MRI – General

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

  • WHAT IS MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)

    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.

  • BEFORE AN MRI

    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

    All patients are required to 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
    • 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 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 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.
  • DURING AN MRI

    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.

    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 AN MRI

    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.

  • PATIENT SAFETY

    CT scans involve the use of ionising radiation.  CT scans will only be performed when any potential risks are far outweighed by the benefits to the patient. Lake Imaging’s state of the art CT scanners and staff trained in radiation reduction techniques use the latest in CT dose efficient technology to ensure the minimum dose necessary is used to produce the best quality images for an accurate diagnosis.

    If it is possible that you may be pregnant, please inform our radiology team before your examination to avoid any risks to your unborn child.

    Contrast injections can make some patients feel nauseous or on rare occasions cause an allergic reaction. If you are worried or concerned about having a CT scan you should discuss this with your referring doctor or medical specialist before coming for your examination.

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.
  • What is Breast MRI?

    The quality of images produced by MRI of breast tissue is outstanding. It shows much greater detail compared to ultrasound or x-ray mammography.

    MRI gives radiologists the flexibility to examine and view your breast tissue in detail, from many different angles without you needing to change positions. In comparison, mammography requires the breast and the x-ray equipment to be adjusted for each view.

    MRI also makes it easy to take additional images of the muscle and chest wall around your breast to provide a more comprehensive diagnosis.

    Breast MRI can be beneficial in detecting breast cancer in high-risk women with a strong family history or past history of breast cancer, or who are carrying a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Breast MRI may also be used to examine the extent of breast cancer after a diagnosis has been made by mammography or ultrasound and tissue biopsy.

    For examining breast implants, mammography and ultrasound may not penetrate saline or silicone well enough to view the implants or surrounding breast tissue. In contrast, MRI may offer clearer images of both implants and breast tissue. This makes MRI an excellent method to assess breast implants and detect small ruptures or leaks.

  • Before your Breast MRI

    A referral from your doctor and an appointment is required for a breast MRI scan. This scan is to be booked day 7-11 of your cycle (if you still have cycles). If you have irregular cycles, a “Serum Progesterone Test” may be organised by Lake Imaging staff.

    Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time.

    Be sure to read the Important MRI Patient Information here.

  • During your Breast MRI

    The scans will be taken as you lay on your stomach. This ensures your breasts are correctly positioned and gently compressed. It will take 30 to 40 minutes to complete an MRI of your breast.

    For most breast MRI scans, an injection of the safe contrast solution, gadolinium, into your arm vein will be required – to enhance the detail of the images produced.

    After preliminary scans are taken, the contrast solution is injected and the images are acquired. For scans looking for ruptures to breast implants, these ruptures show up clearly with MRI and the contrast solution is not required.

  • After your Breast MRI

    There are no known risks from having a breast MRI. After the MRI examination you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.

    A Radiologist specialised in breast imaging will interpret your MRI scans and provide a comprehensive report on the findings to your doctor.

    Please ensure that you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your MRI results.

Make an appointment online or call our dedicated bookings line