MRI is used to assess a number of medical conditions and provide specialised information. It can be used in addition to x-ray, CT and Ultrasound for further information.

At SCBD we have a 1.5T Magnetom ESSENZA which can undertake a range of imaging including musculoskeletal, neurological and abdominal imaging.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to bring along to an MRI?

On the day of the appointment, you will need to bring in your referral letter and any related previous imaging. Prior to your appointment, you will be given a safety form to fill out.

Do I need to prepare for my MRI?

You will be required to remove objects such as jewellery, watches, belts, shoes, wallets, dentures etc. Some scans require you to change into a patient gown.

Safety in MRI is essential, overall MRI is a safe procedure however, any previous surgical history needs to be investigated. If you have a pacemaker, aneurysm clip, heart valve replacement, neurostimulator, cochlear implant, injury from a metal fragment, metallic foreign body or a drug infusion device please notify staff beforehand. Patients with these implants may not be safe enough to scan. So further investigation is needed before your scan.

Most MRI scans do not involve any preparation. However, some abdominal imaging requires fasting of up to 8 hours. MR enterography requires a special diet plan to be carried out and the instructions and bowel preparation can be collected prior to the appointment.

How long will the MRI scan take?

MRI scan times can vary from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the type. Each region typically takes 20 minutes, however, more complex studies such as abdominal scans can take up to an hour.

What happens during an MRI scan?

Before the scan, the radiographer will go through the safety questionnaire to ensure there are no contraindications. The radiographer will explain the procedure beforehand. During the scan, you will be lying down and positioned comfortably to obtain diagnostic images. Depending on the region to be scanned a special device, known as a coil, will be placed around the particular body part to acquire the images. The scan is quite noisy but you will be provided with hearing protection and headphones to listen to some music.

The MRI machine is open at both ends and you will be provided with an emergency button if you require assistance during the scan. The technician has a two-way intercom for you to communicate. If you suffer from claustrophobia please advise the staff beforehand.

Some scans require an injection of contrast agent (gadolinium). In this instance, a cannula will be inserted into your vein.

When will I get my results?

During the procedure, the radiographer will carry out a number of scans to obtain images for a specialist radiologist to report. Most results will be ready the next day. If you do not wish to wait for your results they will be forwarded directly to your referring Doctor. Alternatively, you can organise to return at a later time to collect your images and/or report. It is recommended that you do this prior to your appointment with your referring Doctor.It is very important, (even if the result is normal) to return to your referring Dr for discussion of your results, allowing further investigation of your symptoms if the cause is not determined.

Does MRI use radiation?

MRI does not utilise any radiation, even pregnant women may undergo MRI scans. However, it is recommended women in their first trimester speak to their referring physician beforehand.

Can I ask for other areas to be scanned at the same time?

Only what is on the referral may be scanned.

Can the radiographer give me a result on the spot?

MRI scans are quite extensive and detailed so you will have to wait for a specialised radiologist to determine the result.