||Please phone us for an appointment. The receptionist will give you:
- instructions on where to go for your MRI scan
- a list of safety questions
- information about the preparation needed before your scan - this may include a period without food, and / or the need for an injection of contrast medium
- information about how to arrange "prior approval" from your medical insurance company for your MRI - this means you can send them the invoice for payment, rather than pay first and then claim.
- discuss the requirements if ACC funding this examination.
Some MRI scans require an injection of contrast medium. This shows up on the MRI images, and enables the radiologist to identify some organs or internal structures more clearly. It causes no complication in the vast majority of people who have it.
Because the strong magnetic field will affect any metallic object implanted in the body, MRI staff will ask whether you have a artificial joint (eg, hip replacement), heart pacemaker (or artificial heart valve), implanted device (eg, intrauterine device, IUD) or any metal plates, pins, screws or surgical staples in your body.
In most cases, surgical staples, plates, pins and screws pose no risk during MRI if they have been in place for more than four to six weeks.
You will be asked if you have ever had a bullet or shrapnel in your body, or ever worked with metal. If there is any question that you may have a metal fragment embedded in your soft tissue, you may be asked to have an x-ray to detect if this is the case. Tooth fillings and dental braces are usually not affected by the magnetic field, but discuss the braces with the radiologist.
As MRI may result in local heating of the skin around tattoos and permanent eyeliner please discuss these with the MRI Radiographer.
If you are particularly anxious about having an MRI, a friend or relative is welcome to come with you to the MRI scanning room. It is safe for them to be in there as there are no x-rays used. This person will also need to complete the questionaire about metallic implants etc.
If there is a chance you could be pregnant, please let the staff know.
You will be asked to remove hair clips, jewellery, glasses, hearing aids, and any removable dental plates.