MRI Scan

What is an MRI?

MRI’s provide detailed images of internal structures using a combination of radio frequency waves and magnetic fields. A series of images are taken through sections of your body, in any direction desired.

Unlike X-rays, which image calcium-containing structures (eg. bone), MRI’s detect water-containing tissues (eg. organs, ligaments, tumors etc).

The MRI machine uses a very strong magnetic field and radio waves to examine a specific area of your body.

What can an MRI scan diagnose?

MRI’s are an important diagnostic tool in soft tissue investigations, such as:

  • Cartilage, ligament and tendon problems
  • Disc and nerve problems in the spine
  • Tumor detection and monitoring
  • Brain examinations
  • Organ assessment

What is required to prepare for the scan?

If you require an MRI scan, we require you to make an appointment and answer some qualifying questions prior.

If you have one of the following, it WILL NOT be safe for you to have an MRI scan:

  • Cardiac pacemaker
  • Cochlear Implant
  • Neurostimulator

If you have one of the following, it MAY NOT be safe for you to have an MRI scan:

  • Cerebral Aneurysm Clip
  • Metal in your eyes
  • Artificial Heart Valve
  • Pregnancy (in first 3 months)
  • Infusion Pump

Please bring any previous films with you to your appointment. All body piercings, jewellery and metal objects will need to be removed prior to your scan.

What happens during an MRI?

The MRI scan will be thoroughly explained to you by our Radiographer prior to beginning.

You will likely change into a gown to avoid items in your pockets not being accidentally taken into the scan room.

You will be asked to lie on the scan table. The part of your body to be scanned will be carefully positioned and gently secured, so you are comfortable and more likely to remain still. Small devices, called coils, may be positioned around the body part that is being studied. These coils are receivers, which enhance the picture quality.

A contrast may be given before certain MRI tests through a vein in the back of your hand or your forearm. The contrast helps the radiologist demonstrate certain areas more clearly.

The scanning process is painless. However, if you are claustrophobic, please inform our staff prior as a sedative may be provided.

To ensure the quality of the images captured, it is very important to remain still throughout the procedure.