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What Is An MRI Scan?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You lie inside the tube during the scan.
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.
The results of the MRI scan can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan treatments and assess how effective previous treatment has been.
Preparation For The Scan
Once you’ve checked in at reception, a member of the radiography team will meet you, explain the procedure, go through your safety questionnaire with you and ask you to sign a consent form. You’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions about the scanning process.
We might ask you to change into a hospital gown. We’ll provide somewhere to store your personal possessions. Throughout the procedure, the Radiography team will look you after you. They will explain what’s happening and will be there if you experience any discomfort.
We might need to give you an injection (known as a contrast medium) to increase the amount of information we can get from the scan, depending on the area we’re scanning.
During The Scan
The Radiographer operating the scanner will be able to see and hear you throughout the procedure. The examination consists of several scans, each lasting a few minutes with a short pause between each one. The entire procedure will take between quarter of an hour and one hour, depending on which part(s) of your body we’re scanning.
We’ll ask you to lie down on the scanner bed and we’ll make sure you’re comfortable so you can stay as still as possible. You won’t feel anything, but there is some mechanical noise from the equipment so we’ll provide you with some ear defenders or earplugs.
For safety reasons, we won’t normally allow anyone accompanying you to come into the examination room whilst the scan is in progress. However, it this is necessary, we will have to carry out the same safety checks for them as we have done for you.
After The Scan
There are no restrictions on normal activity, you can eat and drink normally, drive and return to work immediately after the scan. If we’ve given you a contrast medium injection, we will check you before you leave the scanner.
During the MRI scan, there may be literally hundreds of images taken. As this procedure doesn’t use X-rays, from a safety viewpoint, there is no real limit to the number of images we can take.
The digital images are stored onto a computer hard drive and the operator will check the images for technical quality and to ensure that every view required has been taken during the procedure.
The images are then reported by a Consultant Radiologist, a Doctor who specialises in the interpretation of diagnostic images. The report is usually done soon after the scan, often on the same day. You will be contacted in person regarding your results by one of our medical team to let you know what you need to do next. The report will then be sent to, and available at your follow-up appointment with your GP or a Consultant if this is deemed necessary.
The radiologist will send a report to National MRI Scan Ltd and you will then be contacted by one of our medical team.