Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses an exceptionally strong magnet, radio frequency waves and a sophisticated computer to generate detailed high-quality images about structures and processes within your body. MRI provides helpful information to your doctor which aids the diagnose your condition and plan your treatment options.

  • What is an MRI

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses an exceptionally strong magnet, radio frequency waves and a sophisticated computer to generate detailed grayscale images. No x-rays or ionising radiation is used.

    The body or body part is placed within a magnet coil that detects shifting signals, which are encoded by the magnetic field gradients. Finally, powerful computers process the signal to form images of the area of interest. These high-quality images provide information to your doctor about structures and processes within your body. This helps your doctor diagnose your condition and plan your treatment options.

    At Apex Radiology, we have a fully Medicare eligible MRI services at Peel Health Campus and South West Health Campus. We accept MRI referrals from Medical Specialists, GPs and Physiotherapists.  GP’s have access to a limited number of MRI examinations for both adult and paediatric patients. Medical Specialists have access to majority of MRI examinations, however, not all MRI examinations attract a Medicare rebate. Our MRI bookings team can discuss your options regarding whether a Medicare rebate is available for your scan, at the time of your booking.

  • BEFORE AN MRI

    Please bring the MRI Request form given to you by your doctor. Avoid wearing any jewellery or metallic objects – if you have piercings within the area to be scanned please remove. Also avoid make-up if you require a scan of your head or neck. You may be asked to change into an examination gown prior to scan. The magnetic field can erase credit cards, electronic devices and immobilisers. You will be asked to remove all of these objects which will be stored securely for the duration of the scan.

    Because a strong magnet is used, patients with certain ferromagnetic or electronic implanted devices or prostheses may not be able to undergo an MRI procedure. When booking your appointment you will be asked to answer a series of safety questions. Patients with cardiac pacemakers, metal heart valves, some ear implants, certain brain aneurysm clips and various other medically implanted devices may not be able to have a MRI because the metal or electronics will respond to the strong magnetic field. We may require further information on certain devices to determine their compatibility in the MRI environment. Also, people with metallic foreign bodies in their eyes, through grinding or welding, may be excluded from MRI.  An X-ray of the eyes may be required to clear the eyes of any metal fragments.

    Patients having a scan of the abdomen or pelvis may need to fast before the appointment, in order to avoid bowel and stomach movement. Our staff will advise if a patient needs to fast, and for how long, when the booking is made.

    Patients who suffer from claustrophobia might not feel comfortable within the magnet for the required time. Patients should advise our staff prior when booking an appointment if they claustrophobic, so that we can discuss options.

  • DURING AN MRI

    The MRI machine combines an open-ended magnet with a padded bed, which moves through the centre. The body region of interest is also placed within a device called a ‘receiver coil’. Throughout the scan, the radiographer will maintain visual and voice contact with the patient. The switching of the magnetic gradients creates a loud thumping sound, so the patient will be given hearing protection, which must be worn during the scan.  You will also be able to offer music during your scan. Discuss this with the radiographer on the day.

    You will be required to remain motionless for the entirety of the scan to obtain high-quality images. If you believe this could be a concern please notify our friendly booking staff when you make your appointment. Once you are positioned as comfortably as possible onto the MRI scanning bed it is important to stay still for the entire duration of the scan – typically 15-40 minutes. If you feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable it’s important to let the MRI radiographer know as soon as possible.

    Sometimes, a small dose of a gadolinium-based contrast is injected through a vein in your arm to temporarily alter the magnetic properties of the body tissue and enhance anatomical detail. Our radiologist will determine whether an injection is required at the time of the scan.

  • AFTER AN MRI

    MRI is painless and you will not feel any after effects, you can resume normal activity straight away.

    One of our radiologist doctors will interpret the scan and provide your referring doctor with a comprehensive report about the findings. The results of your scan will be sent directly to your referring doctor, and it is very important you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results.

  • PATIENT SAFETY

    No X-rays or ionising radiation is used during an MRI. The magnetic field and radiofrequency waves have not been shown to cause any long-term effects.

    Patients with cardiac pacemakers, metal heart valves, some ear implants, certain brain aneurysm clips and various other medically implanted devices may not be able to have an MRI because the metal or electronics will respond to the strong magnetic field. We may require further information on certain devices to determine their compatibility in the MRI environment. Also, people with metallic foreign bodies in their eyes, through grinding or welding, may be excluded from MRI.  An x-ray of the eyes may be required to clear the eyes of any metal fragments.

  • PATIENT SAFETY FORM

    Contact us if you require a copy of the MRI Patient Safety Form

Find out more about the services we offer in this area

Please note; not all services are listed below, and not all services are available at every site

Make an appointment online or call our dedicated bookings line