Magnetic Resonance Imaging - MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging - MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnet and radiofrequency waves to obtain extremely detailed cross sectional images of the body. MRI is now the preferred method for assessing many parts of the body, including the brain, joints and spine.

MRI scanners are cylindrical machines with open ends. The internal diameter of most MRI scanners are quite narrow, which can increase patient anxiety, particularly for claustrophobic patients. Our Siemens Espree MRI takes advantage of wide bore technology, which results in a considerably larger internal diameter and shorter overall length.

The area to be scanned is placed in the middle of the machine. A device called a receiver coil is placed around the part of the body to be scanned. The coil acts as an antenna, receiving the radio signals from that area. The MRI computer transforms the signals into a digital picture form (images). The images are printed onto film and CD for your records.

All MRI's performed at Noosa Radiology are reported by Radiologists specialised in MRI imaging.

Preparing for your examination

Please be aware that all MRI scans require an appointment. Please call us to arrange an appointment time.

What to bring

  • A referral from your GP or specialist
  • Medicare card
  • Pension/concession card
  • Previous films from other clinics relating to the area being scanned with us

In most cases, no advance preparation is required. Eat normally and take any medication as usual, unless your doctor or Noosa Radiology staff have given you other instructions. Please tell us if you have a cardiac pacemaker, ear or cochlear implants, an aneurysm clip, drug infusion pump, nuerostimulator or if you are pregnant.

Reasons for an MRI

An MRI offers a safe and efficient method for diagnosis of many medical conditions.

  • MRI produces the most detailed images of the brain, spine and musculoskeletal system
  • Our 3D submillimetre volumetric scans thoroughly assess cartilage, ligaments and nerves
  • More comfortable and relaxing examination with reduced claustrophobia. With our MRI, 60% of examinations can be performed with the patient's head outside the magnet, and there is 40% more headroom for examinations where the head is scanned within the magnet
  • No radiation
  • Non invasive
  • No known health risks
  • Specialist MRI radiologists
What to expect

All patients undergoing an MRI must fill out an MRI questionnaire. This is to obtain medical information and to ensure you are suitable to undergo the scan. All medically implanted devices need to be assessed and cleared by the technologist and doctor before you can enter the MRI scan room. Most patients with cardiac pacemaker, a drug infusion pump, cochlear (inner ear) implant or neurostimulator cannot be scanned.

Most patients are provided with a gown. All loose objects must be removed from your pockets i.e. phone, keys and wallet before you can enter the scan room. You will be asked to also remove:

  • Your watch
  • Credit cards
  • Dentures
  • Hearing aids
  • Any metal objects which could be affected by the magnetic field

This is because the strong magnetic fields can cause these objects to become safety hazards, and also affect the quality of your scan. The MRI will also erase any cards with magnetic strips, such as your bank or credit cards.

In the imaging room, you will lay down on a padded table which will align the area of your body being imaged to the middle of the scanner. A device called a coil may be placed over the area being examined. This acts as a receiver for the radio waves produced by the MRI machine. We will attempt to make you as comfortable as possible. It is very important that you remain relaxed and still while we are scanning. Each body part takes approximately 20 minutes to scan.

A few examinations require an intravenous contrast agent. This is given as an injection during the study. It is important to tell your doctor and the Noosa Radiology staff if you have suffered a reaction to MRI contrast in the past, have diabetes or kidney problems.

During the examination you will hear loud repetitive noises and may feel a slight vibration through your body. Headphones are provided with an assortment of music to help you relax and soften the noise of the machine. Throughout your exam, you will be able to hear and speak to your technologist via an intercom.

 

When can you get your results?

The images obtained are digitally recorded. At Noosa Radiology our highly trained and qualified Radiologists interpret the images and provides a report for your doctor and/or referring health care provider within 24 hours, although usually 3 hours depending on the complexity of the scan.

You will be able to take your images on the day or collect them at a time that is convenient for you. You may need to make a follow up appointment to discuss the results with your referring practitioner.

We invite you to ask any additional questions you may have before or after your examination