Ross Memorial Hospital - Kawartha Lakes
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MRI In formation for Patients


On the day of your exam, please arrive at the Diagnostic Imaging Registration desk on time. In order to allow time for registration, the appointment time you are given is 30 minutes prior to your actual scan time. You may be asked to arrive earlier if you are taking sedation. Please be sure to provide a valid Ontario Health Card.


After the registration you will be brought to the MRI department. There is a patient information video available for viewing.
An MRI technologist will explain the procedure to you and confirm the information provided on the screening form. It is advised that if you plan on taking sedation that it is taken after the technologist has reviewed your screening form and you have given consent for the exam. If you plan on taking sedation, please be sure to have an adult accompany you home.

Once the procedure has been explained you will be instructed to change into a hospital gown if your clothing is not appropriate. Lockers are available to lock up your belongings and valuables. When it is time for your exam a technologist will escort you into the room.

Preparation for Specific Exams

Currently only abdominal exams (liver, Pancreas, Kidneys, and MRCP {Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography}) require you to fast for at least 6 hours prior to the scan, avoiding food or water. You will be able to take medications with a small amount of water.

During the Exam

After the exam has been explained to you the technologist will provide you with hearing protection (either ear plugs or a headset). This protection will help reduce the loud thumping sounds which are produced during the scan.

The MR scanner is a large tube shaped magnet with a padded table that moves into the centre of the magnet. The body part being examined will determine if you go into the scanner head or feet first, as well as how far you go in. In most cases equipment called surface coils will be placed on the area we are scanning.

During the exam the technologist will remain in contact with you thru a two-way intercom. There is an emergency call bell if you need to get their attention.

It is very important that you remain relaxed and very still during the exam. Movement can cause non-diagnostic images and they will need to be repeated. In some abdominal exams we may ask you to hold your breath for up to 20secs while the pictures are acquired.

Most exams will take between 30-45 minutes, however there are some that can take up to an hour. Please allow for enough time in your day to accommodate your MRI exam.

Some exams require an injection of contrast media called gadolinium. It is a colorless fluid that is injected into a vein in your arm. Gadolinium is very safe and the risks will be discussed with you by the technologist. If contrast is required it is important that you remain very still as the images before the injection must match the images obtained after the injection.

Once your MRI is completed it will be reviewed by a radiologist and the report will be available to your ordering physician within about one week.