An MRI of the pelvis is requested when detailed images of the region are required by the referring practitioner to assist in making a diagnoses and treatment plan of a suspected condition, including gastrointestinal disorders and other diseases in the abdominal area of the anatomy.
A man’s pelvis has structural differences to a female’s pelvis. For one, a man’s pelvic bones are smaller and narrower to a woman’s pelvic bones which will also support her reproductive organs. To read more on what can be detected on an MRI of a woman’s pelvis, visit our page at MRI Gynae.
An MRI of the pelvis creates medical imaging of the bones (skeletal system), organs (endocrine system), tissue, blood vessels (circulatory system) and muscular system in the region. The pelvic girdle forms part of the body’s skeletal system and is made up of three bones: ilium, ischium and pubis. Organs in that region of the male anatomy include the bladder, prostate, uretha and rectum.
The urinary bladder is a hollow muscular organ that is also examined by an MRI of the pelvis. The pelvic floor is the set of muscles that support the pelvic organs of the bladder and bowel.
Read here for information on the MRI of the prostate.
An MRI, also known as Magnetic Resonance Imaging, uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body’s internal structure. In comparison to other imaging methods, the images from an MRI are clearer, more detailed and more likely to identify and accurately evaluate the body for a broad range of conditions. An MRI does not use ionising radiation.
What to expect during an MRI of the pelvis
An MRI machine looks like a large tunnel and the patient is positioned on a table that slides inside the unit. Depending on what part of the body needs to be examined, the patient will be positioned on the table either head-first or feet-first.
An MRI is painless, and the patient is made to feel as comfortable as possible. If the patient feels though that they may feel anxious during the procedure, a mild sedative can be administered prior to the exam. Headphones are also available for the patient to listen to music during the exam.
The patient will be able to communicate with the radiographer at all times during the exam and an alert button is available if at any time the patient feels uncomfortable and would like to come out of the machine.
The magnetic field produced by the MRI machine is not harmful, but may cause some medical devices to malfunction (e.g. pacemakers, aneurysm clips and prosthesis). If the patient has any devices or metal in their body, please discuss these with our knowledgeable booking agent when making an appointment so the right type of machine can be assigned for the exam.
Devices that contain coils capable of sending and receiving radio waves may be placed around or adjacent to the area of the body being studied. The digital imaging is then fed from the MRI machine to a computer operated by the radiographer performing the examination outside of the exam room.
The patient can expect an MRI of the pelvis to be completed in 45 minutes or less. Digital images and reports will be made available to the referring physician once the radiologist has completed their diagnosis. Access to reports and images are stored safely online on the Morton & Partners website portal for the referring practitioner to access.
Making an appointment for an MRI of the pelvis
At Morton & Partners, a patient’s wellbeing and comfort is at the centre of everything we do. Our patient-centred approach is supported by a highly efficient, courteous and compassionate staff who will be with the patient during the entire procedure to ensure their comfort, safety and privacy.
We have a centralised MRI booking centre for appointments at our Cape Town MRI or Richards Bay MRI centres.
When contacting the booking centre, the patient will be advised of specific preparations that may be required for the MRI procedure. On booking, please share information on any health problems (including allergies, implants, stimulators, etc.), recent surgeries, and if the patient has an aversion to enclosed spaces.
The patient should wear loose, comfortable clothing and leave jewellery, including their watch and wedding ring, at home. The patient may be asked to wear a gown.
If the patient has received a sedative, they will not be allowed (by law) to drive after the exam. It is required that someone drive the patient home.
The cost of an MRI of the pelvis
Morton & Partners charge the specified medical aid rate for most examinations as determined by the patient’s medical scheme. In certain circumstances, a co-payment may be required. Patients are advised to review the details of their medical aid plan prior to making an appointment. Immediate settlement of the shortfall will be required at the time of service.
We can provide assistance should your medical aid scheme require pre-authorisation before the procedure. Please note that pre-authorisation is not a guarantee of payment and the account remains the responsibility of the patient to settle.
For private-paying patients, the account will be rendered at the standard private rate of Morton & Partners.
Special preparation for an MRI of the pelvis
One of our expert consultants will advise you of any special preparations prior to the MRI of the pelvis.
For example, the patient may be restricted on when to stop eating or drinking before the procedure. A low faecal diet may need to be followed, and a colon preparation may be required before the exam.
Note: Lenolax (a laxative enema) is available without a prescription from your local pharmacy. It is also available at any of the Morton & Partners MRI branches.