What is an MRI scan?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI scans use a strong magnetic field and radio-waves to create high resolution images of your anatomy and any pathology or injury present with exquisite and precise detail.
Please bring your MRI request form and all previous relevant imaging to your appointment.
On arrival for your appointment, you will be required to complete a safety questionnaire to ensure it is safe for you to have the scan. Many metal implants have been tested to be safe to undergo MRI scanning, however some are very dangerous (e.g pacemakers) and the questionnaire will help determine your safety. This is a critical part of your preparation for the MRI scan. Please be patient in answering these questions as your safety is paramount at Gold Coast Radiology.
We have a detailed database of various medically implanted devices which we refer to when checking a patient’s compatibility with MRI.
Patients who have had metallic foreign bodies in their eyes from grinding/welding or other accidents will be required to have a screening X-ray to exclude metal in your eyes prior to commencing the MRI scan.
In most cases there are no other special preparations for an MRI scan. Any special preparation required for your examination will be advised prior to you having your scan.
Due to the safety aspects involved with strong magnetic fields and the sensitive nature of the
technology, you may be asked to change into a gown and remove your watch and jewellery.
What will happen during the examination?
The examination will be performed by a qualified and accredited MRI radiographer.
The MRI scanner shaped like a long tube, is about 1.4m in length and is open at both ends. The MRI radiographer will position you on the MRI table, often with a separate receiver coil or antenna which detects the MRI signal placed on or around the region being imaged and move you into the magnet.
Due to the loud noises produced by the MRI scanner during the imaging process, you will be given earplugs or headphones to wear during the scan. The MRI radiographer will have visual and voice contact with you via a window and an intercom for the duration of the examination. You will also be given a call buzzer which may be used to gain the attention of the MRI radiographer at any time during the scan.
MRI is very sensitive to motion. You will be asked to remain as still as possible during the scan to achieve maximum quality of the images produced.
If your child has an appointment for an MRI - click the video below for an overview of what to expect when attending for your MRI scan!
Some patients may experience claustrophobia. In a very small number of cases patients may require sedation for the examination to be completed and this option can be discussed at the time of booking.
Some MRI examinations require an injection of a contrast medium into an arm vein to show more precise detail of tissues. If required, this will be discussed prior to the scan. Reactions to MRI contrast are very rare.
Are there any risks?
MRI does not use ionising radiation which is used in x-ray and CT scanning. The magnetic field and radio frequency (RF) pulses used in clinical MRI are believed not to produce any long-term ill effects and is very safe to patients, especially those requiring multiple follow up studies.
Although MRI itself has no known harmful effects, it is not recommended during pregnancy unless under special circumstances.
How long does an MRI take?
On arrival there will be approximately 15mins of preparation time, particularly involving safety questions and confirming your personal and medical details. Most simple MRI scans take approximately 30 minutes per region to be completed.
What are the costs of an MRI scan?
You will be contacted prior to your appointment so that the cost to you for an MRI scan can be discussed and explained in detail. Medicare rules are specific to the particular MRI scanner you are being scanned on, the area that needs to be scanned, and whether or not you have been referred by your General Practitioner or a Specialist Physician.
Where can I find further information?
It is important that you understand why and how we will be assisting you. If you have any questions, or if you would like to know more about Gold Coast Radiology’s medical imaging services and MRI scans, please contact our helpful staff at Gold coast Radiology directly on (07) 5514 2555.
MRI Scan Patient Preparation?
There is no specific preparation for an MRI examination. Usually you will be able to eat and drink before the examination unless you are specifically instructed not to when making your appointment, or by your referring physician. You can continue to take your prescribed medications unless otherwise directed.
During the MRI examination you will not be able to wear anything metallic, so it is best to leave watches, jewellery, or anything else metallic at home. It is also best not to wear any make-up. You will be asked to wear an examination gown during the MRI examination. Items such as purses, wallets, phones, hearing aids, metal jewellery, watches, pens, keys, coins, belt buckles, shoes will need to be removed.
A detailed questionnaire will be completed by each patient prior to having their MRI study. Some items such as pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, neurostimulators, aneurysm clips, metal implants, implanted drug infusion devices, etc may create a health hazard or create interference during the MRI examination.
Please phone (07) 5514 2555 for more detailed information.
Download the MRI Patient Questionnaire and Consent form: Click Here