Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced technology that uses magnetic fields and radiofrequency waves to produce images of various parts of the body including, bone, soft tissue, ligaments, muscles, joints, blood vessels and other internal organs.
MRI does not use ionising radiation. There are no known harmful side effects associated with temporary exposure to a strong magnetic field, but for important safety considerations please read preparation instructions below.
Please bring your referral (letter from your doctor) and your Medicare and/or Pension Health Care card with you to your appointment. It is important to bring all previous films relating to the region being imaged.
Musculoskeletal scans usually require no special preparation.
Upper Abdominal MRI (including Liver MRI, Pancreas MRI, Kidney (Renal) MRI) requires 4 hour fasting.
MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) requires 8 hour fasting.
The MRI scanner uses a strong magnetic field, which will move ferromagnetic objects. You must let your doctor know if you have:
- A pacemaker
- Aneurysm clips
- Cochlear implants
- A neurostimulator
- Metal implants
- Steel surgical staples or clips
- An implanted drug infusion device
- Any implant made partially or wholly of iron or steel
If you are pregnant, please inform your referring doctor and the radiographer.
Prior to your scan remove any coins, wallets, mobile phones, jewellery, watches, keys, dentures or partial plates. It is recommended to leave any valuables at home.
You may be asked to change into a gown.
The radiographer will ask you to lie on the MRI table and you will be positioned according to the region of the body being imaged. A specialised coil will be placed over the relevant anatomy and the MRI table will be moved into the scanner for the duration of the scan.
When the MRI scan starts, you will hear some loud knocking noises. These sounds occur whenever the MRI images are being taken. You will be provided with earplugs or headphones with music to help block out the MRI noise. While you are having your scan done, you can communicate with the technologist at any time through an intercom system and you will be provided with an emergency button.
The MRI scan can take 15 to 30 minutes and may take longer for multiple regions. It is very important that you remain still during the scan time, as movement will degrade the quality of the images.
To allow the radiologist to see the anatomy/pathology more clearly, you may require an injection of an MRI specific contrast agent. If so, you will be asked to give your consent to this injection, in which a needle is inserted into a vein. MRI contrast agents typically have few or no side effects.
After the exam, you can go back to your everyday activities.
If you have further questions about your MRI exam, our staff will be happy to answer them.
For severe cases of claustrophobia, light sedation can be provided. Please discuss this with your referring doctor prior to booking your appointment. Four hours fasting is required if sedation is used and you must bring someone to drive you home after the MRI scan.