MRI Scan Auckland

What is an MRI Scan?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI or MR) uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves, to create images of the body. The images it produces are very detailed, which can help our radiologist make an accurate diagnosis. MRI is considered to be very safe as it doesn’t use X-rays or radiation.

If you need an MRI scan, here's everything you need to know.

Before your scan

When you make your appointment, our booking team will give you a rundown of everything you need to know. They will ask you some safety questions and let you know any additional preparation you need to undertake before your appointment. For example, you may need to fast beforehand (avoiding any food in the hours prior).

Unless you’ve been asked not to, you should continue eating and drinking normally and take all your usual medications.

Please remember to bring your completed doctor’s referral form with you, if this has not already been sent to us. This will ensure the branch reception has all the necessary information required so our expert team can provide you with the best care possible.

On the day of your appointment

When you arrive, please check in with reception. We’ll make sure your details are correct, and give you some forms to complete.

You will meet one of the MRI technologist team, who will discuss the answers you have provided on the forms. If there is any preparation before your scan, the MRI technologist will provide these instructions to you. You will be given a gown to change into and asked to remove most of your clothing and accessories, including glasses, jewellery, watch, hearing aids, and hairpins.

You’ll then be brought into the MRI scanning room and you will lie on a comfortable bed, which we’ll move to get you in the right position for your scan. Sometimes you might also have a piece of equipment called a coil (it’s like an ariel or antenna) positioned on your body, which shows the machine where to focus.

As the machine takes images, you’ll hear loud knocking noises – this is totally normal. To help make you comfortable we will give you some earplugs and headphones. We can play your favourite radio station in the scanner, and fans keep the air fresh and breezy.

The MRI technologist will move you into the MRI scanner. It might feel a little daunting at first, but remember that MRI is safe, and we’ll be on hand to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

Once you’re all set, the MRI technologist will move into another room – you can talk to them at any time over the intercom. You will also be given a button that can be used to let the MRI technologist know that you want to talk to them.

During the scan, the MRI technologist will take a number of images, so it’s important to stay as still as possible – this will help make sure your images come out clear, so our radiologists can properly interpret them.

Depending on your scan, you may be asked to hold your breath. You may also be injected with a dye, called a contrast medium, which makes scans easier to read. This will be discussed with you before starting the scan.

After your scan

Your report will usually be available to your referrer within two working days.

Who can't have an MRI?

While MRI is very safe, it may not be appropriate for people with some implants, medical devices, or if you have been in an accident where metal may have been left in your body.

While you’ll probably still be able to have the scan, it’s important to let us and your referring doctor know if you have any of the following:

  • Cardiac pacemaker
  • Metal in your eyes
  • Cochlear implants
  • An artificial heart valve
  • Neurostimulator
  • Cerebral aneurysm clip
  • Infusion pump