MRI > What to
- On the day of your exam, please arrive on time.
In order to allow time for registration and processing of
paperwork, the appointment
time you are given is 30 minutes prior to your actual appointment.
- You must check in and register with our clerical staff. A valid
Ontario Health Card, and if available, a St. Michael's Hospital
card are required
- If you have had X-rays or scans (or any exams
on compact discs) to diagnose this same or similar problem
at another facility, please make sure you bring them with you.
scans will be kept for reporting and then mailed back to
the hospital of origin.
- Note that emergency patients or equipment failures may result
in a delay or rescheduling of your appointment.
- After registration, if you wish, you can
watch a patient information video.
- You will be asked to change
into a hospital gown and remove
any jewelry and metallic objects.
- At this time, you can take any
medication that was prescribed by your physician. If you have
a condition that
requires you to take medication on a regular basis, you should
keep to your regular medication schedule.
- Lockers are provided
for secure lock up of your clothing and valuables.
- When it is time
examination, a technologist will escort you to the scan room.
- Some examinations of the abdomen require special preparation; your physician
will give you details specific to your exam.
About the Procedure
- The technologist will go over the MRI screening
form with you, explain the procedure and answer any questions
that you might have.
- You will
be provided with ear plugs to help reduce the loud humming and
thumping sounds which are produced during the scanner's operation. You
then be escorted into the scan room.
- The scan room has a large
doughnut-shaped magnet with a padded table that moves you into
the centre of the
machine once you are positioned. Whether or not you go into
the machine head
first or feet first, as well as how far in you go, is determined
by the type of exam being performed. In some cases a special
equipment called a surface coil, which is like a radio antenna,
is placed on or wrapped around the body part that is being imaged.
- The scanner is equipped with an emergency assistance alarm button,
two-way intercom for communication with the technologist
and one of our scanners
has a camera for patient monitoring by the technologist.
is very important that you remain relaxed and try not to move
during the scan. Even very slight movement of the part being scanned
images that will have to be repeated. For some exams you
may be asked to hold your breath for 10-30 seconds as the pictures
- The exam consists of several different scans that vary in
length and the type of sound they produce.
- Most exams take 30
to 45 minutes, but
there are a few that take one to two hours.
- Some exams may also
require the injection of a contrast agent called Gadolinium.
agent is a colorless fluid, which is injected into a vein
in your arm. The contrast agent is very safe; its purpose is
in the MRI images clearer and is standard for some types of examinations.
- If you require a contrast injection, the technologist will take
you out of the scanner and inject it into a vein in your arm.
will then return you to your original position in the scanner.
- Since we need the images before and after the injection to
match, it is
important that you do not move while the contrast medium
is being administered.
- Some examinations of the abdomen require special preparation;
your physician will give you details specific to your exam.
- Each MRI
scan is individualized and tailored to each patient's
needs. If you have
had an MRI scan before, do not be concerned if this one
is longer or shorter.
After the Exam
- You will feel no after-effects upon completion
of the study and may resume normal activity.
- It is recommended
that you have someone accompany
you if you will be taking medication for claustrophobia as you
may feel groggy for an extended period of time and you will not
- After the exam, the radiologist and technologist will review
the images to ensure diagnostic quality. If the quality is acceptable,
go home. If more images are needed, they will usually be taken right
- Your scan will be reviewed by a radiologist.
- The MRI
report will be sent to your physician, who will schedule an
appointment to discuss
the results with you.