If you would like more information about private MRI exams, please contact us at 403-301-4525.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Please note, prices listed to the right are for Alberta MRI exams. Please click here for a Saskatchewan Private MRI Price Sheet.

In Calgary and Saskatchewan, our private pay MRIs use radio waves and a strong magnetic field to provide very clear images of the body, without radiation. This advanced medical imaging technique is often used to help diagnose diseases of the brain, spine, skeleton, abdomen, and soft tissues.

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. Please click here for a Saskatchewan Private MRI Price Sheet.

In Calgary, MRI exams are provided at our Mayfair Place location as private pay exams and are not covered by Alberta Health Care. Mayfair recently installed a new, higher strength magnet, and now operates both 1.5T and 3T MRI services at Mayfair Place. Having two magnet strengths provides greater options to use MRI to more specifically meet the imaging needs of various medical conditions.

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.

Why choose Mayfair Diagnostics' private MRI services? Learn more.

Read the following articles to learn more about MRI:


Is an MRI appropriate for me?

An MRI must be requested by a heath care practitioner, so it’s important to speak to your doctor about whether it’s appropriate for you. Your personal medical history will determine whether or not an MRI is recommended, such as how long you’ve had symptoms, how they affect your daily activities, and what other imaging exams, like an X-ray or ultrasound, indicated. In determining appropriateness, there are a number of questions you could discuss with your doctor. What are your treatment options? What outcomes could be expected for each option? How does an MRI work? What are the risks? What happens if you don’t have an MRI? Is a private MRI an option? What happens after your MRI?

Why would I choose a private MRI?

If you are covered under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan, you are eligible for an MRI through the public health care system. However, there is a high demand for this type of imaging and wait times can be long. The alternative is to choose to pay for a private MRI. Opting for a private MRI does not bump you up on the waitlist. Instead, you either remove yourself from the list or don’t add your name in the first place. Since treatment plans are most effective when there is a clear understanding of what is causing your symptoms, choosing to wait for a public MRI can delay the time to a diagnosis and treatment. For example, an MRI may be indicated to evaluate surgery options or pain levels may make it difficult to wait. It’s important to speak to your health care practitioner about your options.

What are the risks of an MRI?

There are no known health hazards from temporary exposure to an MRI, and this exam does not use radiation. However, MRI images are taken using a strong magnetic field, which can attract metal objects or may cause metal in your body to move. Before an MRI is performed all metal will need to be confirmed as safe for an MRI. For certain types of MRI scans, the magnetic field can change and create loud knocking noises, which require ear protection and may be concerning to some patients. There may also be a risk of allergic reaction to the contrast agent. In addition, some patients may find the inside of the MRI scanner to be uncomfortably small and may experience claustrophobia. Mayfair’s scanner bed has a weight capacity of 227 kilograms (500 pounds).

What can I expect during my MRI?

The MRI machine is a large magnet that uses radio waves to scan your body, so it’s important to make sure that you are properly screened (for metal objects) and changed prior to your exam. Please note that a private change room is provided as well as a locker to lock up personal items, which must be kept outside of the exam room. Depending on the type of exam, you may need an intravenous (IV) injection of contrast solution. A sensor is positioned around the body part being scanned and then the scanner table moves slowly into the scanner. An MRI can be noisy, so you will be given headphones to block some of the noise. The scanner is well lit and well ventilated, and patients can remain in contact with the technologist during the exam through an emergency call button.

What happens after my MRI?

Once your exam is complete, you will be given a copy of your images. They will also be examined by a sub-specialized radiologist who will interpret them and forward a report to your referring physician. If there are any concerns with your results, they will be phoned or faxed to your referring physician immediately. For non-urgent results, your doctor will receive a detailed report, which will outline your diagnosis and make recommendations for treatment options, usually by the next business day following your exam. Your doctor will then discuss your results with you.

How much does a private MRI cost?

The cost for an MRI depends on the body part being scanned and whether or not contrast solution is required. For exact pricing you will need to contact the Mayfair Diagnostics MRI booking department (403-301-4525). MRI exams at Mayfair Diagnostics are provided as private pay exams and are not covered by Alberta Health Care. Prices may vary depending on the type of scan ordered.

Are there special MRI instructions for metal?

MRI images are taken using a strong magnetic field, which can attract metal objects or may cause metal in your body to move. This means that before an MRI can be performed all internal metal objects will need to be confirmed as safe for an MRI. This is especially true for the stronger magnet. Please be sure to let your MRI technologist know if you have any of the following: aneurysm clip(s), artificial heart valve, body piercings, cardiac pacemaker, implanted drug infusion device/insulin pump, infusion pump, injury to the eyes involving metal,* intrauterine device, metal plate, pin or other metallic implant, shrapnel from a prior gunshot or work-related injury, or tattoo/permanent makeup. *For welders and others whose profession may expose them to small flakes of metal that may enter the eye, an X-ray of the eye may be necessary before an MRI can be performed.

Our Technology

Our advanced MRI services includes two magnets from GE Healthcare: the Optima* MR450w 1.5T and the Signa Architect 3T. Both systems are designed to maximize comfort and deliver uncompromised imaging capability. Their features include:

  • A 70 cm wide bore for extra space
  • Air coil technology
  • Comfortable cushions to alleviate pressure points
  • Feet-first imaging
  • SILENT Scan software that helps reduce noise by up to 99 percent