Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Epworth Medical Imaging is home to one of 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 may have difficulty lying 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:

  • artificial heart valves
  • artificial stapes (stapedectomy)
  • cardiac pacemaker
  • cerebral aneurysm clips
  • cochlear implant
  • mechanical infusion pump
  • metal in your eyes (from previous welding or grinding)
  • neurostimulator

In preparation for your MRI

  • 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)
  • bring your favourite CD to listen to (if desired)
  • continue to take any medication as normal
  • do not wear eye makeup or jewellery on the day of your appointment
  • fax/email your referral to the Epworth Medical Imaging location where your booking has been made

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.

How long will the scan take?

The scan time will vary depending on the area being examined, but most scans take 30 minutes to one hour.

Results

After your MRI, you can dress, collect your belongings and report to reception. You will be presented with hard copy films or a CD to take with you. The radiologist will produce a report, sent directly to your GP or specialist. Please contact your referring doctor to discuss your results.