What does MRI stand for?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Can anyone have an MRI scan?

Yes, provided there are no contraindications for you to enter the magnetic field.

What do I need to do to have an MRI scan?

We require a referring letter from your GP, Consultant, registered Physiotherapist or registered Osteopath, we will then contact you directly to make an appointment.

Is MRI safe?

Yes. Unlike X-Rays, MRI does not use radiation, but works by using a magnetic field and radio waves which, as far as we know is completely safe.

Is MRI claustrophobic?

Not for most patients, as our modern scanner has a short tunnel.

What happens during a scan?

On your arrival one of our staff will explain the procedure to you. She will go through the consent form with you and answer any questions which you may have. Depending on which area of the body is being scanned, you may have to get changed in to suitable clothing which is supplied. Because of the magnetic field you will be asked to remove all metallic items, including jewellery.

The Radiographer will accompany you into the scanning room and will position you on the table. You will have to lie flat. We will try to make you as comfortable as possible and the whole procedure will be explained fully to you.

Scanning Noises

The scanner will make a repetitive knocking sound for the duration of each scan which should not alarm you. The Radiographer will provide you with headphones or ear plugs. During the scan you are required to lie still as movement will blur the images.

The Radiographer will remain in contact with you at all times and you will be able to contact her any time.

Should you feel concerned, you may have a friend in the scanning room with you. Once you are in the correct position the scan will begin.

What happens after the scan?

On completion of the scan the table will move out of the scanner allowing you to get up, get dressed and go home unless you have an appointment to see a consultant.

Is there any special precaution?

Generally no preparation is required for an MRI scan. You may eat and drink as normal and go about your daily routine both before and immediately after the scan. Medication can also continue to be taken. If you are having your brain scanned please avoid wearing dark eye make-up as this may cause a problem.

What can be scanned?

Any part of the body. The scan can demonstrate abnormalities in the:

  • Brain
  • Spinal Cord
  • Abdomen
  • Chest, including breasts
  • Pelvis
  • Joints
  • Blood vessels
  • Organs such as kidneys, liver, spleen and gall bladder
  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Heart and heart valves