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MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) creates high-resolution images of the body using a powerful magnet and radio frequency waves.
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MRI is a very safe way of producing images that can diagnose medical conditions. It does not use x-rays and has not been shown to have any harmful side effects.
The MRI scanner is an open-ended “doughnut” shape that is surrounded by a large magnet within the circular area. During your examination, you will be asked to lie on a scanning table which will slowly move to position the part of your body being scanned in to the centre of the scanner. It is important that you remain still during the examination so that the best possible images are obtained.
You will be positioned on the scanning table either head first or feet first, depending on the part of your body being scanned. You will be given ear protection because the scanner makes a loud drumming noise.
The Radiographer will go into a different room during the scan but you will be able to talk to them at any point throughout the procedure via an intercom; they will watch and be able to hear you at all times. You will also be given a buzzer to hold so you can interrupt the scan, if needed.
Sometimes an injection (called a contrast dye) will be required to give a clearer picture of certain tissues or organs being examined but this will be discussed with you. If you are given an injection, you will be asked to remain in the imaging department for 30 minutes after the scan is complete.