What is an MRI scan?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive examination that uses a magnetic field and radiofrequency waves to generate high-resolution images of body organs and soft tissue.
Epworth Medical Imaging is home to the most intuitive MRI units in Victoria.
How should I prepare for an MRI?
There is usually no preparation for an MRI, however for certain procedures you may be asked to fast before your scan. Epworth Medical Imaging staff will inform you of any requirements when you make your booking.
Our wide-bore machines are designed to maximise patient comfort, but if you suffer from claustrophobia or think you will find it difficult to lie still in an enclosed space, please inform our staff when you schedule your appointment (most scans can be performed feet-first).
At the time of booking, it is also important to tell us if you are pregnant or have any metallic devices or surgical implants inside your body. If you have any of 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; mechanical infusion pump; artificial stapes (stapedectomy); cochlear implant; neurostimulator.
In preparation for your MRI:
- fax/email your referral to the Epworth Medical Imaging location where your booking has been made
- continue to take medication as normal
- bring any previous medical imaging reports including X-rays to your appointment
- bring recent blood test results to your appointment (if you are over 60 years)
- do not wear eye makeup or jewellery on the day of your appointment
- bring your favourite CD to listen to (if desired).
On the day of your appointment
Epworth Medical Imaging’s friendly staff will greet you on arrival and ask you to complete mandatory forms.
Our MRI radiographer will meet you at reception and take you through to the MRI department where you will be instructed to change into a gown and to remove all metal objects including jewellery/watches and purses/wallets. A locker will be provided for your valuables.
It is important to tell your MRI radiographer if you have any metallic devices or surgical implants. You will also be asked to complete a safety questionnaire. The radiographer will read your responses and explain the process in detail before escorting you to the MRI room where you will be asked to lay on the examination table. A small ‘coil’ (special device) may be placed on your body.
You must remain as still as possible during the scan, which will take about 30 minutes. There will be breaks between sequences and you may be instructed to hold your breath for certain scans.
Throughout the procedure you will be able to communicate directly with the radiographer, who will monitor the study through a glass window from an adjacent room.
Our low-noise machines are quieter than most. You will be given headphones to minimise noise and will have the option to listen to music of your choice.
For some scans, you may need an injection of contrast agent (dye) to improve image quality. This will be injected into your arm and you will be required to complete an additional pre-examination safety form. If you have kidney disease, take medication for diabetes, or have previously experienced an allergic reaction to contrast solution, it may be unsafe for you to proceed.
The scan time will vary depending on the area being examined, but most scans take 30 minutes to one hour.
After your MRI 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 that will be sent directly to your GP or specialist. Please contact your referring doctor to discuss your results.
Epworth Medical Imaging accepts cash, cheque, EFTFOS, MasterCard and Visa for on-the-day payment. If you have provided your bank details to Medicare, claims can be lodged electronically to ensure that your Medicare rebate is deposited directly into your bank account.
Pensioner Concession, Health Care, Commonwealth Seniors Health and Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold cardholders will be bulk-billed for all Medicare-eligible outpatient items. Some surgical procedures and scans that are not covered under the Medicare Benefits Schedule may incur an out-of-pocket cost. Our staff will inform you of costs prior to your examination. Please present your Medicare card and any concession cards to reception on arrival.