may prescribe an oral sedative medication for you to take with you for your MRI appointment. Please discuss this with our staff members at time of booking
  • If you are having an MRI please do not wear eye makeup. (On the screening form it asks this for all MRI’s as some eye makeup is metallic based and the MRI can cause issues with it, regardless of the area scanned)
  • You will be asked about any previous surgery completed on your head, heart, ears or eyes, as well as any metal which may be in your body. This is an important screening question as some operations and implants may be investigated prior to your booking, while others may not be compatible with MRI and a different procedure may be required.
  • On arrival, you will be required to complete some paperwork
  • This assists us in identifying if you have any metal, surgical implants or electrical devices that may not be safe to go inside the scanner’s strong magnetic field.  Some patients with cerebral aneurysm clips, infusion pumps, neurostimulator devices and cochlear (inner ear) implants are unable to have an MRI scan or may require the examination to be modified
  • If you have had metal in your eyes or other parts of your body (i.e. shrapnel or metal slivers from grinding or welding), you may need to have an x-ray before your MRI scan. It is very important to have any metal fragments in your eyes removed prior to the scan
  • You will be asked to change into a hospital gown to avoid metallic objects being inadvertently taken into the scanner
  • Lockers are provided for wallets, watches, mobile phones and other personal items. Please do not take credit cards into the scanner room as the magnetic strip may be erased
  • An MRI technician will accompany you into the room and position you on a procedural bed
  • An MRI coil (camera) will be placed over the area to be scanned
  • Sometimes, some support and padding items will be placed around the coils to assist
  • You will be provided with a buzzer, to press and stop the scan at any stage
  • The procedural bed will slide into the centre of the machine, which is shaped like a tunnel with flared ends
  • The scanner is well lit inside and is open at both ends
  • A two-way intercom allows you to communicate with the technician throughout the scan
  • During an MRI scan, you are required to remain as still as possible to allow for clear images. In some instances, the technicians may have to repeat the study
  • Most MRI scans will take between 20 to 30 minutes to complete; however, some may take longer but the technician will advise you of this
  • While the scanner is taking pictures, you will hear a variety of thumping, whirring or banging noises. There is no need to be alarmed by the noises. These are the normal sounds produced by the scanner and can be quite loud. We will provide you with earplugs or headphones to minimise the noise during the procedure
  • Your images will be sent to one of our specialist Radiologists for them to review and report
  • Please advise the reception staff on arrival if you have a follow up appointment scheduled with the referring doctor.
  • Some MRI examinations require an injection of a special intravenous contrast or dye (called Gadolinium)
  • This can provide additional detail on the MRI pictures and is usually injected into a small vein in the elbow or the back of the hand
  • As with all medications, a very small number of patients may be allergic to the contrast injection
  • If you have kidney disease, you may not be able to have the contrast injection
  • The MRI technologist or Radiologist will discuss this with you.

Please download and print out our MRI Safety Screening Form, complete it and bring it to your appointment. If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of the questions, please contact us prior to your appointment to discuss.

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