MRI scans are used to create detailed images of bones, organs, soft tissues, and virtually all other internal body structures. The images produced help diagnose injuries, damage and diseases to:
Joints - including arthritis and tendon tears
Abdomen and pelvis
Brain - including tumours, abnormal growths, damage and causes of headaches
Biliary system and pancreas
This diagnostic procedure is non-invasive and does not use X-Rays. MRI scans are considered to be safe with no known side effects. However as a strong magnet is used these scans are not suitable for everyone. Conditions that could cause complications include:
Cardiac pacemaker or implantable defibrillator
Catheter that has metal components
Aneurysm clips and some stents
A medication pump
Cochlear (inner ear) implant
Metallic foreign body within or near the eye
Frequently Asked Questions
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that produces detailed images of the inside of the body and is used to diagnose health conditions that affect organs, tissue and bone. One of the main advantages of MRI is that, unlike X-Rays, it does not involve radiation.
No the scan is not painful.
You will be asked to lie on the scanner couch while the MRI radiographer prepares you for the examination. A special ?coil? or camera will be placed over the area being scanned and you will be moved into the centre of the scanner, either head or feet first, depending on which part of your body is being examined.
The Radiographer will operate the scanner from the control room but will be able to see you and communicate with you through an intercom throughout the examination. You will also be given a call bell if you need to contact them quickly.
As the scanner takes the images it makes a loud tapping noise and you may feel some vibrations as the scanner works around you. You will be given ear plugs or head phones with music to minimise the noise and protect your ears.
To avoid the images being blurred, it is important that you keep still throughout the procedure. Depending on the size of the area being scanned and how many pictures are acquired, a typical scan lasts between 15 and 60 minutes.
Sometimes it may be necessary for you to have a small injection of a contrast agent. This gives additional information in certain examinations and helps some tissues and blood vessels show up more clearly. This will be discussed with you by the Radiologist if it is required.
We do not carry out scanning in the first three months of pregnancy unless essential. If you think you might be pregnant please tell the radiographer prior to your scan.
Occasionally we will need to give you an injection of contrast (a dye which makes blood vessels and organs show up more clearly) to give better images. This is normally given into the arm or the back of the hand by a qualified member of staff. If you are breastfeeding please, please inform us before your appointment.
Usually the actual scan takes no longer than 20 minutes. This can depend of what part of your body is being scanned.
The consultant radiologist will read your MRI scan. Your doctor will receive the results with 48 hours of your exam being completed.
Please contact us before coming for your scan if you have any doubts about whether you are suitable for MRI or if you have, or have had, any of the following:
An Artificial Heart Valve
Aneurysm Clips (these are metal clips that are inserted during some operations, especially in the blood vessels or the brain)
Metal fragments in the eye, head or body (if you suspect that a metal fragment may have entered your eye, particularly if you have ever worked with a lathe or metal grinding equipment please contact us for advice immediately)
Any surgery in the six weeks before your appointment
Any surgery which involved placing implants in your head or body
Request Your Scan
We can organise a scan for you as long as your Doctor thinks it's necessary. Please ask your doctor for a referral letter before booking your scan. Unfortunately we cannot process your booking request without a referral from your doctor.