Patient Information

Where

  • You will report to our MRI Patient Centre located at Alexandra Medical, 4A Alexandra Street, St Clair, Port of Spain.

Purpose

  • MRI is a non-invasive procedure that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave frequency to make pictures of tissues, ligaments and structures inside your body. Paired with its excellent image resolution, MRI is a safe procedure within reason, this is in comparison with X-Rays and CT Examinations, which uses ionizing radiation. A MRI Scan is the best way to see inside the human body.

Before you Arrive

  • Our Patient Centre operates 8am to 5pm so make sure you are arriving at the correct time of day.
  • Bring referrals and insurance information along with your prescription or request slip. If you have had studies (CT scans, x-rays, MRI or ultrasound) done at other hospitals it is very helpful if you could bring them so that we could better interpret and plan your MRI examination.
  • Please plan on arriving thirty (30) minutes before your examination. If you do not arrive on time it is possible that we may need to reschedule your study for another day.

When you Arrive

  • The receptionist will ask you to present your completed Referral Form and fill out the MRI Questionnaire.
  • For your safety, you will be asked questions concerning implants and metals.
  • You will also be asked to remove ALL jewelry, watches, hair clips, dentures, glasses and hearing aids. It may be easiest if you wear as few of these items as possible. You will be asked to place all items including your credit cards and wallet into a locker and change into a patient gown.

Your Scan

  • The MRI Radiographer will help you on the scan table and position you for the exam. The table will slide into an Open Unit.
  • There is an intercom system so that you can hear and talk to the Radiographer who is operating the scanner.
  • During the exam you will hear a knocking sound, which is when you need to hold perfectly still.
  • The study takes 30-60 minutes depending on the type of scan required. The scan is very sensitive to motion. If you move even a little during the scan, the entire scan may need to be repeated.

Results of your MRI Scan

  • A Radiologist will review your MRI examination images and reports the results within one (1) day or two (2) days directly to your physician, who will then discuss findings with you. CD Images, Films and Reports can be obtained from our Patient Centre.

YOU CANNOT HAVE AN MRI IF

  1. Before you Arrive

    • IF YOU HAVE A CARDIAC PACEMAKER AND/OR AUTOMATIC IMPLANTABLE CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATOR (AICD), you CANNOT have an MRI unless, in selected clinical situations, your physician has contacted us for a formal evaluation of your implant, accessed the need for the MRI, and preplanned the procedure to be monitored under the direct supervision of a cardiovascular radiologist.
    • IF YOU HAVE A NEUROSTIMULATOR. Most neurostimulators are not safe for MRI. You CANNOT have an MRI unless your unit has been identified as one that can be scanned and, if so, under very specific conditions. This would need to be preplanned with a call from your physician and the details addressed prior to scheduling.
    • IF YOU HAVE CEREBRAL ANEURYSM CLIPS, contact us immediately. Depending on the type of clip, we may not be able to perform an MRI. If you are pregnant or have any other type of biomedical implant, please inform us because the MRI exam may not be possible. Also, inform us of all surgical procedures.
    • IF YOU EVER HAD EXPOSURE TO METAL FRAGMENTS IN OR AROUND THE EYES, or work with a metal such as arc-welding, grinding, drilling metal, tool and die work, please contact us.
  2. Contrast Application

    • Certain exams may need an injection of contrast material (Gadovist) to better visualize the area of interest. This requires an intravenous injection towards the end of the procedure.
    • Before Contrast can be administered, the patient will have to submit some blood work results for safety verification. These tests are:
    • Creatinine
    • Blood, Urea and Nitrogen (B.U.N.)
    • These tests can be done at all local private or public hospitals or private medical laboratories.

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