Any doctor can refer you for a scan, but insurance companies will only cover scans referred by a specialist. The referral does not have to be written on a Trinity form. Often your referral will have been sent to us directly. We will then contact you and organize a scan time that suits you. If you have a referral, we can book you an appointment either by telephone or email.
If you have insurance, your scan will be either fully or partially covered. Prior approval from the insurance company may allow us to bill them directly. Otherwise, we accept credit cards, cheque, direct debit or cash. If you don’t have insurance, alternative arrangements may be possible.
Some scans require the administration of contrast to help us more clearly identify the cause of your symptoms. This contrast is safe for almost all patients. If you have problems with your kidneys, please let us know, and we may organize for a blood test before administering contrast.
Take all your usual medications on the day of your scan. They will not interfere with the scan. You may eat and drink as usual, unless you require sedation.
There is no known adverse effect of MRI during pregnancy. Nonetheless, a scan should only be performed during pregnancy if necessary. Contrast is not usually administered to a pregnant patient, as its safety during pregnancy has not been demonstrated. If you are pregnant, or breast feeding, please let us know.
Most patients have no difficulty tolerating an MRI scan. If you are anxious or claustrophobic, sedation may be useful. It can be administered orally, or intravenously. You will be asked to fast (food only) for four hours. If you have sedation, you will need to be accompanied and driven home, and should not drive or return to work until the following day.
Your scan typically takes 20-60 minutes. You will be asked to arrive at Trinity 20 minutes before your scan (or 60 minutes before if you require oral sedation).
Your scan will be reported the same day, and a second consultant radiologist will independently review the scans in the late afternoon or evening. A formal report will then be issued, and sent to your referring doctor (by email if they so desire).
We provide a gown for you to wear during your scan. You will be asked to remove all metal objects (watches, jewellery, bras, belts etc).
If you have had previous scans, please bring the images and reports. You may also wish to bring a CD (or you can listen to a radio station of your choice). If you have downloaded and completed the questionnaires and consent forms, it will speed up the process on arrival. Either bring them with you, or better still, email or fax them to us.