The magnetic resonance machine resembles a giant doughnut in which a mobile table goes back and forth. This machine works with the help of a magnetic field. 

How is the examination conducted?

You will lie down on a mobile table. An antenna will be placed in the area to be studied. The table slides into the machine, which resembles a tunnel. Once installed, the technologist can communicate with you and see you at all times. 

The machine produces a percussive thud. Small plugs in your ears can help reduce the noise. The examination consists of a series of sequences that generate images, each sequence lasting between 2 and 5 minutes. 

You can talk to the technologist through the microphone before a new sequence begins. The medical team of technologists can see and hear you perfectly from behind the glass. To improve the quality of the images and more easily formulating a diagnosis, your examination may require an intravenous injection in the arm. 

The examination lasts from 30 to 40 minutes.

What will I feel during the examination?

You will not feel any pain but there will be lots of noise which will be reduced by wearing earplugs. You must remain totally immobile for several minutes at a time during the sequences. It is important that you do not move as this will allow for better precision in the images. 

How do I prepare for the examination?

Because of the strong magnetic field, it is important to tell the staff onsite about the presence of any implanted metallic material such as a pacemaker, neurostimulator, metallic clip, vascular stents, etc. A very precise questionnaire about this will be filled out before beginning the examination. 

It may be useful to have a standard X-ray to detect metallic foreign bodies. 

The technologist will ask you to remove all external metallic objects. This includes hairclips, jewellery, glasses, hearing aids and all removable dentures, credit cards, keys, watch, etc. Do not apply eye makeup, and advise the staff if you are pregnant or claustrophobic. 

For some examinations, you may be asked to hold your breath for several seconds. 

For more information, see the Démarre le chargement du fichierMagnetic resonance pamphlet (in French only).

Results of the examination

You will not be given any results after your examination. The radiologist evaluates the images produced by the technologist and prepares a report describing the findings from the images. The report will then be sent to your doctor who will share the results with you. 

To obtain a CD or DVD of your examination, click here.