What is an MRI?
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)is a way of creating pictures of your body that does not use X‐rays or radiation. MRI uses a very powerful magnetic field in combination with a rapidly switching Radio‐ Frequency (RF) to obtain the images. MRI is best at demonstrating the soft tissue structures of the body such as muscles, ligaments,the brain and spinal cord. It can also provide unique diagnostic information for Cardiac, Abdominal and Pelvic imaging making MRI advantageous over other imaging modalities for many clinical questions.
We are proud that the MRI scanner at Envision is currently WA’s least claustrophobic scanner. The wide magnet bore (the part you lie in) is also the shortest in Perth, making it a far more comfortable experience for you, compared with other MRI scanners. Most importantly, the excellent image quality allows for accurate diagnosis by our specialist MRI Radiologists.
Preparation for MRI
In most cases there is no special preparation for an MRI scan. You can eat and drink normally on the day of the scan, although it is best to avoid large amounts of coffee or other things that make you restless.
It is very important that certain ferrous or metallic items are not taken into the scan room. Depending on what part of your body is being scanned, you may need to change into a cotton gown. Lockers will be provided for clothes and valuables. Items such as watches, credit cards, jewellery and mobile phones can be damaged by the strong magnetic field or adversely affect the quality of the images.
When you arrive for your appointment, you will be provided with an MRI Safety Check list to confirm you do not have any contraindicated items or implants in/on your body. The MRI Technologist will ensure that no potentially unsafe items enter the scan room.
YOU CAN’T HAVE AN MRI SCAN IF YOU HAVE THE
YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO HAVE AN MRI SCAN IF
YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING:
Stapedectomy (Inner Ear)
AAA Stent (Aorta)
Programmable VP Shunt
Most metal screws, clips & rods used in used in surgery are safe to be scanned as they are made of titanium(non‐magnetic), but we will ask you about these on the day of your scan. Similarly cardiac (coronary)stents and valves are considered safe to be scanned.
If you have questions, or any of the devices please contact our helpful MRI staff prior to coming in for your appointment on (08) 6382 3888.
Our aim is to make this experience as pleasant as possible for you. We encourage you to bring along a phone or iPod with your favourite music for you to listen to during your scan (alternatively we can provide a limited selection of music for you).
During an MRI
Most MRI scans take between 20‐30 minutes, though more complex studies can take a little longer. You will be required to lie very still for the duration of the examination. The MRI scanner will make various LOUD tapping or buzzing noises as part of the normal process of acquiring your images. These run for 2‐5 minutes at a time and the MRI technologist will communicate with you between these scans.
Patients will be provided with ear phones to dull these noises during the procedure. Music can also be played to distract you from the noises. The imaging of certain body parts will require you to wear ear plugs instead.
Although our scanner is much shorter and wider than many other MRI scanners, claustrophobia may still be an issue for some patients. We encourage you to come and see the scanner first and speak with one of our experienced MRI technologists to help put you at ease.
Importantly MRI does not use ionizing radiation like X‐rays or CT scanning and no known harmful effects have been demonstrated.
Due to restrictions imposed on MRI access throughout Australia, most of our MRI scans do not attract a Medicare rebate; with the exception of specific adult (over 16 years old) – head, spine, knee scans and paediatric (under 16 years old) – head, spine, knee, hip, elbow, wrist scans referred by General Practitioners.
At Envision, your Specialist, GP, Physiotherapist, Podiatrist or other health professional can refer you directly for an MRI at an affordable price. Most other radiology practices require you to have a specialist’s referral.
There are further advantages for you:
1. You will be able to get a scan quickly and therefore be able to receive any required treatment from your Doctor much sooner.
2. MRI is often superior to other imaging modalities meaning you can potentially avoid having other unnecessary radiation scans or tests.
Having your MRI scan at Envision will likely save you time whilst giving you an accurate diagnosis on the most comfortable, high quality MRI scanner in Perth.