MRI Scan

mri scanner

What is an MRI Scan?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging which is a way of taking pictures inside the body without using x-rays. An MRI scanner is a large, hollow tube open at both ends. A strong magnetic field and radio waves are used to create images of organs and other structures inside you.

For more information on MRI scans, please download our MRI scan patient information leaflet.

Important Safety Information

It is a safe, painless technique with no known risks, provided the safety questionnaire is correctly completed. Please ensure you read the information sent to you in full.
Due to the magnet used by the scanner, people with certain types of medical implants or devices may not be able to be scanned.
Some examples: people fitted with a pacemaker, some types of head surgery, certain metal implants or if there has ever been any injury to the eyes involving metal fragments.
Please remove all metal from your body including loose change from your pockets.

Preparing for Your Scan

• Unless specifically instructed, you can eat and drink normally before your scan.
• Try to wear comfortable, loose clothing with minimal metal fastenings (such as zips and press studs/poppers) although you may beasked to change into a gown for your scan.
• We will provide a locker in which you can store your metal items, watches, credit cards etc. You may prefer to leave valuable items at home.

What to Expect?

We will use pads, cushions and supports to help make you comfortable for the scan. It is important to be as comfortable as possible to help you keep still throughout. When each ‘picture’ is being taken you need to keep still for a few minutes,otherwise the resulting image may be blurred. The area of the body being scanned needs to be in the centre of the scanner, therefore you maybe put into the scanner head first or feet first.
A ‘receiving device’ like an aerial, may be placed behind or around the part of the body being examined. This detects the tiny radio signalsemitted from the body during the scan.
The time taken for the scan will vary depending on what is being scanned but on average may take 20 – 40 minutes.
The scanner will make loud and unusual noises whilst taking your pictures. Earphones and/or earplugs will be given and music may be available.
You will be given a call bell whilst having your scan. Should you need to stop the scan at any point, simply squeeze this and our staff will attend to you immediately.
There is an intercom inside the scanner so you will be able to talk to the staff at any time between scans.
Sometimes, to improve the quality of the images, it may be necessary to give you an injection of a special dye. If this is required, our staff will explain this to you and answer any
questions you may have.
Your results are not sent here - they will be with your GP. Please contact your GP or whomever sent you to us if you want more information. Results usually take a few days to be processed so please understand and be patient.

After Your Scan

There are no after effects from the scan. You can return to your normal activities as soon as the scan is over.
• Our scanning staff are specialists in obtaining high quality images. However, they are not trained to diagnose from these.
• The images from the scan are studied by a Consultant who will prepare a written report to send to whomever requested your scan (GP, physio, etc).
• If we spot anything that needs urgent attention when you are with us or, if the Consultant sees anything when writing your report, then there is a process in place to ensure this is reported to your GP as soon as possible and the necessary steps taken to get you treatment quickly.
• We are always keen to hear feedback and have patient feedback forms available.
• If you have any further questions please speak to a member of staff who will be happy to help.


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