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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRIMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves (not radiation) to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within your body. Most MRI machines are large, tube-shaped magnets, resembling a tunnel (or a donut) that has both ends open. When you lie inside an MRI machine, the magnetic field temporarily aligns all the water molecules in your body. Radio waves cause these aligned particles to produce very faint signals that are used to create cross-sectional MRI images, like slices in a loaf of bread.

The MRI machine creates a strong magnetic field around you, and radio waves are directed at your body. Due to the magnetic field, it is very important that you remove any metal objects before going into the MRI room. The procedure is painless and typically lasts an hour. You must hold very still because movement can blur the resulting images. In some cases, contrast agents are injected into your veins to enhance the appearance of certain tissues or blood vessels in the images.

MRI

At Women's College Hospital our MRI scanner is wider and shorter than most, the larger bore provides greater comfort to patients who are claustrophobic or distressed in tighter spaces.

Women’s College Hospital specializes in breast MRI, although images of all other body parts are also performed, including chest, musculoskeletal, neuro (brain) and abdomen.

 

Having an MRI? Click on one of the following options for more information on what to expect.

I'm having a breast MRI

I'm having a muscoloskeletal MRI

I'm having a neuro (brain) MRI

I'm having an abdomenal MRI


I’m having a breast MRI

What do I need to do to prepare?

Preparation for your MRI is simple: eat as you normally would and complete your normal routine activities. Speak with your referring doctor if you have any questions or if you take any medications. 

What will I feel during the scan?

MRI procedures cause no pain. However, the MRI machine requires that the patient remain still during the examination, which may be uncomfortable due to lying down on your stomach. You may feel hot during contrast injection.

How long will the exam last?

The exam will take 45 minutes. 

What am I supposed to do after my exam?

Drink water throughout the day to help eliminate the contrast.

When can I expect results?

The results will be sent to your referring doctor. This can take up to one week.


I’m having a musculoskeletal MRI

What do I need to do to prepare?

Preparation for your MRI is simple: eat as you normally would and complete your normal routine activities. Speak with your referring doctor if you have any questions or if you take any medications. 

What will I feel during the scan?

MRI procedures cause no pain. However, the MRI machine requires that the patient remain still during the examination, which may be uncomfortable for some.

How long will the exam last?

This depends on the type of MRI exam. Some procedures can take 30 minutes and others may take up to an hour.

What am I supposed to do after the exam?

There are no specific instructions for post-procedural care if no contrast injection.

When can I expect results?

The results will be sent to your referring doctor. This can take up to one week.


I’m having a neuro (brain) MRI

What do I need to do to prepare?

Preparation for your MRI is simple: eat as you normally would and complete your normal routine activities. Speak with your referring doctor if you have any questions or if you take any medications. 

What will I feel during the scan?

MRI procedures cause no pain. However, the MRI machine requires that the patient remain still during the examination, which may be uncomfortable for some.

How long will the exam last?

This depends on the type of MRI exam. Some procedures can take 30 minutes and others may take up to an hour.

What am I supposed to do after my exam?

There are no specific instructions for post-procedural care if no contrast injection.

When can I expect results?

The results will be sent to your referring doctor. This can take up to one week.


I’m having an abdomenal MRI

What do I need to do to prepare?

Preparation for your MRI is simple: eat as you normally would and complete your normal routine activities. Speak with your referring doctor if you have any questions or if you take any medications. 

What will I feel during the scan?

MRI procedures cause no pain. However, the MRI machine requires that the patient remain still during the examination, which may be uncomfortable due to lying down on your stomach. You may feel hot during contrast injection.

How long will the exam last?

It will take up to an hour.  

What am I supposed to do after my exam? 

Drink water throughout the day to help eliminate the contrast if you have contrast injection.

When can I expect results?

The results will be sent to your referring doctor. This can take up to one week.

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Location & Contact Information

MRI
Women's College Hospital
76 Grenville Street
2nd floor
Toronto, ON M5S 1B2

Phone: 416-323-7515 ext. 2

Hours of Service:
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Accessibility
This program is wheelchair-accessible.


Requisition Forms

MRI Requisition Form

Our Publications


  • Fully affiliated with:
  • University of Toronto
  • A member of:
  • Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO)