3T MRI - Sunshine Coast

3 Tesla imaging

3T MRI scanners are the most advanced MRI scanner available clinically and provide images of exceptional resolution and are capable of reduced scan times when compared to 1.5 Tesla magnets. Regarded as Sunshine Coast Radiology’s specialty scanner the 3T magnet is suited to premium scanning of orthopaedic, urologic, neurovascular and women’s imaging. The end result is a better image quality which enables greater diagnostic accuracy. Because 3T can produce high resolution images, the structures of cartilage and joints are clearly visible and the need for invasive procedure such as arthrograms is often avoided.

Specialties:

Multi-parametric Prostate MRI
Breast MRI
Small Bowel MRI

What should patients expect when they arrive for their appointment?

When arriving, patients will be asked to complete a patient information sheet. The MRI Radiographer will further question you, to ensure you are safe to enter the MRI magnet room. Patients may be asked to change into a gown as clothing may have metallic components which would interfere with the pictures that are to be taken. The radiographer will ask you to leave all of your loose possessions in a locker outside of the MRI so that they are not affected by the strong magnetic field used within the MRI scanning room.

During scanning, the magnet makes loud knocking noises, similar to that of a construction site. In order to protect your hearing, the MRI radiographer will give you earplugs and/or, headphones if possible. In most cases, patients can listen to music with these headphones, to take their mind off of the scanning noise.

After the MRI radiographer has positioned you on the MRI table and explained what to expect. You will be given a ‘buzzer’ to squeeze if you feel discomfort or anxiety at any point during the scanning process. It is very important to remain as still as possible during the scans to avoid any blurring of the images. The MRI radiographer will communicate with you during the scan to ensure you are comfortable and to inform you on the time left within the procedure.

In some cases, an injection of a contrast agent called Gadolinium may be necessary to visualise some structures more clearly. The injection is usually administered through a vein on the inside of the elbow, or on the back of the hand. As with any substance that is injected or ingested, there is a small chance of an allergic reaction. Although allergic reaction to MRI contrast is rare, it is important to advise the staff performing the examination of any past reaction.

How long does it take?

The examination will take between 20 minutes and 90 minutes to complete, depending on the area of body being examined.

Is there any special preparation?

No preparation is required for an MRI of the brain, spine and musculoskeletal joints. Scans of the breast to query cancer need to be scanned between days 5-10 of their menstrual cycle or can be scanned at any time if no menstrual cycle is not applicable. Scans of the upper abdomen and pelvis require a six hour fast prior to the scan. Scans of the small or large bowel require a bowel prep kit (Go Kit) which the patient can collect from the practice at least 24 hours prior to the appointment.

It is important to advise the referring doctor, the receptionist, and the radiographer if:
• You have a pacemaker, cerebral aneurysm clips or a surgically implanted medical device or implant;
• It is possible that you are pregnant
• You have a history of working with metal.

What should I do if I am claustrophobic?

You should discuss with your referring practitioner prior to making your appointment regarding your need for mild sedation. If you are claustrophobic, when booking the MRI - ask for a referral to our wide bore MRI scanner at Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital.

How much does it cost?

Certain MRI studies will attract a Medicare rebate for an MRI examination if referred by a specialist or GP (a gap fee may also apply). Some types of MRI examination are not be eligible for a Medicare rebate for their scan.
Please consult the receptionist at the practice for information on the costs associated with the examination. This will be discussed in full at the time of booking the appointment.

Locations where we offer this procedure:

Sunshine Coast Radiology, Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital, 3 Doherty Street, Birtinya, QLD 4557.