MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is a valuable painless, diagnostic test that allows Radiologists to see inside some areas of the body which cannot be seen using conventional x-rays. Windsor operates two MRI machines. One is located at the Met Campus and one is located at the Ouellette Campus.
A consultation with the MRI radiologist is required for any urgent MRI request.
Preparing for your test:
For most MRI scans there is no preparation required. If you are required to prepare for your test in any way, you will be notified when the clerk calls you to let you know about your appointment date & time.
Allow yourself time to park and get to the MRI department if scheduled at the Met site. It is quite a walk from the front entrance of the hospital.
VIDEO: Wondering what to expect during an MRI at WRH? This video walks you through the process from start to finish.
RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
Hours of Operation:
Met Campus and Ouellette Campus
Monday- Friday, 6:00 a.m. – midnight
Weekends, 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
The length of your appointment will vary depending on what kind of procedure you’re having. On average, an MRI appointment takes 1 to 2 hours.
This includes about 30 minutes of preparation, including completing the questionnaire and screening document and speaking with the technologist. The time in the scanner room can take from 15 to 90 minutes – depending on the type of MRI you are having.
When you arrive at the MRI Department, check in at the reception desk. The clerk will ask you for your:
- Health Card
- Confirm correct name, date of birth, physician etc.
After you arrive at the MRI Department and check in at the reception desk, the technologist will come get you from the waiting room when it’s time for your scan, go through the screening process with you and you’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown and to remove any jewellery or other metal objects you may be wearing.
Note: You may not be required to change into a hospital gown for some MRI exams if you are wearing clothing with metal.
A technologist will then explain the procedure to you, which varies, depending on what type of scan you’re having.
You may be given a contrast injection. This is a special dye given through a vein (through an IV) to help the team see the vessels clearly and show abnormal areas that may be a sign of disease. When you’re given the contrast, you may feel a cool/warm sensation in your arm. This is absolutely normal.
There’s a small risk of being allergic to the dye, but it’s normally mild in nature and may be hives or a rash. If you notice this after the injection, please notify the technologist or go to your nearest emergency room.
Tell your doctor and the MRI technologist if you:
- Have a pacemaker, artificial limb, any metal pins or metal fragments in your body (especially in the eyes), metal heart valves, metal clips in your brain, metal implants in your ear, tattooed eyeliner, or any other implanted prosthetic medical device (such as a drug infusion pump). Also, tell your doctor if you have worked around metal or if you have recently had surgery on a blood vessel. In some cases you may not be able to have the MRI test done.
- Weigh more than 350 lbs. Please note that the diameter of the bore of the MRI is 60cm.
- MRI appointments should not be scheduled within 6 weeks after a surgical procedure.
- Are or might be pregnant. In some cases, the MRI may be done in later pregnancy to assess the fetus.
- Have allergies of any kind (such as hay fever, hives, food or medication allergies, or allergic forms of asthma). The contrast material used for the MRI does not contain iodine. If you have a known allergy to the contrast material used for an MRI, tell your doctor before having another test. Sometimes the benefits of having this test may outweigh the risks. Certain conditions (such as serious kidney problems or sickle cell anemia or diabetes) may prevent you from having an MRI using contrast material.
- You may need to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of an MRI and agree to have the test done. Talk to your health professional about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, or how it will be done.
The MRI scanner is a tunnel with open ends. The part of your body to be examined will be placed at the centre, and then a technologist will put a piece of equipment on top. It works like an antenna and helps create the pictures the scanner takes.
You’ll be given headphones or ear plugs to wear while you’re inside the scanner because the machine is quite noisy. The technologist will speak to you through the headphones or speaker during the procedure and you’ll get a buzzer to squeeze in case you urgently need the technologist.
It’s common to feel a bit warmer than normal while you’re in the scanner. If any part of your body feels uncomfortably warm, squeeze the emergency buzzer.
You’ll need to hold very still because the scanner is sensitive to motion. You may need to hold your breath for a few seconds during some procedures. An automated voice will tell you when to do so.
If you’re very uncomfortable in small spaces or claustrophobic, please talk to your doctor before your MRI appointment. You may be able to take medication to help you during the MRI. The technologist will let you know when to take the medication and you won’t be able to drive home so we would ask that you bring someone to drive you home.
After the scan is complete, a radiologist will dictate a report on what was found and send it to your referring physician. Your physician can review it and give you the results.
Please keep in mind that the technologist can not give you the results when your scan is finished.
Ouellette Campus - Diagnostic Imaging Department, Ground Floor VIDEO: This video will help you find your way to the Ouellette Campus MRI.
Met Campus – Ground Floor Cancer Centre VIDEO: This video will help you find your way to the Met Campus MRI.
For questions about patient appointments, please call Centralized Booking at 519-254-1727.
Manager, Diagnostic Imaging
519-254-5577, ext. 52333
Director, Diagnostic Imaging, Nuclear Medicine, Cardiopulmonary, EEG and PFT
519-254-5577, ext. 52444