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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

PRHC's Magnetic Resonance (MR) Centre provides this diagnostic service for the region. MR is a painless diagnostic examination that uses a strong magnet and radio waves to take cross-sectional images of the body without using x-ray.

The way MR works:

The body is made of up hydrogen protons that normally spin in all directions. The magnet allows the protons to spin in the same direction. When a radiofrequency (RF) signal is turned on, the protons will move in all directions. When the RF is turned off, the protons re-align and release energy in the form of a radiofrequency. The computer then uses this energy to form the images needed.

MR can be used to view various parts of the body including the brain, inner ear, spine, bone & joints (shoulder, knee, elbow, wrist), abdomen/pelvis, breast and blood vessels.

What to expect:

If you're coming to PRHC for an MRI, please follow instructions given to you by the booking personnel. If you wear clothing without metallic buttons, zippers etc., you will not have to change into a hospital gown. No metallic devices are allowed into the magnet room.

The magnet itself is four feet long and two feet wide (and open at both ends) which can sometimes pose a problem for those who are claustrophobic. If you are claustrophobic, please speak with the referring physician before booking. An intercom system is available between patient and technologist and an emergency call button is available at all times.

You must wear earplugs for the exam due to the loud knocking sounds that are heard during scanning. Most examinations take between 30 and 90 minutes. Patients must be as comfortable as possible in order to remain still for the length of the entire procedure.

You will be moved into the magnet so the area that is being scanned is in the centre. Sometimes what is called a contrast agent is administered as an injection.

Once the exam is over you can go home and a report will be sent to the doctor who referred you.

The screening process:

In order for a booking to be completed, two forms must be filled out. One is a form to be completed by the referring physician. The patient/designated care provider MUST complete the second form. This screening form consists of a series of questions regarding medical history, and will be reviewed a number of times prior to entering the magnetic field.

Due to the nature of the "magnet" there are a number of reasons that an MR scan may not be performed, for example pacemakers and surgical clips in the brain. This is why the screening procedure is important prior to booking. The magnetic field is always "on" and can pose serious life-threatening situations, hence the strict guidelines. The MR Centre is staffed by specialty trained certified MR technologists and images interpreted by specialty trained MR radiologists.

Contact
MR bookings can be made once completed forms are received.
Phone: (705) 876-5048
Fax: (705) 876-5047

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