MRI Scan

MRI is a powerful diagnostic tool and frequently helps to determine the most suitable treatment option and plan management.

MRI can be used in the diagnostic of:

  • most ailments of the brain and certain ENT conditions (ear, nose and throat)
  • musculoskeletal problems and sports injuries
  • spinal conditions
  • gynaecology problems (female pelvic)
  • some abdomen problems (gastrointestinal tract conditions)
  • vascular abnormalities
  • orostate problems
  • soft tissue problems

How is the procedure performed?

MRI scanYou will be positioned on the moveable examination table. Straps may be used to help you stay still and maintain the correct position during imaging. Small devices that contain coils capable of sending and receiving radio waves may be placed around or adjacent to the area of the body being studied. If a contrast material is used in the MRI exam, a radiographer will insert an intravenous line (IV) into a vein in your hand or arm. A saline solution may be used and the solution will drip through the IV to prevent blockage of the IV line until the contrast material is injected. This helps to enhance the images usually in parts of the body which has poor natural contrast.

You’ll be given ear phones with music or ear plugs to wear because of the scanner noise, and an emergency bell if you need to call the radiographer during procedure.

Preparation for MRI

MRI scannerYou do not need to fast or follow a special diet unless specified. MRI scanners use powerful magnetic fields. Metal items can distort MRI images and may be a safety hazard if they become attracted to the magnetic field, so before your scan you must remove all external metallic and electronic items. This includes items such as watches, jewellery, hairpins, keys, coins, mobile phones and make-up such as mascara or eyeliner which may contain certain metal products. You should also remove any hair pieces with clips or wigs, dentures, make-up, spectacles and hearing aids you are wearing. All piercings must be removed. You should wear clothing without metal zips, fasteners, buttons, belts or buckles. If you are having a head or neck examination, please have dry, clean hair and wear no hair products.

Are there any risks?

For most people, there is no danger associated with having an MRI scan. It is however very important that you tell the radiographer if you have any metal implants in your body.  The radiographer will ask for your complete medical history and complete a questionnaire before the scan takes place.

Who analyses the images?

A Consultant Radiologist, who has been trained in MRI scan analysis, reviews the results of your MRI scan. The results cannot be given to you on the day because the analysis takes a relatively long time and can include a comparison with any previous MRI scans (if they have been provided).

There is a waiting list for an NHS MRI scan, can I make a private appointment?

Yes, you can book a private appointment at a number of our clinics. Please go to the following website for more information:
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