Abdominal MRI is performed to capture images of internal organs in the abdomen such as liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and layers in the abdomen wall. This non-invasive exam creates cross-sectional imaging of soft tissue and organs, allowing doctors to investigate abnormalities without making an incision. Abdominal MRI scans may be ordered to examine blood vessels or lymph nodes and to help detect tumors, infections, bleeding and blocked tubes, or stones that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. During imaging, you will be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time to ensure high quality images.
For this procedure, you will be moved into the MRI machine head first, on your back. If you are claustrophobic, please consult with your doctor to see if they recommend that you take anti-anxiety medication before your exam.
Alberta Health Services does not cover private MRI services outside of the hospital. The cost of an MRI of the abdomen ranges from $800 to $950, depending on the need for contrast.
The need for contrast is determined by the radiologist at the time of imaging if it is determined that it is required for a proper diagnosis. The need for contrast is also impacted by specific patient history.
An abdominal MRI exam typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. The technologist, who can hear and see you during the exam, will provide you with an emergency button so you can communicate with them throughout the procedure.
Being prepared for your abdominal MRI helps us take the best possible images for diagnosis. Please visit our exam prep page for more instructions specific to abdominal MRI preparation.