This investigation is provided at The Alfred only. This information is for patients attending Alfred Health Radiology.
What is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan?
MRI is a safe imaging modality with no known harmful effects. MRI does not use x-rays or involve any radiation. MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of any part of the body, in any direction. MRI is particularly good for showing structures such as the brain, spinal cord, internal organs, muscles, ligaments and cartilage.
To be sure that it is a safe for you to enter the magnetic field, you will be sent an MRI Safety Screening Form to complete.
What MRI scans can I have done at The Alfred Radoilogy Department?
At The Alfred hospital we offer a wide range of diagnostic MRI scans, many of which are bulk billed. These include:
- Upper and lower limbs and joints.
- MR Angiography
- Sedation services
There may be a gap fee for some MRI tests, such as some referrals from GP’s. Please discuss this when you make your appointment.
How do I prepare for my MRI?
- If you have been referred for a MRI scan by your doctor and would like to make a booking, please contact Radiology at our Alfred site.
- 03 9076 0357 (The Alfred MRI appointments)
- When you are booked for the procedure, please inform your Doctor and the Booking Staff if you have ever had any of the following:
- Cerebral aneurysm clips
- Cochlear implant
- Metallic injury to your eyes (e.g. From welding / grinding / other cause)
- Other medical implants
- Please also inform the Booking Staff if:
- You suffer from claustrophobia, as it is possible to arrange sedation for those patients who require it to undergo their examination but it must be arranged in advance.
- You are pregnant
- You weigh more than 156 kg
- Make sure you have completed your Safety Screening Form and bring it with you on the day of your examination. It is important that the person undergoing the exam completes this form. It is also important for this form to be completed as accurately as possible. If you are unsure about any of the questions or answers, please contact the MRI department before your appointment and our staff will be happy to assist you.
- Please bring all relevant previous medical imaging
Just prior to the MRI examination
- You may be asked to fast for 2 hours immediately before your examination (you will be informed if this is necessary for your examination at the time of booking). Please continue to take your regular medication unless advised not to by your doctor.
- You will be asked to change into hospital clothes and remove all jewellery and metallic objects. You will not be able to enter the MRI scan room with objects such as your wallet, credit cards, mobile phone, MP3 player or watch. The magnetic field will damage these items.
- You will be interviewed by the radiographer, who will review your MRI Safety Screening Form with you and ask about your medical history.
- You may need an intravenous line inserted.
During the MRI examination
- MRI scans vary in length depending on the exam being done. Your scan may take anywhere from 15 min to 1 ½ hours. The radiographer will advise you, at the time of interview, the expected length of time for your exam.
- Your MRI scan will be performed by a radiographer
- MRI scanners are noisy. You will be given earplugs to wear during the examination. Sometimes, it is possible to give you headphones so that you can listen to music. This is not always possible, as the headphones are not compatible with some equipment.
- You will be asked to lie as still as possible as any movement can make the images blurry.
- The radiographer will keep in contact with you throughout your examination and you will be able to communicate with them as well.
What do I do after the examination is finished?
- Return to your doctor to discuss the examination results.
- The radiologist’s report and your images are automatically forwarded to your doctor.
- If you needed sedation for your scan, you will need to remain in the department for some time afterward (time varies person to person) to ensure you that you recover from it fully. You will also need someone to take you home safely, as you will not be able to drive for 24 hours.