Prior to any MRI scan, we require all patients to complete a patient safety questionnaire. This questionnaire can be downloaded from the link above or you can complete and submit the form online.
If you answer yes to any of these questions it may impact on your scan – please contact us on 06 7594317 to discuss.
As the MRI scanner is an enclosed space, occasionally claustrophobia is a problem for some patients. If you have claustrophobia or anxiety, please notify us. We may ask that you see your GP for assistance to see if a sedative is appropriate for you.
If you are having sedation for your scan you will be asked to arrive one hour prior to your actual scan time to allow the sedative to be administered on site.
You will require a support person to accompany you to your appointment. This support person MUST stay for the entire duration of your scan.
Following your scan, you will require a driver to take you home as the effects of the sedative will last some time, and as such, you must refrain from any significant activity for the rest of the day. You should not drive a car, operate any machinery or make any important decisions.
In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. People with the following implants cannot be scanned at Taranaki Radiology and should not enter the MRI area:
- Cardiac pacemaker.
- Internal (implanted) defibrillator.
- Cochlear (ear) implant.
The following items can also pose a risk and should be discussed with our staff prior to your scan:
- Clips used on brain aneurysms.
- Cardiac or carotid shunts.
- Artificial heart valves.
- Implanted drug infusion ports.
- Infusion catheter.
- Implanted electronic device
- Artificial limbs or metallic joint prostheses.
- Implanted nerve stimulators.
- Metal pins, screws, plates or surgical staples.
In general, metal objects used in orthopaedic surgery and abdominal surgeries pose you no risk during an MRI. However, if there is any question of their presence, an x-ray may be taken to detect for clarification.
Jewellery and piercings
All piercings must be removed prior to arrival for your appointment. We advise you leave jewellery and valuables at home.
Metallic foreign bodies
Those people who have had metal in their eyes from grinding metal MUST contact us before their scan. In some cases, an x-ray will need to be taken to ensure that all the metal has been removed. Other metallic foreign bodies such as shrapnel may also require an x-ray prior to an MRI.
Tattoos, fillings and dental braces
Dyes used in tattoos may contain iron and could heat up during the MRI. Please phone us if you have tattooed make-up as it may prevent you from having your scan. Dental fillings and braces usually are not affected by the magnetic field but they may distort images of the facial area or brain, so the radiologist should be aware of them. Please advise our staff prior to your scan.
Women should always inform the MRI technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Because the risks of an MRI scan to the unborn foetus are unknown, pregnant women should not have this exam unless the potential benefit from the MRI is assumed to outweigh the potential risks.
Contrast dye (Gadolinium)
Some MRI examinations may require that the patient receive an injection of Gadolinium based contrast into the bloodstream to improve the clarity of the images of your body’s internal structures. You will be asked if you have allergies, however Gadolinium based contrast agents used in MRI are very safe and do not contain iodine, making it less likely to cause an allergic reaction. You must advise us if you have kidney disease and especially if you are undergoing renal dialysis. These conditions may prevent you from having the contrast agent.
Drug and nicotine patches
These will be required to be removed prior to your scan, as they may heat up when you are in the scanner.
During the procedure
The MRI Technologist, one of our staff trained in operating the MRI, will position you on the MRI bed. Your head will be placed in a padded headrest or on a pillow. The bed will then slide into the scanner. You will be able to communicate with the Technologist throughout the examination via a two-way intercom. While the machine is taking the pictures you will hear loud banging noises coming from the scanner. Earplugs and headphones will be provided to reduce any discomfort. You have the option to listen to the radio or choose the type of music you listen to during your scan. During the scan duration you need to stay quite still and breathe normally. If you do feel the need to move or cough, let the Technologist know. Following these directions will produce the best possible images. The whole procedure will usually take between 30-45 minutes but may take longer depending on what your referrer has asked us to scan.
After the procedure
The images from your scan will be interpreted by one of our specialist Radiologists and subsequently a report will be sent to your referrer. Some examinations require more analysis than others and will take longer for a report to be available. Your doctor may also be able to view these images by accessing our PACS system.
If you have any concerns, please contact us during business hours on 06 759 4317.