Magnetic resonance cholangiography, known as the MRCP, is a type of MRI test.
It utilizes strong magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images in order to evaluate one’s bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreas for inflammation, infection, or tumor gallstones. One benefit of this non-invasive procedure is that it can be easily performed without anesthesia on patients of all ages due to its high diagnostic accuracy.
How much does an MRCP test cost?
The MRCP test varies in price from $300 to as much as $1,800 without insurance. One National Center for Biotechnology Information study noted that outside of the UK prices were around $356 for two and three areas, with contrast, on an outpatient basis.
For those who have health insurance, don’t forget to consult with your provider about what is going to be covered and what you will pay out of pocket. As long as the treatment or procedure is deemed medically necessary by an accredited physician in good standing within their profession, then you should only need a co-pay/deductible on this test.
MRCP test details
An MRCP uses MRI technology, which gives a detailed view of your internal body structures. These scans use high magnetic fields and radio waves that create pictures of your internal tissues, organs, and other structures on the computer, sometimes using contrast for enhanced images.
To get into the MRI machine, you will first have to take off your jewelry and any other metal (like hairpins or hearing aids) that could be affected by a magnet. You should also wear a gown.
In the MRI scan, you will be asked to lie on a table and slide into the machine. The part of your body that is being scanned has a device take pictures which are sent to an outside computer while inside. You can talk with the radiologist through an intercom during these scans, and due to all the loud noises produced by this particular machinery, you will usually have to wear headphones to filter the sound.
The procedure is simple, painless, and takes as little as one hour. You can get some insights into the scan from the radiologist, but official results may be available the same day or in a few days depending on your doctor’s workload.
Any extra costs to consider?
If you are wary of being enclosed in small spaces or fear the scan, your physician may want to prescribe a mild sedative before they start.
Physicians will use this scan to examine the bile ducts, pancreas, and/or gallbladder or evaluate patients with pancreatitis. While it is a helpful diagnostic tool in certain circumstances, additional tests may be required for an accurate diagnosis, and this could lead to increased costs.
Important tips to remember
MRI machines use strong magnets which can cause the metal to heat up and become painfully hot. Before coming in for a scan, your doctor will be able to tell you what’s required before the procedure starts including if it’s safe for patients with metals such as artificial joints or pacemakers.
Doctors have been using MRI scans for years now, but some people who are claustrophobic may not be comfortable with the process. You should also talk to your doctor about any other issues like recent surgeries or if you are pregnant.
While it’s rare to experience a rash from contrast dye that is administered during an MR test, if you know ahead of time about any allergies that might have an effect on the MRCP scan, your doctor will make sure they take extra precautions or even use other methods like ultrasound instead.
Is there any way to spend less?
To save money on your healthcare costs, you should shop around before deciding which location to go for testing. Third-party centers will be cheaper than local hospitals and if you are uninsured, it is possible that they can offer a 15-40% discount depending on what method of payment has been agreed upon.