The accessibility of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) at Pan Am Clinic has enabled the accurate diagnosis of important conditions that are not well-seen by conventional x-rays. MRI has the ability to diagnose and evaluate injuries to the soft-tissues, tendons, ligaments, and menisci, making this a popular method of examination. It is a relatively safe imaging technique in that it does not involve ionizing radiation. This imaging method is based principally upon sensitivity to the presence of water in tissues. The properties and amount of water in tissue can alter with disease and injury, which makes MRI very sensitive as a diagnostic technique.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Contact Information

Phone Number: 204.927.2674
Fax Number: 204.927.2686
Hours: Monday to Friday  7:00 am – 11:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday  7:45 am ‐ 3:00 pm

The MRI Department is located on the Main Floor of the Pan Am Clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book an appointment?

You must have a referral from your doctor before an appointment can be booked for you.

back to top ↑

Do I need a referral?

Yes, you must have a referral from your doctor before an appointment can be booked for you.

back to top ↑

What should I wear to my appointment?

You should wear clothing with no metal (i.e. no zippers, no clasps).  A change room is available for changing into the appropriate attire and lockers are available to lock up personal belongings.

back to top ↑

What should I bring to my appointment?

A valid health card (i.e. purple Manitoba Health Card)

back to top ↑

Is there a fee for my appointment or is it covered by my Manitoba Health card?

MRIs are covered when a valid Manitoba Health card is presented.  We also accept valid health cards from all other Canadian Provinces and Territories, with the exception of Quebec.

back to top ↑

What can I expect during the exam?

An MRI scan is performed by a Magnetic Resonance Technologist.  The MRI Technologists will have you lie on a table that is connected to the MRI scanner.  You will be properly positioned and the coil (cameras) will be aligned with the target body part.  The MRI is quite noisy and therefore the Technologist will give you ear plugs.  To hear what the MRI sounds like you can click here.

Your exam will be a compilation of multiple scans of the target area.  Between scans, the technologist may talk to you and let you know how long each scan will be.  Depending on what type of scan you are having, the technologist may give you instructions when to hold your breath and when to breathe.

In some circumstances a contrast agent called Gadolinium is used to make your tissues and blood vessels show up more clearly in a MRI image.  Gadolinium is a clear, colorless fluid that is injected with a small needle into a vein in your arm or hand.  It produces few side effects, though you may get a metallic taste in your mouth.  Gadolinium is excreted by the kidneys through your urine usually within 24 hours.  It is quite safe; however, as with all medications, there is a slight risk of an allergic reaction and will not be used when renal failure is present.  The doctors and staff in the MRI department are trained to respond to any emergency situation that may develop.

Before an MRI exam, eat normally and continue to take your usual medications, unless otherwise instructed.  You may be asked to change into a gown if your clothing has metal on it.  You will be asked to remove jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, watches, wigs, dentures, hearing aids, and bras (unless it is a metal-free sports bra).  If you are unsure about advance preparations for your exam, please call the MRI department and we will be happy to answer any questions.

After the exam, a report will be sent to your doctor.  Your doctor will then provide you with the information.

back to top ↑

What if I’m claustrophobic?

The space you lie in is well lit and well ventilated.  The MRI scanner is open at both ends.  An emergency “call bell” will be given to you in case there is an emergency during the scan, such as chest pain, shortness of breath or nausea.  If the technologist feels you require sedation, you must bring someone with you who will drive you home following the exam.

back to top ↑

How will a MRI scan affect metal or implants inside my body?

The magnetic field of the MRI scan may move or dislodge metallic objects or implants in your body, which could cause harm.  You will fill out a safety check list before your MRI scan to make sure you will not be put in danger.  The safety check list will ask you about surgery you have had, if you have had any metal splinters in your eyes, and about any implants you have.  The technologist will review the check list with you to make sure it is safe for you to get the scan.

You cannot have a MRI exam if you have a pacemaker.  The magnetic field of the MRI scanner may damage a pacemaker or cause it to malfunction.

back to top ↑