An MRI of the prostate can produce detailed images of a man’s prostate gland and surrounding tissue to assist the referring practitioner with their diagnoses and treatment plan of the suspected prostate condition.
An MRI of the prostate is a very useful exam especially when used in combination with the clinical history and information of the patient provided by the referring physician. Prior to having an MRI of the prostate, patients can benefit from prostate screening tests, including a Digital Rectum Exam (DRE) or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 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 is also non-invasive and does not use ionising radiation.
An MRI of the prostate may be requested to help diagnose infection, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or congenital abnormalities.
The MRI scanner gives radiologists an excellent view of the prostate to the point that the detailed images allow urologists to perform a targeted biopsy of the most suspicious region.
What to expect during an MRI of the prostate?
Before the exam starts, the patient will be positioned on a table that slides inside the MRI unit which looks like a large tunnel. A mild sedative can be administered prior to the exam if the patient thinks they may feel anxious.
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. An MRI of the prostate may also be performed using an endorectal coil – a thin wire covered with a latex balloon, that is inserted a short distance into the rectum.
The magnetic field produced by the wide-bore 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.
The digital imaging from the MRI machine is fed to a computer operated by the radiographer performing the examination outside of the exam room. 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 patient can expect an MRI of the prostate to be completed in 45 minutes or less. Digital images and reports will be 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.
How to make an appointment for an MRI of your prostate?
At Morton & Partners, a patient’s wellbeing and comfort is at the centre of everything we do. Our patient-centred approach is to help seamlessly guide patients along their journey to better health through working alongside referring physicians to make early and accurate diagnoses.
The Morton & Partners MRI Booking Centre can be contacted on:
Tel: (021) 276 1253
Our highly efficient, courteous and compassionate staff will guide you during the procedure to ensure your comfort, safety and privacy.
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 such as 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.
What is the cost of an MRI of the prostate?
Morton & Partners charge the specified medical aid rate for most examinations as determined by your medical scheme. In certain circumstances, a co-payment may be required based on your medical aid plan details, alternatively if your benefits are depleted. We advise patients to review their medical aid plan details prior to making their appointment. Immediate settlement of the shortfall will be required at the time of service.
Should pre-authorisation be required by the medical aid scheme, we can provide assistance in applying for pre-authorisation.
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.
All non-South African residents will be required to settle their radiology account in full on the day of examination or discharge from the hospital if admitted as an in-patient at the time of the examination.
Special preparation for an MRI Prostate:
The patient will not be allowed to eat or drink anything from midnight the night before the exam (or six hours before the procedure).
Lenolax (a laxative enema) must be taken an hour prior to the procedure. Please consult with our expert booking agents when making the appointment.
Note: Lenolax is available without a prescription from your local pharmacy. It is also available at any of the Morton & Partners MRI branches