What is an MRI scan?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a scan used to image the body. A strong magnetic field and radio waves are used to produce high resolution pictures of the body organs and soft tissues e.g. blood vessels, brain tissue, discs, ligaments and muscles.
How should I prepare for an MRI?
In most cases there is no preparation and you can eat and drink normally. However for certain procedures you may be asked to fast prior to your scan. Epworth Medical Imaging staff will give you an indication of how long you will need to fast for when you call to book your appointment.
The majority of patients have no problem with the MRI. If you suffer from claustrophobia or think you’ll have problems lying still in an enclosed space, then please inform our staff when making your appointment and we will be able to help you.
At the time of your booking it is important to tell us if you have any metallic devices or implants inside your body. If you have the following it may not be safe for you to be scanned: cardiac pacemaker Cerebral aneurysm clips, metal in your eyes (from previous welding or grinding), artificial heart valves, pregnancy (in first 3 months), mechanical infusion pump, stapedectomy, cochlear implant, neurostimulator.
Other items to remember:
- Continue to take medication as normal
- Please do not wear eye makeup or jewellery
- You may bring your favourite CD to listen to
- Please fax or email your referral to the Epworth Medical Imaging location where your booking has been made
If you are over 60 years old you will be required to have recent blood tests before your procedure.
Remember to bring your previous x-rays with you.
On the day of your appointment
Epworth Medical Imaging’s friendly staff will greet you upon arrival and asked to complete a few forms.
Our MRI technologist will meet you and take you through to our MRI department where you will be asked to change into a gown. You will need to remove all metal objects, purse/wallet and watch – a locker will be provided for your valuables.
Our MRI technologist will explain what will happen during the examination and will then take you through to the MRI room where you will be asked to lay on the examination table. You will need to remain as still as possible.
Throughout the procedure you’ll be able to hear and talk to the technologist who will monitor the study from an adjacent room.
Depending on your procedure you may need an injection of a special fluid, known as contrast to improve the detection of abnormalities in the body. This injection will be administered via a vein in your arm.
The scan time will vary depending on the area to be scanned – most scans take approximately 30 minutes to one hour.
After completion of your scan, you can dress, collect your belongings and report to reception. You will be presented with hardcopy films or a CD to take with you. The radiologist will produce a report which will be sent directly to your GP or specialist – please contact your GP or specialist in order to discuss results.
Epworth Medical Imaging accepts cash, cheque, EFTFOS, MasterCard and Visa for payment on the day. If you have provided your bank details to Medicare, we can lodge Medicare claims electronically so as your Medicare rebate is direct deposited into your bank account.
Pensioners and healthcare card-holders will be bulked billed for all items covered under the Medicare schedule, although some surgical procedures and scans may incur a cost, as they are not covered under Medicare. Our staff will inform you of costs prior to your examination. Please have your Medicare card ready to present to reception.