No preparatory tests, diets, or medications are usually needed for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.
Some exams do require a special diet. Please follow the instructions given to you by the booking clerk at the time of booking your exam. You may continue to take medication prescribed by your physician (with the exception of sedatives required for the MRI examination). You will be provided with a gown.
If you have had a penetrating eye injury with metal in your eyes, you will need to have orbital X-rays (X-rays of your eyes) done to confirm there are no metal fragments before we can perform the MRI exam.
Once you arrive at Kingston MRI, you will be asked to review and complete paperwork regarding your symptoms and medical history. You will likely need to provide Kingston MRI with your OHIP health card if you have one . You will be asked to remove all metal objects and may be asked to change into a metal-free gown. You will be provided with a private locker for your personal belongings.
During your exam you will lie flat on the patient table, which has been designed to slide into the center of the MRI unit. You will be asked to hold perfectly still, just like you do when taking a photograph. If you move during the exam, the images will be blurred. MRI scans take between 20 and 90 minutes to complete, depending on your type(s) of exam(s). During your exam, we will take a few different pictures that will last between 2 to 7 minutes each. The magnetic field and radio waves are not felt. There is no ionizing radiation emitted from an MRI unit.
You may hear loud clicking or humming noises during the performance of the scan. These are normal sounds.
Some patients feel claustrophobic during the scan. However, the MRI unit at Kingston MRI resides in a spacious, well-lighted room that offers a relaxed atmosphere for even the most anxious patients. The design of the unit itself also is conducive to reducing the feeling of claustrophobia because of the new more open bore design and shorter tunnel.
Some examinations require contrast to be administered. Contrast is used to enhance the images, allowing our radiologists to get a better look at some anatomy and to help differentiate between post-surgical changes. Contrast, given as an intravenous injection in your arm, generally causes no discomfort or side effects. You will be asked more detailed questions if your physician orders the contrast.
There is no radiation involved in MRI, and there have been no documented significant side effects of the magnetic fields and radio waves used on the human body to date. The most common MR intravenous contrast agent, gadolinium, is very safe and, although there have been documented allergic reactions to it, this is extremely rare.
If sedation is used, there are associated risks of over-sedation. Sedation can only be given when our physician is present on site. You must not take your sedation until you are directed to by the MRI Technologist.
The effects of strong magnetic fields on a developing fetus are not well-documented at this time. As a result, pregnant women are usually advised to avoid MRI scans. If it is absolutely necessary, pregnant women may be scanned at Kingston MRI during their third trimester.
Written reports are faxed or mailed to your doctor generally within approximately 5 days of your exam, often sooner. If you know you have a follow-up doctor’s appointment sooner, please let our staff know so we can make appropriate arrangements.
If you would like to visit Kingston MRI and see the Philips Achieva units prior to your scheduled exam, please let use know. We will be pleased to make arrangements.
You may also contact us at (613) 384-1220 for more information.