MRI - General

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive and advanced medical procedure. MRI uses a strong magnet, radio waves and a powerful computer to produce detailed pictures of your body.

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 treatment options.

MRI does not use x-rays or radiation. When safety precautions are followed, MRI is not known to cause any long-term harmful effects.

If you are - or could be - pregnant, please tell our staff before your MRI scan. MRI can be used during pregnancy when the safety of the unborn child is maintained.

Lake Imaging offers MRI services at numerous locations. Please refer to the specific MRI procedure you require for your nearest MRI location.

For patients attending Lake Imaging for an MRI scan, please read the Important Patient Information below & complete your MRI Safety Questionnaire prior to each MRI Appointment.  

 

Before your scan

You must have a referral to access Lake Imaging services. Lake Imaging accepts MRI referrals from medical specialists, GPs and Allied Health professionals.

Please note, not all MRI examinations attract a Medicare rebate therefore out-of-pocket expenses may apply. Feel free to ask our friendly staff about your payment options when you book or confirm your appointment.

Please download and complete your MRI safety questionnaire prior to each MRI Appointment. This will speed up the process when you arrive at our department.

Please bring:

  • Your completed referral from your doctor.
  • Completed MRI Safety Questionnaire: Found here.
  • Any previous relevant x-ray, CT, MRI or ultrasound films. Your MRI radiologist may need this information.
  • Your Medicare card and any concession cards.

When you book your MRI scan, and again when you arrive for your scan, you’ll be asked the following safety questions:

  1. Due to the strong magnet used for the MRI, metal (magnetic) objects and some devices are affected. Therefore, if you have a cardiac pacemaker, artificial heart valves, electronic inner ear implants (bionic ears), surgical clips (brain aneurysm clips), electronic simulators, implanted pumps (e.g. insulin pumps) or other implanted devices, please tell our staff. In some cases, you will may not be able to have an MRI scan.

    Importantly, this also includes patients with metallic foreign bodies in your eyes from grinding or welding accidents – you will may not be able to have an MRI scan- There may need to be other examinations required to make sure you are safe for our MRI machine before proceeding.
  2. Are you having an MRI of your abdomen or pelvic area?
    To scan this area you may be required to stop eating and drinking before your appointment. This will stop your bowel and stomach moving during the scan so the images will be clear. When you book your appointment our staff will let you know if you need to fast and for how long. Otherwise, you can eat and drink as normal before your MRI scan.
  3. Are you claustrophobic?
    If you suffer from claustrophobia, a fear of enclosed or small spaces, you may feel uncomfortable being in the MRI machine for the required time. Please tell our staff before your appointment if you're claustrophobic. We can help you with other options.

Your radiographer will ask you to change into a gown, and to remove all extraneous metal, including piercings and jewellery, before your scan.

Magnetic items such as your keys, phones, coins, mechanical watches, credit cards, metal objects or magnetic storage media are stored in a secure locker outside the MRI room.

During your scan

The MRI machine combines a doughnut-shaped magnet with a padded examination table that moves through the centre. MRI is a non-invasive, straightforward procedure. During your scan, your radiographer will be able to see you and talk to you, to monitor how you are.

The noise of magnets switching in the scanner is loud so it's important you wear the hearing protection provided during the procedure.

Your scan may take 20 to 60 minutes to complete. This depends on how many areas your doctor wants scanned. To ensure clear images, you must keep very still during this time.

In some cases, a small dose of a safe 'contrast agent' called gadolinium is given by injection into your arm. Gadolinium temporarily alters the magnetic properties of your body tissue to enhance the structural detail of the images. Your radiographer will determine whether gadolinium is needed at the time of your scan.

After your scan

You will not feel any after-effects from your MRI scan. In fact, you can leave and resume your normal activities straightaway.

After you leave, a Lake Imaging radiologist will interpret your MRI scans. They will then write a detailed report for your doctor. Your doctor or referring health practitioner will receive the images and the results report, to discuss with you in a follow-up consultation. We can deliver the images and report to your doctor within 48 hours, if required.

Please tell our reception staff if you require the images for a follow-up appointment on the day of your scan. You can wait for the images to be prepared to take with you. However some scans take up to 2 hours to interpret, therefore we can phone, fax or email your doctor with urgent results, so you won't need to wait for them.

Should you discover at a later date that you require your images, please contact us. We'll arrange your images for collection or we can post them to you.

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