TOLL FREE: 1-866-611-2665

Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful tool for screening and diagnosis. Many consider it to be the best way to detect diseases in their earliest, most treatable stage.

The exam is non-invasive, uses no radiation, and our state-of-the-art equipment offers a more comfortable imaging experience. It is invaluable because it gives very clear pictures of the brain and spine. For both orthopedic and neurology patients, we can look at very small blood vessels in the brain to spot aneurysms or identify plaque build-ups in the carotid arteries that may cause strokes.


  • Take all prescribed medications as directed.
  • Please let us know if you are, or may be, pregnant, or if you’ve had recent surgery.
  • Please also inform us if you have metal in your body. Here is a list of metal objects that may be a concern. Your technologist may ask you to remove any metallic objects, which are unsafe near the MRI magnet.
  • Wear comfortable clothes free of metal zippers or buttons, including metal-free underwear.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow enough time to check in with reception.
  • Bring photo identification and your provincial health card.
  • Children may have parents in the exam room with them.


  • You may be asked to change into a gown or scrubs.
  • If a contrast solution is needed, we will insert an intravenous (IV) line. Please note that IV contrast is an additional cost.
  • Once the IV is in place your technologist will position you on the cushioned scanner table in the MRI suite. We will do our best to make you comfortable.
  • An MRI can be loud, so you will be provided with headphones or ear plugs to reduce the noise. Eye masks are available upon request for patients who have difficulty relaxing in a confined space. You are also given an emergency call bell to stop the exam, if needed.
  • Once you are relaxed and comfortable, a sensor will be positioned around the body part being scanned. The table will then move slowly into the MRI scanner, which is well lit and ventilated.
  • You will be asked to hold very still, as movement may result in blurring of images. Your technologist will be close by at all times.
  • Once we have successfully captured your images, your IV will be removed (if you have one) and you are free to leave.


We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor in a timely manner.


In Calgary, MRI exams are provided at our Mayfair Place location as private pay exams and are not covered by Alberta Health Care. Prices are per body area. If additional body areas are scheduled within the same appointment, discounts apply. We also offer a 10% Seniors discount (65+) that can be applied to the first MRI exam.

In Saskatchewan, we provide MRIs as a publicly funded, community-based service under contract with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and as a private pay exam. Private MRI services in Saskatchewan are provided in accordance with and under the legislation of the Province of Saskatchewan. Pricing is per body area, similar to Alberta pricing (with similar discounts).

Your health spending account or group medical insurance plan may cover the cost of a private MRI that is prescribed by a qualified health care practitioner. You will need to check with your plan administrator for coverage details.

Please note that if contrast is needed, it’s an additional cost of $250.


Please ensure that you bring your requisition with you to your appointment.


30-60 minutes

What diseases can you detect with MRI imaging?
MRI is excellent for diagnosing diseases of the brain, spine, skeleton, abdomen, and soft tissues. It is also effective in assessing the severity of and informing the most effective treatment of delicate injuries in bones and soft tissues like muscle and cartilage.
Do I need a doctor's referral?
Yes, all Mayfair scans require a referral from your health care provider. Please download a referral form.
Is the procedure loud?
You'll hear loud knocking sounds. These sounds are normal and should not worry you. Despite the loud noise, the technologist operating the machine will be able to hear you if you have questions or concerns. We will provide you with headphones to listen to music and help muffle the noise. You are also given an emergency call bell to stop the exam, if needed.
Are there size or weight restrictions?
Mayfair's wide-bore MRI scanners offer a much more comfortable imaging experience, especially for larger patients or those who are prone to anxiety in tight spaces. Feet first scanning capacity, flexible design configurations, and variable density padding provide optimal patient comfort. If you're nervous about sizing, measure your body at the widest point (usually across your abdomen or from shoulder to shoulder) and if the measurement is less than 70 centimetres, you should fit. If you are claustrophobic, you can come in for a fitting at NO charge to make sure you will be comfortable during the exam. Patients whose weight exceeds 226 kilograms (500 lbs) may be unable to have a scan.
How reliable are the procedures?
As with most screening procedures, MRI scans are not perfect, nor are they proven to find everything they're looking for. Some abnormalities are too small to find, or they may be hidden near other normal structures. Mayfair's exams are most beneficial when taken into the context of your medical history.