Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging and refers to a medical imaging scan that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to capture detailed images (or pictures) of soft tissues, bone, fat, muscles and the internal organs of your body.

It is a non-invasive procedure that is used to help diagnose a health problem. No chemicals or radiation are used to create the images.

An MRI scan examines a specific area of your body. An MRI radiographer will perform the procedure and one of our specialist medical imaging doctors (known as a radiologist) will review and interpret the images. A report of findings will be prepared and sent to your referring practitioner, so it is important to book a follow up appointment with them.

An MRI scan produces different information to other examinations such as x-ray, ultrasound or CT scans. In particular, MRI provides information concerning the soft tissues of the body including nerves, muscles, ligaments and cartilage.

At Queensland X-Ray, our MRI scanners use the latest technology to provide high quality imaging using short scan times to provide a comfortable experience. We perform different types of MRI scans depending on the region of the body that requires scanning and the reason for the scan. Information about the different types of MRI scan can be found on our website.

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  • The preparation for the different types of MRI scans can vary. Please refer to the specific type of MRI scan you are having for further information.

  • When you arrive, our reception staff will go through some questions with you to reconfirm your booking details.

    So our team can easily access the area we need to scan, you may need to change into a special gown that we will provide. You may also be asked to remove any jewellery, hearing aids or dentures. Any belongings you remove will be safely stored for you.

    In order to perform your scan, you will be asked to lie down on the MRI bed which moves in and out of the bore (the hole). Some MRI scans will require us to insert an intravenous (IV) line into your arm. We use this to administer contrast that can help to enhance the images we take. When the contrast is injected, sometimes a slight sense of warmth or flush may occur and this is completely normal. It is important to tell the staff if you have had any form of reaction to x-ray contrast before, or if you are an asthmatic. Throughout the procedure, you will be required to remain still in order to capture the images.

    There is the option of both standard and wide-bore scanners across our practices. For some patients with claustrophobia, the 70cm diameter bore means the scan is more comfortable. If you require an MRI scan and do suffer from claustrophobia, or are uncomfortable with the restrictive space, we can provide twilight sedations at our hospital practices. Just mention this at the time of booking.

    The MRI machine makes a very loud knocking and humming sound when the images are being taken. Both hearing protection and an emergency buzzer are provided for the duration of the scan. You’ll be offered headphones through which the MRI radiographer can talk to you and play a selection of music to help reduce the noise and pass the time more quickly. The knocking will intermittently stop while the computer processes the images for a few seconds at a time before starting again. No-one else will be in the room during your scan, but you can press the buzzer should you need to communicate with the MRI radiographer or stop the exam at any time.

  • Safety is paramount with MRI scanning, so at the time of booking your MRI and also when you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked certain safety questions. An MRI machine is essentially a large magnet and certain implants are not MRI safe or only safe on certain machines. Please let our booking staff and the MRI staff know if you have any of the following:

    • Cardiac pacemaker
    • Defibrillator
    • Cochlear implant
    • Neurostimulator
    • Aneurysm clips
    • Active implanted biomedical devices
    • Infusion pump
    • Any implants or devices in your head or body

    Please let us know at the time of booking if you are pregnant.

  • Most MRI scans take approximately 15 minutes to 1 hour to complete depending on the part of the body we scan.

Watch: Having an MRI with Queensland X-Ray

How much will it cost?

Fees for radiology procedures will vary depending on a variety of factors. We will advise you about the cost of your service at the time of booking but if you do have any questions, contact us and one of our team will be happy to help with your query. You can read more about our billing information here.

How do I access my images?

At Queensland X-Ray, we provide our patients with their images and results online. To access your images and results, you’ll need to register for an account when you visit one of our practices. If you’ve already registered, you can access the Patient Portal here.

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